Ethel

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  1. If Streisand would have been more theatrical and expressive, her performance wouldn't have been as it was...from deep within her soul. She sang as though the words were pouring from her heart...a plea to Nicky to need her and love her. When she would start singing louder, she pulled herself back so she didn't appear too desperate or needy in his eyes. The emotional transitions were interesting. He tells her he likes being free and then she jokes with him about how freedom can lead to loneliness as Fanny Bryce was such a joker. They then go into such a serious frame of mind with People being a way for Fanny to pour her heart out for him to see that it was up for the taking. The direction and editing was tremendous in this scene. While they are laughing and joking, then are moving down the sidewalk and once she begins singing, they are at a stand still. He lags behind, just watching her with this awesome amazement. He is obviously taking her words to heart and understands that she is pouring out her soul and we are able to see his face throughout the entire song. She walks up the steps, moving her higher up in the picture and sings facing him only a few seconds before she turns and sings to the audience. High up like a star on stage and singing from the tip of her toes to the top of her head and it gives me goose bumps every time!
  2. Both My Fair Lady and Gaslight have caring, open women being manipulated by powerful, overbearing men for the entertainment of the men. The sets were built with a lot of props and those wide camera angles so you feel like you are walking into the room yourself and the massive view of the films are done to make the women feel even smaller and more insignificant. The emotions ran the gambit in this scene of MFL. Eliza was deep in thought and then flew down onto the floor sobbing. The camera shooting her from above makes you realized how low she actually felt and was brilliant. She moans as she drops to the floor and you feel it in your gut when she does. If you weren't already deep into the movie....this act just brought you in. The use of the entire room to shoot the scene was great. They are both moving around as their emotions swing from one direction to another so as they move, the mood shifts and it happens over and over again and carries the viewer with them all around the room as the emotions are poured out.
  3. 1) Early movie musicals showed men in the macho role. They sang and they danced but were all strong, straight-laced men. The two musicals with Robert Preston showed a different kind of man. He was able to be soft and tender as well as being manly when the scheme of the movie needed the shift. Showed movie goers that men had a full range of emotions, only early musicals didn't show all the sides very often....they were either comedians or dancers or singers or actors and emotions didn't go from one gambit to another. 2) Robert Preston is excellent in these films. He acts like there is no audience and when he speaks with people in a scene or sings to them, he looks them in the eye and is believable in what he is saying and doing. I love when he get excited and starts speaking or singing a mile a minute. 3) I saw Preston in The Last Starfighter and he was excellent in the non-musical role. He was so good with this role, that you forgot you were watching a movie and were living the training of The Last Starfighter.
  4. 1. The set is made to look shabby and run down...in complete opposite of those classical expensive-looking sets in the beautiful, big budget movies. The scene is like a vaudeville act in itself and disruptions come from off stage (Russell) and back stage (the producer) and even the people on stage look shocked at the disruptions. This is the perfect example of what we will see in later movie musicals. The viewer will be prepared for the classical musical and then it turns out to be more vaudeville than not. 2) It's interesting to see Rosalind Russell be the stage mom interrupting an audition from the audience when she is the ultimate professional actress. Her remaining on stage throughout the performance shows what kind of mom and performing daughters we will be seeing during the rest of the movie. Typical stage mom pushing her daughters to be stars and working to manipulate the directors and stage managers to better their position on stage. 3) Sondheim's "Let Me Entertain You" seemed so childish when done by the two sisters, but the words take you to a totally different place as Gypsy grows up and realizes a quick wink and batting of the eyes goes a long way into a man's wallet.
  5. I don't think it was necessary for this film to have the stylized approach throughout. The ballet at the end was beautiful and colorful thanks to Minelli, but the rest of the movie was so darn entertaining that it is perfect just the way it is. It is hard to not like Jerry. He's friendly to all he meets along the way to where he displays his paintings and has a bounce in his step and a smile on his face. He speaks harshly to the college student because he recognized who she was or more so what she was and felt she would insult his work so he moved her on along to protect his feelings. This sort of makes him more likeable because this made him more human to the viewer.
  6. Pre-dance movements set up the rhythm for the dance....almost a verbal dance before the actual dance. Excellent straight man--kept the shocked, serious look throughout and made the scene even more enjoyable. All 3 men were masculine in their actions. The choreography with the dancers jumping on and off the desk and on and off the chairs helped to push the masculine tone to the performance.
  7. Calamity Jane definitely reflects on the female representation of the 50's. During the war, women had to assume a lot of the man's role in society with most leaving the home to work out in industry for the first time, and dealing with all of their home-life problems alone while the men were off at war. The war ended, bringing all the men home to resume their roles leaving the women sort of in limbo of exactly what their role was. They had become independent and didn't necessarily just want to go back into the home to simply cook and clean. Calamity Jane also had inner turmoil about her role in life...was independent and worked and acted as a man and then...BAM...she's in love and must find her inner woman and bring her to the outside so the world and her love would see her as a woman. Doris Day in this movie showed her range. From wild western woman to soft, tender loving woman. Her movies before and after showed the same skill. She was excellent in a dramatic role, in a romantic role, and in comedies. She is one of my very favorites. Doris' sunny outlook on life fit Calamity Jane and truly brought the role to life on the big screen.
  8. The way they were tossing out ideas in the song could have taken place sitting around a conference table and the music and the words played so well into the feeling of working together. From the first view of the scene, they all moved in unison. All wearing similar colors, all with their same arm and leg movements making you see one action and one group in harmony. When they move around, they move like a single unit. Not one star performing alone, a complete group performing in unison. Loved it!
  9. The shift from his bedside to taking in the laundry shows time has past. Joe is in a wheelchair in this scene and even as she is doing her laundry, she is taking care of him. She wheels him back into the shade when she notices the sun was too hot on him. He is appearing to be unable to assist or walk, but she loves him just as much as ever. The love Petunia has for Joe is just like a parent's love for their child, unconditional, undying, and all-forgiving. The film did a good thing making it with an all-black cast, but they needed a black director or writer involved so it would move the black people forward and not be such a film of stereotypes of black Americans.
  10. From the beginning of the clip, Betty is on the offense with Frank on the defense. Every push forward from her receives a push back from him. She continues to work the movement back to her having the upper hand and it's wonderful! Loved the music and the way it pumps you up while they are running up into the stands. It has your feet tapping and you just NEED a song to begin and thankfully, it does. Great acting in this clip....loved the way it looked like it was an everyday thing running up and down bleachers.
  11. I first saw Judy Garland act in The Wizard of Oz when I was a child. She was amazing and since she was young, I put myself into her ruby slippers and went to Oz with her. The awe in her performance when she was in the tornado and then how overwhelmed she is when she lands in Oz shows just how great an actress she is. At some times she was almost breathless when she was speaking making you feel that she truly was experiencing the wonder of Oz. Seeing her performances in the two clips shows how much she had grown, not just physically, but as an actor and performer. The piano scene was amazing. I'll never understand how she was able to do all of that at one time...continuing to meet Gene Kelly's gaze, fake play the piano making it look real, sing, act like she was reading the sheet music and smile. A Star is Born gave Judy a stellar platform to show just how good she really was. I can watch it again and again, and every time I feel the same feeling of WOW!...now that's entertainment!
  12. It's obvious that she finds herself to be his equal, not only in dance, but in life. She dressed manly, and danced step-for-step with Astaire showing she could hold her own. This was a warning to him that he'd have to treat her as an equal if he wanted to take this relationship any farther. Women in this time were coming into their own with work available for them and moving about in society more and this dance just shows progress had been made there.
  13. The opening of the seen with the voices coming from behind the closed doors was brilliant. Since they were unable to show sex scenes, it led you to wonder what all had gone on behind the closed doors leading up to the scene. Enjoyed the comments in English during the French scene to let us know that he knew we were watching and he felt we needed some hints at what was going on. Didn't need to be in English...their acting told the whole story. Loved the number of small guns in the drawer....that many women had already been behind his bedroom doors. The garters were also a smart prop to show his appetite for the other sex.
  14. Interesting that Eddy just comes out and sings that he loves her and she never tells him that she likes him. She does say he has a lovely voice, but that is all. He's all out there and she keeps it all inside. She is the sweet lady who is classy and sophisticated while in the club, all the other women in there (notice I did not say ladies), are obviously loose women. They are dressed scantily and are sitting closely to the men, if not touching them, close enough to do so. The other singer was the total opposite of Jeanette and seeing Jeanette try to bring herself and her performance onto the same plane as the other singer was funny and disturbing at the same time. Jeanette did such a great job of looking ashamed and embarrassed when she picked up her purse and left the room that you felt the shame and embarrassment yourself.
  15. Yes, the clip shows upscale surroundings and classily dressed people both on stage and in the audience to carry the viewer away from the sad and desperate times they were living in. I anticipate other future depression era films I plan to watch will do more of the same showing wealthy people living in ridiculously huge homes and dressed in gowns and tuxedos in their everyday life. Love the way this carries you away and puts you dancing with Fred Astaire or whoever. With the movie code in tact at this time, it is apparent that the singer's dress was very demure. Prior to the movie code, there would have probably been much less of it. They even went so far as to have her where a hat and also cover up with a parasol. Interesting that on stage she was telling the men (she only shined the mirror reflection on men) to come play with her but when she went into her dressing room, she was such a sweet, innocent thing just totally overwhelmed by the orchids that were sent to her. This made me feel like she had a well-rounded character and makes me look forward to seeing the entire movie.

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