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About NZ

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  1. I still enjoy My Fair Lady immensely even though I know that neither Audrey or Jeremy did any of their own singing. Regardless, Audrey is Audrey - luminous, beautiful, elegant and sophisticated. She is a lady through and through and that sells the film even when her voice cannot. Incidentally, the original DVD release included Audrey's vocal arrangements as an extra. She did attempt to sing 'Show Me' and 'Wouldn't It Be Loverly?' While I can appreciate her efforts they really did not measure up. Yes, Julie Andrews would have been wonderful as she had been on the stage. But she was an unkno
  2. On The Town is fun but flawed. Arthur Freed discarded the stage show's original score in favour of new songs that, at least in my opinion, don't entirely measure up to the originals. Also, only the opening 'New York New York' production number was actually shot in New York City to give the movie it's east coast flavour. The rest of the film is all vintage back lot MGM and process screens. I'm not condemning the movie. I like it a lot. There's plenty to love about it. But it's not the perfect entertainment it ought to have been for these reasons.
  3. The 34 version of The Merry Widow is ageless and the one to see. It's hasn't been available on home video since the mid-1980s and on VHS when Ted Turner released it under the old MGM/UA Video label. Warner Home Video now owns the rights. They have long promised a DVD (since 2002 actually) but this never materialized. I suspect when they finally get around to it, the movie will become part of their 'Archive Collection' - a poor cousin 'burn on demand' release as opposed to a properly minted DVD. The 52 version is rather painful to watch. Neither Lamas or Turner can or do sing. Rememb
  4. I agree with the person who said that as a rule remakes tick him off. I'm not a fan of remaking anything, but at the same time I have to agree that there are several non-musical films from the 1930s that were remade as musicals in the 1950s that I absolutely adore. The first is High Society, a remake of The Philadelphia Story (which I also love). Bing Crosby, Frank Sinatra and Grace Kelly are valiant successors to Katherine Hepburn and Cary Grant in the original and the songs by Cole Porter are all show stoppers. Also love Silke Stockings, the musical remake of Ninotchka that I actual
  5. I have mixed feelings about It's Always Fair Weather. I think it's the title that gets me because the story itself is very downbeat and more serious than your usual fluff from MGM. Kelly's roller skating number is a tour de force as is Dolores Gray's Thanks A Lot But No Thanks and Cyd Charisse's Baby You Knock Me Out. I also love the 'trash can' dance. I think the problem I have is that the songs and dances seem to belong to that lighter-than-air vintage of MGM froth while the story is decidedly more Dore Schary noir than vintage L.B. Mayer glam-bam. The two styles seem in constant confli
  6. NZ


    Star! is one of those big glossy musical bio pics, more fiction than fact that just had the dumb luck of coming at the end of that 60s cycle of movie musicals. Like Hello Dolly!, another superb movie musical produced two years after it by Fox, if just did not have audience interest behind it to succeed. Julie Andrews best performance in a movie musical will always be tied between The Sound of Music and Mary Poppins. But it is saying much that she managed to cleanse herself of that 'practically perfect' persona from the aforementioned films to at least attempt playing Gertrude Lawrence in
  7. While MGM did transfer ownership first to Lorimar Telepictures and then Sony in the mid to late 80s the backlot did not survive this transfer of ownership, suffering the wrecking ball in 1975 after Kirk Kerkorian's takeover to raise capital for his Las Vegas hotel; itself the scene of destructive chaos in 1981 when the second largest fire in hotel history claimed 85 lives. MGM's sad final days are chronicled in the book "Fade Out" which might be a good starting point in your research of the last movie shot on the MGM backlot but I do believe That's Entertainment! is among the last. By the
  8. Well film lovers, with this season's releases of The Sound of Music, White Christmas, The Night of the Hunter, The Red Shoes, Mutiny on the Bounty, The Maltese Falcon, The Treasure of the Sierra Madre, et al on Blu-Ray it does do a lot to wet the avid collector's rabid appetite for more of the same. So here's your chance to list the classic films you'd most likely want to see get a Blu-ray release in 2011. Add to this list and make your presence and opinions known. Some titles to consider: The Magnificent Ambersons Lawrence of Arabia Marie Antoinette (1938) The Prisoner of Zenda (1
  9. Remakes are a bad idea period! However, I do have to say that when MGM undertook to remake some of their best loved comedies and dramas from the 30s into big budget musicals in the 1950s they came up with two of the best musical entertainments of that decade: High Society (a remake of the Philadelphia Story) and Silk Stockings (a remake of Ninotchka). Both these musicals are top flight in every way and really stand out as exceptional entertainments of their own. MGM had less luck with their glossy Technicolor remakes of the Merry Widow, starring Lana Turner as a non-singing widow in
  10. I'm assuming you're referring to the Cinemascope version of the film - the more widely screened version at the time of the film's general release. If you haven't seen it, you should also watch the Todd A-0 version as it contains alternative takes and restaging of many of the dance sequences. The currently available DVD from Fox Home Video contains both versions, although the Todd A-0's color is a bit off. This is a curiosity since I own the laserdisc released by Fox in the mid-1990s that has been lovingly restored with eye popping color and marked improvements in fine detail and clarity f
  11. If I were you I'd make post haste to see Cabin in the Sky, Stormy Weather and Carmen Jones - top flight entertainments with all black casts. Don't waste your time on The Wiz - attrociously second rate and horribly miscast! If you haven't seen the following (not musicals) you should: Island in the Sun and Pinky.
  12. I'd just like to say that this film is a lost masterpiece. Of course, opinions will vary, but Cukor's output is hardly dull and this film is certainly anything but. I think what throws people today who have watched and loved Judy during her MGM output (Oz included), is that Star has none of the ultra frothy glam that MGM gave her and its other musical stars in spades. That's as it should be. Warner Bros. IS NOT MGM. Their penchant for gritty drama bodes well with Star because Star is really a melodrama with music as opposed to a musical with connecting dialogue. The distinction is worth no
  13. I'll go one step further. Remaking Fame WAS pointless. The original - a fantastic drama with music - gave me admiration for the guts it takes to chase after one's dreams. The remake reminded me of a bunch of American Idol rejects hopelessly flailing about in the hopes that no one would notice just how awful they all were!
  14. Oh...Crawford in blackface in that film. Even at the ripe old age of 39 that image still makes me cringe! Talk about bad taste.
  15. NZ

    Funny Face

    The whole point of Funny Face was built into the irony that two people as different both in their respective ages and their theoretical view points could gradually discover that they shared enough common ground to fall in love. Audrey is luminous. Astaire is ageless. Kay Thompson - priceless. The whole package comes together with one glorious burst of enthusiasm for life, love and fashionable clothes. Even today, many years after I first saw it I still can't help but 'think pink!'
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