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Michael McCarthy

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About Michael McCarthy

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  1. 1) I think that in order to answer this question you need to remove Ms. Streisand from the equation. The song "People" and Barbra Streisand will forever be as one, no denying that. If you were to have given the part of Fanny to a young Ethel Merman or a Betty Hutton, you would have had an eleven o'clock number that would have been a real toe tapper...but you would have also lost all of the subtle nuances given to us by Ms. Streisand. 2) Fanny is telling Nicky that for a man who needs nothing (other than that which money can buy) he needs to look inside himself and realize that you cannot
  2. 1) I believe that dancing--or the lack thereof--was the greatest change for men in the film musical. Movie musicals in the thirties had Fred Astaire in evening attire, which many in the depths of the Great Depression could only consider to be the stuff of fantasy. This is not to say that Fred was less than manly but he was usually presented as a dancer in rather dandy attire, which to the millions out of work was a dream to get them through the worst times of their lives. Enter World War II and Gene Kelly. This was not a guy in a tux hoofing...this was Superman dancing acrobatically (or acroba
  3. 1) This scene from "Gypsy" looks backward as it is set in a theatre, which is the setting for many traditional backstage musicals. This scene is reminiscent to the early portion of "Yankee Doodle Dandy" where the action also takes place in a theatre. It looks ahead as the actors talk over each other's lines, which is something that would never have been considered a few years before. This is something which had taken hold on Broadway with more realistic acting in the post war era. 2) The coarseness of Mama Rose is seen right at her entrance. She is not a very likable character; she is
  4. 1) I feel that film musicals in and of themselves are less than realistic if not entirely unrealistic. Perhaps that is what draws me to them, I don't know...I have never asked myself that question until this evening. Therefore, a stylized piece like the ballet in "An American in Paris", the dream sequence from "Oklahoma!", Fred Astaire dancing on the ceiling in "Royal Wedding" or the "Beauty School Dropout" number from "Grease" to name but a few, all help to elevate the musical to a higher degree. If the willingness to accept characters who burst into song and entire small town's citiz
  5. 1) Gene Kelly's moments are almost nonexistent until he launches into the song; Donald O'Connor is aping the professors behind his back, reminding us of the junior partner status of his Cosmo character. He is acting like the little brother but once the dancing starts he is the equal to big brother Don Lockwood. 2) The professor's initial role is to be a supercilious vocal coach; his job is to get the laughs by going over the top with his overly strict insistence that Don follow his tongue twisters to the letter. Cosmo's faces put the twist in tongue twister! The duo quickly take o
  6. 1) By far, Doris Day was ahead of the curve in her portrayal of Calamity Jane. Jane is a stagecoach guard, which is most definitely--even by today's standards--is usually considered a man's job. Jane retains her independent streak which indeed does define who she is. This is not a trait associated with women of the 1950's. 2) Doris Day most definitely grew as an actress. Her portrayal of Ruth Etting in "Love Me or Leave Me" (1955) should have garnered her an Oscar nomination; her performance in "Teacher's Pet (1958) did see her receive an Oscar nomination. Doris Day played the personifica
  7. 1) These are four people in search of an audience. They are brainstorming ideas off of each other almost faster than the lyricist can write! This is the grown up version of Mickey and Judy's "Hey gang, let's put on a show!" They ooze sophistication while being very free in their own skin to do or say (or sing) whatever it takes. As Jeffery says there is no difference between Bill (sic) Shakespeare's verse and Bill Robinson's dancing feet and so it goes here. 2) I think that three of the four are casually attired in that their clothes look like clothes and not costumes. Tony's suit, howev
  8. 1) With Petunia at Joe's bedside she is still concerned for his health as well as thankful to God that Joe is on the mend. By transitioning to the outdoor laundry scene we are acknowledging the passage of time; Joe is no longer confined to his sick bed but he is in fact recuperating and sitting in a wheelchair. Petunia's demeanor is an ear-to-ear grin as her man is getting well. the concern is in her heart but now she is full of love and the prospect of life with a soon-to-be healthy Joe. 2) The song would most definitely change if Petunia was singing about her child Joe, just as it would
  9. My first recollection of Ms. Garland is likely the same as millions of others, watching the umpteenth annual presentation of “The Wizard of Oz” on CBS television in the early 1960’s. I liked her voice and her presence held my attention every year. My parents encouraged my interest in old movies and the late show provided me with “The Pirate”, “Easter Parade”, “Summer Stock”, “A Star is Born” and especially “Meet Me in St. Louis”. (Full Disclosure: I am from St. Louis and “MMISL” is considered rather sacrosanct by its citizens and many of us wouldn’t consider it Christmas without watching it af
  10. 1) Even though "YDD" was filmed in glorious black and white, this film has always been in living color to me...specifically red, white and blue. From the portraits of former American Presidents lining the walls of the White House, to the flag on George M.'s lapel to the bunting and the flags being waved by the parade spectators, this is AMERICA writ large. OBTW: Just for fun, look at the scene @2:13 and as the camera pans from a flag waving in the breeze to the parade take note of the Hollywood Hills in the background. Who knew Providence, Rhode Island had such hills! 2) When the White H
  11. I have always thought of "Top Hat" as a genuine screwball comedy with musical numbers. The Dale Tremont character is as sharp, confident and shrewd as other screwball comedienes like Barbara Stanwyck or Roz Russell...plus, Ginger Rogers can sing and dance! It has been argued that the sexiest organic in the human body is the brain. With films being forced to clamp down on sexual situations screenwriters were forced to take the high road and sophisticated and witty dialogue started to come of age.
  12. I have never bothered to watch the films of NE/JM as they always seemed far to stiff and staged for my tastes. I should really give "Rose Marie" my full attention sometime. Mr. Eddy's singing voice is quite splendid; unfortunately I find Ms. MacDonald to be very irritating. Chalk this up to a lack of appreciation for opera and the recording techniques of the 1930's. The pair are fine but at the end of the day that's best I'll give them--fine. Perhaps this is generational but I found them to be bland and as exciting as mayonnaise on beige carpeting.
  13. "The Band Wagon" is probably my favorite musical. I have seen it more than twenty times and it never gets old or tiresome. That the musical they are attempting to mount is so awful and it forces Tony and Company to go back to light musical comedy and all parties (both on screen and we in the audience) are all the better for it.
  14. I would really be interested in pursuing more online film classes. Some topics might be: * A Century of Film Musicals * Monster Movies: Universal, Hammer, A.I.P., Toho and more * Rock 'N' Cinema: From Pariah to Payday * Whatever Happened To Originality: Why Hollywood Depends On Sequels * The Films of Sergio Leone * The Great Film Scores * The Rise And Fall Of The Western
  15. If Mr. Hitchcock was alive in 2017 with whom would he be collaborating? The easy answer is that he would seek out an unproven young-ish man from St. Louis and we would start working next week. Kidding aside, since he worked with John Williams on his last film it seems natural that they would continue working together. I believe that Phillip Glass and Danny Elfman might also be composers of note who would work well with Mr. Hitchcock. Giorgio Armani and Tom Ford come to mind as his costumers as they are very stylish and you know that it is their clothing the moment someone is wearing it.
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