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About TheMadKiwi

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  • Birthday October 24

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  1. It's on DVD, and I would think a Blu-ray release through Disney Movie Club should be happening soon since it aired on TCM last month with a gorgeous new transfer. Usually Disney uses TCM's Treasures from the Disney Vault monthly lineup as a means of debuting a restorations before it hits Blu-ray. Most of the films they've shown have gotten one (though I'm still impatiently waiting on 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea). As for underrated musicals, the first that comes to mind is another Sherman Brothers one: The Slipper and the Rose. It's a lavish, witty version of Cinderella that's tonally and
  2. She means that Fanny Brice the person wasn't really like Fanny Brice the character, but Fanny the character was a believable persona thanks to Streisand's performance. Sometimes with biopics, you have performers who are so obsessed with getting their portrayals accurate that they become stilted, self-conscious, and feel like an imitation. Streisand was loose enough that she cared more about making a fully rounded character than a perfect clone of the real Fanny.
  3. 1. If Streisand had performed the number the way she did on Broadway, it would lack the vulnerability the film version has. In the film, you get the sense that she's singing this more to herself than to Nick. In fact, when she's done with the song, she opens her eyes and almost startlingly looks at him as if she forgot he was there, immediately becoming embarrassed. Adding her signature belting to this would've also made it less special since she belts at the end of "I'm The Greatest Star," "Don't Rain on My Parade," and "My Man." That structure makes sense because those are her opening, middl
  4. I totally get why TCM only devoted Tuesdays and Thursdays to Mad About Musicals. They pride themselves on different programming blocks, and while there are enough musicals out there for them to have been shown every day in June, not everyone is as gaga for them as we are. The fans of Noir Alley, TCM underground, and Leslie Howard (the star of the month) would get really peeved if we stepped on their blocks. I have a heck of a lot of musicals on Blu-ray, but I, too, have been DVRing the ones I don't own that have aired when I'm either at work or asleep. I've been watching TCM live Tuesday
  5. Just a head's up in today's lecture notes: it mentions Thoroughly Modern Millie being a Broadway musical adaptation like many other 1960s film musicals. It was actually an original film musical. The Broadway show didn't come until 2002. As much as I enjoy the film, I much prefer the stage version. The plot is more streamlined with a more cause-and-effect narrative. The film has all kinds of random detours that contribute nothing, like the Jewish wedding for characters we don't even know. The show's new songs are fantastic while still keeping the two best ones from the film: the title son
  6. Bernadette Peters isn't a bad Mama Rose, but I felt she was miscast because she wasn't bold and brassy enough. She very much downplayed the part when this is a role that demands the scenery to be chewed. It's funny because the real Rose was a very small, petite woman like Peters, but most actresses cast as her tend to be big and stocky. Not that small actresses can't be loud and brash, of course, but I guess visually, larger ones make more of an impression on stage. My favorite Rose is Bette Midler, but if we're just talking stage ones, my favorite is Angela Lansbury. Stephen Sondheim ha
  7. I really like this number, but the film version of Gypsy makes it pointless because the whole point of this number is to set up that Louise needs to find a defining trait to make her act unique. In the Broadway version, her gimmick isn't just that she never gets naked; it's also that she's a comic. Instead of feeding bum lines off comedians like she initially did, she becomes the one who provides the laughs. The film version completely omits that, which kind of leaves you wondering how she got so big. I think the 1962 version of Gypsy's a great film despite niggling things like that (and
  8. Alice in Wonderland may be my favorite Disney film (as if my avatar didn't already tip everyone off), but I admit that its role as a musical is very incidental. Most of the songs are 30 seconds long and randomly pop in and out of the dialogue purely for entertainment rather than any storytelling purpose. My favorite animated musical is actually The Hunchback of Notre Dame. It's the most sophisticated score and songbook the studio's ever done. Every number has so many layers to it and contributes a great deal to both the plot and character development/psyche. "Out There" is my favorite num
  9. The King and I Mary Poppins The Sound of Music Bedknobs and Broomsticks Jesus Christ Superstar The Slipper and the Rose I get why the first four weren't included because Fox owns King and I and Sound of Music (and therefore only air them on their network), and Disney only lends TCM their films on "Treasures from the Disney Vault" days, but I'm surprised Jesus Christ Superstar and The Slipper and the Rose weren't included for the 70s. Probably if the 60s and 70s were each given their own weeks instead of sharing one, they'd probably show up since TCM has air
  10. I agree with you. Even if I prefer Meet Me in St. Louis big time over For Me and My Gal and Presenting Lilly Mars, I do think those were the first to showcase her as a young lady rather than a teen. I think St. Louis' contribution to her career is presenting her in Technicolor for the first time since The Wizard of Oz, giving her some of the most iconic songs in her songbook, and making her a solo leading lady rather than a co-lead like with Gene Kelly and Van Heflin (Tom Drake in St. Louis isn't nearly as important to the film as her prior leading men were).
  11. I really enjoy both but prefer Philadelphia Story. It's funny because most of the time, I prefer a musical version of something over its non-musical original (Pygmalion vs. My Fair Lady, 8 1/2 vs. Nine, Little Shop of Horrors, The Producers, Hairspray). The songs in High Society are delightful, and it's beautiful to look at. But while that cast all play off each other well, the cast in Philadelphia Story has a certain magnetic chemistry to them. I also find the direction snappier in the original which serves the witty material better. Both films are a treat to watch, though. I'm happy we got P
  12. The Wizard of Oz: Tin Man: "Why don't you try counting sheep?" Lion: "That's doesn't do any good; I'm afraid of them!" Easter Parade: Don: "Why didn't you tell me I was in love with you?" (I realize this line was used first in For Me and My Gal, but while in there it was a cute aside, here it carries weight and potency.) On the Town: Lucy: Did you see "The Lost Weekend?" Gabey: Yes, I think I'm living through it. Singin' in the Rain: Cosmo: "Talking pictures? That means I'm out of a job! At last, I can start suffering and
  13. I own most of the films in the lineup, particularly the 50s and 60s. So what I'm doing is watching the two films that air on TCM Tuesdays and Thursdays when I'm home from work (from 7 p.m. to midnight), and I watch films from my own collection Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays, and Saturdays that correlate to the week's decade and theme. Since Judy Garland's birthday was this week, I'm focusing on her. I save Easter Parade for (of course) Easter and Meet Me in St. Louis for Christmas every year, so I'm not including those. My lineup is: Presenting Lilly Mars For Me and My Gal
  14. This thread is absolutely up my alley as Judy Garland is my favorite actress and singer of all time. I've actually been listening to various compilation albums of hers this week in celebration of her birthday. 1. Of course it's cliché, but The Wizard of Oz was my first. My impression of Judy as Dorothy was that she was a warm, inviting personality that I felt concern for even when I was 3. She made me believe everything she portrayed on the screen, and yes, I found her pretty, to boot. 2. Well, I've been watching Easter Parade and For Me and My Gal for years, so I'll put myself in a
  15. Down with Love. For those who haven't seen it, it's a sort of spiritual remake of Pillow Talk starring Renee Zellweger and Ewan McGregor - a bright, bubbly sex comedy that takes place in a highly stylized 1960s world. The whole thing feels so much like a musical that they even had Zellweger and McGregor perform a Marc Shaiman number over the end credits (Shaiman also provided the film's score which is very lush and animated).
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