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Everything posted by TheMadKiwi

  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).
  16. That's perfect, Jim! That's exactly what I was looking for! I dug a little and found that those added lyrics were done by Tim Rice for the Broadway version. It seems like he and Andrew Lloyd Webber had the same concern I did. They got rid of "If I Were King of the Forest" and used some of its ideas to expand "If I Only Had the Nerve."
  17. Yeah, another little Oz boo-boo I noticed in one of the modules is that it says Margaret Hamilton was burned filming the melting scene. She was actually burned during her exit from Munchkinland. There was a trap door she would stand on, and the smoke and flames would billow out from under it as she descended. The take used in the movie wasn't meant to be the final one because it was flubbed - you actually see her start to descend before the smoke and flames come up. Considering she didn't want to go anywhere near any other stunts, they were stuck with that one take. Her fear of doing anything
  18. As an overall sequence (and film, too), 42nd Street is better. That said, I find Powell's dancing more elegant and effortless than Keeler's (though I love Keeler, too). When I watch Keeler dance, I always get the sense that she's trying really hard. Of course, all the best dancers do, but her efforts seem noticeable to me in the sense that she seems to be trying not to screw up. Her movements are very careful and calculated, so they're a little more stiff. Powell's dancing looks effortless. She seems more at ease with her choreography and therefore looks more flowy and graceful. Both were clea
  19. Favorite scene: The poppy field scene. I know that's a little strange to mention in a musical since it's not a number (except for "Optimistic Voices" at the end of it), but I love everything about this scene. The poppy field set is gorgeous and massive. When the gang runs across the field in excitement at seeing the Emerald City, it's one of the few times in the film where there's this sense of unbridled joy. Don't get me wrong: Oz is definitely a joyous film, but Ben Mankiewicz had a point in the outro for the film when he said he thought of it as a drama for children. The characters are ofte
  20. The Wizard of Oz, easily. I believe it was my first live-action film, and even if it wasn't, it was the first to make an impact on me. Musicals and fantasies are my two favorite genres, so I gravitate towards things that blend the two. The Wizard of Oz is the perfect example of that. It's a film that's simple enough that you can easily digest it, popping it in at any given moment without it wearing you out. At the same time, it's a film that has so much going for it that you can spend endless time analyzing and dissecting it. There are countless films I adore and rewatch often, but if I'm not
  21. I understand why so many Fox musicals were excluded since they prefer to save everything for their own network, but I'm shocked neither Jesus Christ Superstar nor The Slipper and the Rose were included, films TCM has shown in the past. It would've been fascinating to compare and contrast how Jesus Christ Superstar and Godspell (the latter of which is included in the lineup) approach the Gospel narrative. Also, The Slipper and the Rose (like 1776) is a 70s musical that feels more at home with the elaborate presentations of the 60s and as such, feels like the ending of an era.
  22. Film: Hair (1979). Oy vey. This film just gets under my skin. Everything about it screams trashy to me. Keep in mind I've never cared much for the hippie movement of the 60s/70s (in the 60s, I always preferred the retro futurism aspect of pop culture, and in the 70s, I prefer flashy disco swank). Even with that in mind, I can appreciate something hippie influenced (Jesus Christ Superstar is one of my all-time favorite films). But the characters in Hair are so infuriating, doing things that are supposed to be "charming" when all they're doing is wrecking other people's lives, and that comes to
  23. I think the reason I love musicals so much is the same reason I love film in general: I want to escape. I love films that can transport me somewhere for a few hours. The more outlandish they are, the better. Don't get me wrong; I love dramas, too, but there's a time and a place for those, and I have to be in a particular mood for them. If a film is fantastical, I more easily lose myself in it. Musicals by their very nature require you to buy into this concocted fantasy that people burst into song to express their feelings, and somehow everyone around knows the lyrics and choreography. They're
  24. Man with the Gun (another Western with "Man" in the title) Next: Auntie Mame
  25. "You'll Never Know" Next: A song sung at a night club.
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