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Dorothy of Oz

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Posts posted by Dorothy of Oz

  1. Her performance might have seemed unrealistic and over the top if she had been louder and more expressive. Her ability to stay contained and softer in her singing makes it more real and has more emotional depth.

    It’s interesting that the song starts with her always moving away from him and keeping a distance. She is framed in the staircase as he watches from the side. She is very involved in her emotions but he is distant and has a bemused expression.

    She is singing with her back turned to the camera and turning to sing over her shoulder. She is then set above Nicky on the stairs and separated from him by the railings. The use of the railings to show them each trapped in their own world is an interesting choice.


  2. The are many similarities in a scene from Gaslight and My Fair Lady. Bergman is in the little office room with many appointments and furnishings and she breaks down just like Eliza. Boyer is always standing and moving around her and talking down to her just as Harrison is doing in My Fair Lady. Cukor always keeps the woman at the center of the frame with the man moving around them

    The scene starts with Eliza in the corner and then in the dark as she is in the dark about what lies ahead for her. She moves to the center of the room and slowly disintegrates and Cukor keeps her in the center of the frame. Higgins appears at the door as she throw the slippers. Each of his moves trigger a response that allows Eliza to change emotions.

    Higgins is always standing and moving around her remaining calm as she changes moods. Eliza is alternating between sitting and collapsing alway lower than Higgins showing her station.

  3. I think that there are more different male roles as musicals develop. They don’t have to be the lead in the show within a show but can play more nuanced characters like Teddy and also Henry Higgins or Fagin.

    Preston is great at drawing his audience in as he does in both clips but with different results. He is always deep into whatever role he plays and inhabits the part.

    i can’t recall seeing him in roles other than the musicals.


  4. A show within a show is always a classic musical setting- auditions with a chance for stardom. Mama Rose disrupts this as she barrels down the aisle and continues to break up the rhythm of the number.

    Rosiland Russell is able to take over the scene with her entrance. Her theatre experience works to help he make everything bigger and over the top and her fast paced dialogue from previous movies works well too.

    The lyrics work well because they are used over and over in the film and yet in each version they take a different meaning until it culminates in the strip tease.




  5. Since the ballet is a fantasy it can be completely different from the rest of the film but Minelli takes care with every scene and the end ballet is not the only fantasy piece in the movie.

    Jerry is likable because he approaches the scene in an upbeat manner and gives a friendly greeting to all he meets. He only turns sour because he has stereotyped all college juniors who go abroad and his disdain for her sets up his meeting with Nina Foch. It seems more of a plot device than a character flaw.

  6. The pre dance movements are methodical and steady and then as the music joins in the pace accelerates until they are tapping in a frenzy and are all over the room.

    the professor is great as a straight man. He goes from being thrilled with their compliments to studpified by their dancing. They drag him around the room and he never changes his expression culminating in his being piled with debris and never moving.

    The professor is confident in his skills of elocution but is suckered into their making fun of him which is one type of male image- knowledgeable and trusting but clueless. O’Connor is class clown and Kelly is the full on masculine male lead.

  7. I think this film falls in the middle. Calamity Jane is shown as strong and confident but they still have to bring her down by showing her in pratfalls and being embarrassed. She does try to go with the feminine ideal but ends at least on a good note being more like herself. Men still don’t choose independent women until they show their feminine side.

    Doris Day improves with every film. At first she is in light comedy with a few songs and then shows she can carry a whole picture. She is always appealing whether she is singing or not.

    Doris Day’s sunny outlook is always welcome and in this movie it has to be a part of the story because it is a musical. If you watched HBO’s Deadwood it is a completely different look at Calamity Jane. If Day is too serious the film won’t work because she won’t have the playful banter with the town people and you would find it harder to root for her as things go wrong. She is so likeable that even when she drives the other woman out of town you want things to work out.

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  8. The characters each have a segment of the song where they are featured and it seamlessly moves back and forth with different pairings and then returning to the full ensemble.

    The men all have a shade of purple in their costumes linking them together while Fabray is in black and white with a splash of red. Also it spans from all dark with Astaire to color and dark with Tony then grey and dark with Oscar to black and white with Fabray.

    Oscar and Tony do broad comedy. Astaire, Fabray and Tony do the dances. The whole group does the easier group steps. There is a sense of fun and comraderie in all they do.

  9.  The scene is directed with her learning that Joe is alive and she rushes to his bedside and her smile mirrors his smile as she breaks into song. She hovers over him as she sings resting her head on the pillow. The director cuts to the angel to show all is well and he fades out. She sings the next verse as she gathers the laundry reflecting on her happiness again and caring for Joe. This song would also work with a child as it is focused on love and devotion.

    Cabin in the Sky and Hallelujah both focus heavily on the influence of religion and temptations of daily life. Petunia’s devotion to Joe is like every citizen’s devotion to the USA. You may not like everything they do but you love them no matter what. Films all tend to stereotype as all white people were not rich and running around nightclubs in evening gowns and tuxedos as all blacks were not gamblers or religious.

  10. My first Judy Garland film was The Wizard of Oz. Her version of Over the rainbow was mesmerizing and you could see and feel her emotion in this song.

    These clips show her versatility. A comedic number with Fred Astaire and her eyes just sparkle with mischief and fun. The clip with Gene Kelly shows her fantastic ability to place feeling in a song. Both clips show her ability to dance with anyone and look as if they have been paired forever.

    A Star is Born shows her growth as an actress and her ability to sing every song with true feeling. She was magnificent in this film.

  11. 1. Scene opens in White House and we see portraits of George Washington on the stairs. The parade scene adds bunting, flags, troops being cheered and then segues to the theatre.

    2. The president highlights Cohan’s father’s war service in the civil war, he mentions how Irish Americans where there love for country right out in front like waving the flag. They mention the song you’re a grand old flag and then show a parade supporting the troops- patriotism, family as Cohan Sr worries about his wife and supporting the troops are all there.

    3. The opening in the White House gives the scene more gravitas and sets the stage for how important patriotism is to the country. Starting with a parade would be too lighthearted and not set the tone for this movie.

  12. This film starts to differ from the early musicals in that the singing and dancing no longer take place on a stage and the numbers actually advance the plot. Isn’t it a Lovely Day changes their relationship- at first she follows him but throws in steps of her own, then she mirrors him, and then they finally dance as a pair. Ginger Rodgers is very independent and he is always chasing her. Also Madge is always belittling men and making fun of Horace. This provides an entertaining contrast.

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