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Ted Haxton

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  1. Brooks remake of his play & film The Producers has to be classified as a musical or at least as a musical/comedy. How can anyone ignore all the musical numbers in this film? This version is far better than the original film and it’s primarily due to the outstanding music, the songs and great choreography in the big dance numbers. Original film seems almost subdued compared to the remake. I applaud Brooks for realizing he needed to redo the ‘play’ for Broadway and for the subsequent film he made. Has to be among the funniest musicals of all time!
  2. I took a look at another screwball comedy, His Girl Friday, before watching Top Hat, just for comparison purposes. I’ve watched tons of musicals but not Top Hat, at least by my recollection. I was surprised that it was described as a screwball comedy/musical and, after viewing it, I’d agree it definitely qualifies. These comedies all seem to embrace the male vs female scenario. Top Hat seemed to have the requisite humorous banter between the stars and it was funny. Rogers slapping Astaire after ‘learning’ incorrectly that he’s her friend’s husband/Astaire responding when asked what kind of pl
  3. Also on #3, the actors selected to do dual parts were already accomplished entertainers, song & dance men, who could handle the roles. The aunt & uncle were only character actors. Doubtful either had any skills that the others possessed.
  4. For #3, the aunt & uncle not having roles in color section would likely be a judgement call by director or whoever decided to do the double character roles in first place. Couldn’t really use the aunt that way; otherwise, her ‘Auntie Em!’ Comment later on when locked up in witch’s castle wouldn’t have impact it does.
  5. Ding-dong, Witch Is Dead Song had to be there. TCM never edits films shown. Comes early on, after house lands on witch and they declare her dead.
  6. Wizard of Oz listed by everyone as a classic, so finding fault with it is kinda difficult! The idea of switching from B&W to color is arguably the key to this film. The story featuring a youngster just about makes viewers classify it as a coming-of-age story and there’s plenty of iconic, symbolism attached to the characters. Classifying film overall seems difficult, more so than most ‘musicals.’ I’d call it a combination of music/comedy/drama (& horror? Scares plenty of youngsters). One can apply Jungian symbolism throughout the film to gain further insight into characters. I found a b
  7. Born to Dance — with songs & music by Cole Porter, anyone could sing this material and be successful. Was Stewart a great singer? No, not by a long shot, but his overall performance in this movie seemed to be more than adequate in fitting the character he plays. Eleanor Powell is the big star, the main reason the film was made, and the rest of the cast is there supporting her performance. She’s a great dancer, Porter’s songs and music are used effectively to support the story, and everything moves toward an enthusiastic ending spotlighting Powell. I was a little surprised that Porter’s son
  8. First, The Great Ziegfeld is one of my favorite musicals, with an impressive cast, marvelous sets, wonderful music & songs, and an effective story. Questions posed seem to assume a knowledge of Ziegfeld’s life. Film musicals tended to gloss over actual biographical data and go with scripts that advanced the story without becoming overly critical of the characters like Flo. Unsure if the newspapers of the time did much the same thing, but with all the attention on people like Weinstein, also a producer who worked with women and whose behavior was covered up by media and others, I’d probably
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