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Movie Buff 56

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About Movie Buff 56

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  1. I think I'm having a mild case of "Mad About Musicals" withdrawals, so I decided to revisit the message board. I know it's weeks later but I thought I'd add "Gladdaseeya" Phil Silvers to the list since he actually was a "top banana", having won a Tony Award for the musical Top Banana and later recreated the role in a film version. He was Gene Kelly's buddy in Cover Girl and Summer Stock and added his own personal touch of humor (I enjoyed all but the yodeling hillbilly number "Heavenly Music" in SS). As to Oscar Levant, I am a big Gershwin fan and was aware Oscar was a friend of George
  2. Funny no one mentioned Lost Horizons, or maybe it was so awful it's become forgotten? "Lost Horizon was such a poor performer at the box office that the film subsequently gained the nickname "Lost Investments." Bette Midler alluded to it as "Lost Her-Reason" and famously quipped, "I never miss a Liv Ullmann musical." (Wikipedia) Burt Bacharach even said Lost Horizon came close to ending his musical career. I had never seen Tommy before seeing it on TCM the other night. And having seen it I can safely say I'll probably never see it again, there was just too much that I didn't like abou
  3. One of my treasured albums, yes a licorice pizza, is the High Anxiety - Original Soundtrack / Mel Brooks' Greatest Hits Featuring The Fabulous Film Scores Of John Morris. Side one (or A side) is dedicated to High Anxiety, featuring Mel's devilish parody of Frank Sinatra, and other songs and music cues. The second side has songs and cues from The Producers, (the Zero and Gene version, not Nathan and Matthew) The Twelve Chairs (Hope for the Best Expect the Worst..."You could be Tolstoy or Fannie Hurst"), Blazing Saddles (memorable for the cracking whip launching the Rawhide-esque title song su
  4. As I think I might have mentioned in the Opening Salvo (gosh that seems so long ago and at the same time it went by way too fast) I feel like I was born in the wrong era, a sentiment that others likewise expressed. We have such a fondness for classic musicals and the songs that came from them. Through this course we have developed an even greater appreciation for the songs of the “Great American Songbook” the composers, and all the great performers and studio and cinema artists who captured it on film for the viewing pleasure of the audiences of the day. Wonder if they knew all these decades
  5. Unfortunately I didn't get to watch as much as I'd like because I'm currently in rehearsal for our community theatre production of Thornton Wilder's "Our Town" If you're in the neighborhood (Big Bear Lake, CA) come up and see us. If I wasn't in rehearsal I would've given up watching the Dodger's. I don't watch much network television so I've usually got TCM on when there's no games. Love, love, love classic movies!
  6. True, Ryan and Emma were no Eleanor and Fred. But it's like Frank Sinatra said in That's Entertainment: "You can sit around and hope but you'll never see the likes of this again." However we can appreciate the efforts of all who keep the musical genre alive. Broadway Melody of 1940 Y
  7. How might Streisand’s performance of the song “People” have felt different in the film, had she been more theatrical and expressive, perhaps even belting her song more? Note the emotional transition moments in this scene: how do the two characters relate to each other as the lyrics are sung? How does the direction and editing of this scene support Streisand’s performance? Be specific about blocking, reaction shots, etc. I have lumped my responses together as follows: While she is home on Henry Street this is not a stage where the “Ugly Duckling” can mask her insecurities wi
  8. Note the emotional transition moments in this scene, how the actors portray them, and how Cukor supports them. What do you notice about the relationship between Eliza and Higgins that seems enhanced by Cukor’s direction? The whole scene starts with their return from the ball, Eliza’s success has Professor Higgins and Colonel Pickering patting themselves on the back and heaving sighs of relief that it’s all over, without giving Eliza the least consideration. After they retire she moves mechanically to turn out the light, the camera follows her as she moves like a somnambulist across the
  9. I think the good Doctor is having a bit of alliterative fun and is referring to Shirley MacLaine's New Age beliefs, and interest in spirituality and reincarnation. This is from Wikipedia: In Postcards from the Edge (1990), MacLaine sings a version of "I'm Still Here", with customized lyrics created for her by composer Stephen Sondheim. One of the lyrics was changed to "I'm feeling transcendental – am I here?"
  10. I'd like to know what are your thoughts on James Caan's "musical" turns? To me he was "serviceable" but out of place. "Funny Lady" 1974 "Kiss Me Goodbye" 1982 "For the Boys" 1991
  11. As you look back to the masculine performances in musicals of past decades, what changes in male representation, and performance would you say are most noticeable? What other specific qualities do you notice about Robert Preston in either or both of these clips? Have you seen any Robert Preston films that are not musicals? If so, what do you notice about his characters and his approach to acting, now that you are more aware of his dedication to working his craft outside of his stage or film work? Some males in musicals were leading man types who would not and did not look o
  12. Gypsy almost harkens back to pre-code as there is the subject matter of backstage burlesque life with the brassy, scantily clad strippers ala Broadway Melody of 1929 or Gold Diggers of 1933. I can’t imagine Louie B. Mayer producing the movie in an era of Eddy and MacDonald, Judy and Mickey wholesome, antiseptic family entertainment. However it follows the standard format and concepts of past musicals in the staging and way songs are interwoven into the story, and introduce and give you some insight to the characters. Also it evokes the nostalgic feel of the backstage musicals like For Me an
  13. In the DDoD#6 ChicoDianeHeaven shared Judy Garland's "The Great Lady Has An Interview" from Ziegfeld Follies. The number was originally written by Kay Thompson for Greer Garson but she turned it down. Of course Judy is absolutely wonderful but I wonder what it might have been like with MGM's great lady. The quality of the clip is poor but it shows Greer could strut her stuff in this music hall number from the non-musical Random Harvest. I also found another great lady having an interview; Ann Miller on Perry Como's TV show 1958. It's fun to make comparisons as Judy's great lady appe
  14. I have to cry foul as one of the names in 6/20 quiz was "Tom Rall". I have never seen him referred to as Tom it's always Tommy. See below from Week 3 lecture notes. And yes I'm complaining because I got it wrong LOL ? (the only thing I've gotten wrong so far, darn it.) Bob Fosse, Tommy Rall, Bobby Van, and Ann Miller as Shakespearean characters in the musical within the musical in the number “Tom, Dick, or Harry” as Bianca is courted by three suitors in Kiss Me Kate (1958).
  15. 1. Does a movie that has as stylized a scene as An American in Paris’ ending ballet need to use a less-than-realistic, stylized approach throughout the film? The term suspension of disbelief or willing suspension of disbelief has been defined as a willingness to suspend one's critical faculties and believe something surreal; sacrifice of realism and logic for the sake of enjoyment. With that said...and to answer the question, of course not, that's the joy of musicals. The genre creates a less-than-real world that requires suspension of disbelief. Furthermore the whole ballet is a d
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