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johnm001

Your Favorite Dance Numbers

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"I would have preferred to do without any extras if they could at least have done a decent job of transfering 'The Gang's All Here' and not ruining the beautiful colors."

 

I'm a sucker for extras; they're the primary reason for me to buy the DVDs of movies that I've seen many times on the big screen (like The Gang's All Here). So I was interested to see the deleted scene from this movie, for example. You're right, Ms. Scope, the transfer is wanting; but I'll confess to also being disappointed that they hired Drew Casper for the audio commentary. This is the fellow who voiced the monotonous commentary on My Blue Heaven. This time he spends a lot of time describing what we're seeing, and too little on information and backstory. I was surprised, for instance, that he didn't point out Jeanne Crain's screen debut. Ah well, can't win 'em all...

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I haven't even tried to listen to the audio commentary.

 

On a disappointment scale of 1 to 10, a bad transfer of a Technicolor musical that messes up the colors is like a 12. That's why I am still fuming over that.

 

I just hope they fix it at some point in a future edition.

 

Did you see the Busby Berkeley doc in the same DVD? At least the colors in those clips look great -- and the bananas and strawberries look so yummy! :D

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Bringing this back to dance numbers. Who are your favorite choreographers, and why? My number 1 favorite would be Onna White, whose ability and versitility, are unmatched, imo. She could create whatever was right and proper for the film. Films didn't have to yield to her "style". I also love the work of Jack Cole, who virtually created modern jazz, and influenced an entire generation of dancers and choreographers, Hermes Pan, who alone or in collaboration with Fred Astaire, created some of the screens most memorable dance number; and the great Michael Kidd, whose wonderful staging of dance numbers in, GUYS AND DOLLS, THE BAND WAGON, SEVEN BRIDES FOR SEVEN BROTHERS, STAR!, HELLO, DOLLY! and others, is just remarkable.

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Michael Kidd was good, no kidding! But for someone whose influence dates back to the good old days of MGM's golden era and all the way to the contemporary musicals, my money is on Bob Fosse! :D

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Seven Brides For Seven Brothers had unbelievably realistic movements

and unusual dance topics. I am always amazed at the dancing in

that movie. Michael Kidd's greatest IMHO.

 

Hermes Pan was also one of my favorites because he did Flower Drum Song, Kiss Me Kate, and....Darling Lili!

I also like Cole's Kismet and Les Girls.

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All great choreography. I also love Kidd's choreography in HELLO, DOLLY! The staging of all the numbers is just excellent. Still, as good as all of those are, I still find the versitility of Onna White, unsrupassed. She doesn't have tons of films to her credit, but the ones she's done are all perfectly choreographed, imo. The musical numbers in BYE BYE BIRDIE, are among the best in any film musical; and "A Lot of Livin' to Do", for me, is right at the top of best musical numbers, ever. It's also 360 degrees from "Marion the Libraian", in THE MUSIC MAN. White's monumental achievement in choreography of the massess, for the film OLIVER!, won her a special Oscar. I always regret that she was busy with OLIVER!, and had to decline doing HALF A SIXPENCE, a show she choreographed on Broadway. The numbers were incredible in that show. On film, they're much less so. Not that I wished she hadn't done OLIVIER! I wish she had done both. I still like the movie, though.

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SueSue:

 

I have to agree with you on 7B47B. From a purely personal point of view though, I love the 'Bonnie Jean' number from Brigadoon. Even though it's St. Pat's day, that has nothing to do with the fact that I love Irish and Scot dancing. I wish that particular sequence had been longer.

 

I was sooooo glad to be able to see Michael Flatley before I left Vegas. I know a lot of people don't like him, but I do. And I watched and taped the PBS telecast of his 'River Dance' when I returned to Illinois. The movement of their feet amaze me, and the music is so cheery, and foot tapping.

 

Anne

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Yes, check out BBB. What I love so much about her choreography, is the attention to detail, for all the people in the scene. Look at the "Goin' Steady" and "Honestly Sincere" numbers, in BBB. Every person is fully engaged in the number. Such a treat for the eyes. Not that it didn't happen in earlier films, it did. I just think she did it better than anyone else. There's an intelligence to her choreography. And it is always perfect for the number.

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BBB is enjoyable fluff but it isn't exactly a great musical, it benefits greatly from the charisma of all the stars but it's not one of the all-time greats, either. There were quite a few better musicals in the 60's. :)

 

It received at best lukewarm reviews upon original release:

 

The Screen: 'Bye Bye Birdie' Arrives at Radio City Music Hall:George Sidney Directs Version of Comedy 'Glory of Easter'

 

By BOSLEY CROWTHER

Published: April 5, 1963

 

WHAT with the streets of New York crowded with young people out of school and the breezes that blow in from New Jersey warm with the breath of spring, the Music Hall has a fitting picture to go with its holiday show and its annual "Glory of Easter" pageant. It is the screen adaptation of the musical comedy "Bye Bye Birdie," which is not about birds but about kids.

 

That is to say, it is fitting and delightfully in the groove when it is doing with verve and versatility the things that were done best on the stage. These are a couple of numbers in which young people dance and sing with the nimble and joyous exuberance of daffodils bursting into bloom and, by and large all scenes in the picture wherein Conrad Birdie appears, he being the teen-agers' singing idol who is beautifully, sharply travestied.

 

When the chorus of bright and limber youngsters in this highly appropriate spoof of a fad such as ? well, Elvis Presley ? do the song called "The Telephone Hour," wherein the high-school kids in a community monopolize the invention of Mr. Bell, it hums with vitality and humor; and when they do the number "Kids," it jumps with the pace and vigor of totally realized youth.

 

Likewise, when Jesse Pearson in the riotously gross and gilded role of a hip-swiveling, rubber-lipped jive-crooner bounces into the young people's midst and tears the girls (and some of their mothers) to tatters with his howling of "Ya Wanna Be Sincere," the picture reaches the high point of its satire and cinematic speed. If George Sidney, the director, had done the whole thing in the style of this number, he'd be in.

 

But, unfortunately, Mr. Sidney and his scriptwriter, Irving Brecher, have allowed the essence of this spirited musical comedy of Michael Stewart to get away from them. Not only do they lose Conrad Birdie in the mazes of their rearranged plot, but they lose the essential idea of satire and the pace and sparkle of the show.

 

Once Conrad Birdie has been deposited in a jittering Ohio town and given one smashing exposure to the population and the audience, he is pretty much dropped out of the picture and most of the time is taken up with the largely superfluous unfolding of a rocky romance between Janet Leigh and Dick Van Dyke. These two play a couple of New York characters who are trying to plug a song.

 

Even a crucial teen-age romance between Ann-Margret and Bobby Rydell, both attractive youngsters but still with a lot to learn, is pushed aside while that big bicker between Miss Leigh and Mr. Van Dyke is waged to a point of tedium and a none-too-soon fare-thee-well. Maureen Stapleton as Mr. Van Dyke's mother is dragged in for some farcical relief.

 

The climax comes with a mad bit about a Russian ballet troupe being forced to speed up its performance on an Ed Sullivan television show. While the spoof of Sullivan is okay, this other slap-stick nonsense is for the birds. But it is not for "Bye Bye Birdie," which is supposed to be about American kids.

 

The Music Hall is presenting the annual Glory of Easter pageant, in addition to Fran?ois Szony, Nancy Claire, Pinky and Perky, the Choraleers, Mary Beth Old, the Rockettes and the Corps de Ballet.

 

 

The Cast

BYE BYE BIRDIE; screenplay by Irving Brecher, based on the musical play of the same name; directed by George Sidney; produced by Fred Kohlmar. Presented by Columbia Pictures Corporation. At the Radio City Music Hall. Running time: 111 minutes.

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I do enjoy reading Bosley Crothers, but try not to let others dictate

how I feel or react to something. I did enjoy BBB because it was so

lively, and mirrored some of the things I saw my cousins do because

they were Elvis FANatics, but I had trouble buying into their mania

about the Memphis man. I do, however, agree with Crowthers' opinion of

the "Kids" number. It was lively and energetic, and I enjoyed the

choreographed numbers.

 

BBB was fun and energetic, but I haven't revisited it in awhile.

I did think that one reason it was so fun was that

Paul Lynde made it more so. I met him once, and , for me, he was as funny

and clever as he was onscreen and in BBB. I asked him

for his autograph, and he said, "Oh, just come here!" and chatted

about his experiences in the city I where I was living at the time.

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SueSue:

 

Lucky you to meet Paul Lynde! He was a funny man wasn't he? You mentioned your cousins, were you maybe in the later generation that hooked onto the Beetles? My favorite thing about BBB was Ann Margret's beginning and end against the blue screen. She had a long way to go, but she finally made it. She turned out to be pretty good at acting. I really liked her in the 'grouchy old men' films with Lemmon/Matthou.

 

Anne

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do enjoy reading Bosley Crothers, but try not to let others dictate

how I feel or react to something.

 

I find reviewer the lowest rung of employment, and didn't even read it.

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Yes, mrsl. she was good with the grumpy old men. I also thought she was sweet as the ingenue role in Pocketful of Miracles in her scenes with Bette Davis and others.

 

I usually read reviews after I venture out to view a movie or stage vehicle.

Currently, I find that movie, theater, and book reviewers give away too much

of the plot, and it spoils my enjoyment, so I rely on word-of-mouth

yays or nays, if anything.

 

Lynde was a hoot and a charmer!

 

Right now I'm enjoying the Celtic Woman during PBS's St. Paddy's theme.

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Now, johnm. One of my part-time incarnations allows me to review movies and books

for my local paper on occasion, but I do try to be positive.

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Yes, but Pocketful of Miracles is a very inferior remake of a much better movie from the same director, nonewithstanding the talent of the cast!

 

Whatever you do or do not like to read in a review you should at least acknowledge that your "buddy buddy" is being needlessly rude and obnoxious! No wonder "filthy mouth" makes such an impression!

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Glenn Ford was great in Pocketful of Miracles. I think it is one of his best!

I would say that as a remake, it was infinitely better than the Warren/Annette

attempt at An Affair to Remember with Cary and Deborah (which was a pretty

fair remake in itself.)

 

This is a thread about Favorite Dance Numbers. You are ranting on the wrong thread.

To rant, go to the rant thread. To rant and speculate about relationships,

create a new thread or rant on the old one. Thanks.

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The cast of Pocketful of Miracles is indeed one of its graces, but as a remake it just pales horribly along the earlier movie that Capra himself had directed... since this is a case of a director remaking one of his own and most beloved movies, the comparison with any other movie which was remade by an entirely different team of filmmakers is beside the point.

 

As for your "buddy buddy," I don't recall you having said anything about his lack of good manners when he liked to use foul an filthy words to refer to females who did not agree with him. So at least you should be on the record as to why you never criticized him for it.

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Well, since this is the dance thread, I guess we are both way off topic.

 

My favorite dance sequences in a musical are in Singing in the Rain,

Seven Brides For Seven Brothers, White Christmas, The Unsinkable

Molly Brown, Top Hat, and the Gay DIvorcee. I also enjoyed

some of Busby Berkeley's numbers, "Kids" from Bye, Bye, Birdie,

everything Cyd Charisse ever did, and Hello, Dolly, (Tommy Tune was great, too.)

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