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Gypsy


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I hate this movie! :( I've always found Rosalind Russell to be one of the most obnoxious, underline noxious, actresses I ever saw, particularly in this movie. This woman coulda straightened out Wallace Beery. :) A selfish narcissistic harridan who sings the fable throughout that she's doing it all for her kids. What baloney. She drives one daughter into an early marriage and the future Gypsy Rose Lee into finally reclaiming her life for her own and Karl Malden as Herbie deserves what he wants for being such a lifelong schtootz. Live happily ever after with your favorite harridan Rose, Herbie. More stupidity to ya! Finally when our heroic showbiz troopers arrive at the burlesque Natalie Wood gets her inspiration to become a stripper from some of the ugliest women I've ever seen on screen. The sassy one perfecting her shake is at least comical but that other one, the Gladiatrix...oh boy. This makes Inside Daisy Clover seem watchable. :)

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You're gonna get some serious backlash on this one, Fly. GYPSY is a message board favorite around here.

 

Basically, I'm on the same page with you on this. Although I do like Rosalind Russel as an actress, her "sing it in every key both sharp AND flat" approach to vocalizing in it makes it hard to digest for me.

My throat hurts for DAYS after watching it.

 

Sepiatone

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I agree with you 100% about Gypsy. This is one of the worst and most boring movies ever made.

 

Rosalind Russell's character and acting in this film is just awful.

 

It runs a couple of hours but seems like 5 or 6 hours in which all we hear is Rosalind Russell griping and complaining and bit**ing every second of every scene.

 

This film needs to be retired, along with the idiotic Daisy Clover film.

 

TCM needs to keep in mind that a lot of people are now abandoning cable and satellite because they are no longer worth the cost to many people, especially with bad boring lousy films like these, and people are finding what they really want to see, on-line, on YouTube, Hula, and other on-line FREE film providers, and for less cost per month for a fast high-band internet connection, which is $25 a month for me, compared to my $69 satellite bill, and I'm considering abandoning satellite/cable altogether.

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A spot on review, Fred. You nail it! 2 hours of watching a befuddled home and hearth-yearning fool along with her kids bowing and abasing themselves to placate a absolute witch!....a witch with a box around her head. Did Miss Russell actually believe audiences in 1962 would find her characterization endearing??? Being an obnoxious witch ain't endearing. :)

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Part of the problem with GYPSY is the stodgy direction. Mervyn LeRoy made some very good films at Warner Brothers and in his early MGM period. His films tended to get longer and slower from then on. His early WB films crackle with energy. GYPSY has a seedy and sleazy setting, and it needs to have some of the raw energy, so to speak, of burlesque. Of course LeRoy wasn't known for musicals, and this doesn't help. Natalie Wood is beautiful, Karl Malden is sympathetic, and Rosalind Russell might have been better with a different director.

 

In this era Russell's husband, Frederick Brisson, was snapping up lots of Broadway hits for her: GYPSY, AUNTIE MAME, FIVE FINGER EXERCISE, A MAJORITY OF ONE. Except for AUNTIE MAME, these are not the films most Rosalind Russell fans prefer.

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Well, you cant really blame Russell because she was abrasive. That was how the part was written. Its a great part, but calls on someone who can really sing, which Russell couldnt do. The musical is constantly being revived on stage in NY. It's too bad the movie version couldnt have been better.

 

From what I've read Gypsy's mother was even worse than portrayed and may even have murdered some people......

 

Edited by: Hibi on Aug 19, 2013 5:32 PM

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I agree, part of the problem is Leroy's stodgy direction. It's filmed too much like a filmed stage play. It needed someone like Stanley Donen to live it up a little. The musical numbers lack ooomph. One thing I've always hated was they cut the Together, Wherever We Go number which is one of the better songs in the story......

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I have to confess -- I love the film of *Gypsy.* I even prefer the dubbed voice of Russell to the recording of Merman. (Most of Natalie Wood's singing voice was dubbed as well, I think, apart from "Little Lamb.").I think the strippers do really well in their scenes and in particular, in their song. It's big and brassy and enjoyable. I did see it on stage once, in London, with Lansbury, who was very good.

 

I worked with Arthur Laurents who wrote the book for the musical, and he wasn't crazy about the movie. I've also read some of the correspondence from Mama Rose to Gypsy Rose Lee in my local library, which happens to hold the Gypsy Rose Lee Papers. The character was NOT exaggerated!

 

Roz Russell may not have been a singer, but she had an interesting voice. She won a Tony -- for *Wonderful Town*, the musical version of My Sister Eileen, which actually has quite a complex score by Bernstein. Here's a clip from the televised version of the musical:

 

 

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>A spot on review, Fred. You nail it! 2 hours of watching a befuddled home and hearth-yearning fool along with her kids bowing and abasing themselves to placate a absolute witch!

 

TCM really needs to take our reviews of films like this very seriously and stop showing them and stop repeating them every few months.

 

People are getting fed up with paying high cable and satellite bills and getting the same old junk over and over again.

 

The new trend now is to cut the cable and switch to on-line movie viewing, where we can see the movies we want to see, and for a lot less cost than our monthly cable bill. See this:

 

*"More than 90 percent of American households pay for TV, according to Nielsen. But by the end of the year, an estimated 4.7 million American households that previously paid for TV will have cut the cord, or about 4.7 percent of all subscribers, up from about 3.74 million in 2012, according to a recent report by the Convergence Consulting Group, a Toronto-based firm.*

 

 

*This trend may not come as much of a surprise given movement toward greater customization in all types of media use. How many albums did you buy last year? I binge-watched nearly half of the Netflix series ?House of Cards? during a winter storm in February, and so it seems did many viewers responding to a survey by Wired magazine.*

 

 

*Cable companies have downplayed this threat, though they are at least partly responsible because cable package prices have been rising steadily and increased 3.3 percent in the last 12 months, and consumers are finding that they don?t want to buy bundles of hundreds of channels."*

 

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/04/07/opinion/sunday/ready-to-cut-the-cord.html?_r=0

 

Right now my monthly satellite bill cost MORE than my monthly heating bill (natural gas) and my electric bill combined, yet I'm seeing more and more junk on TCM, and much of the junk, like Gypsy and Daisy Clover, is repeated over and over again.

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It's too bad they never did a screen version of Wonderful Town. I have a recording of one of the revivals (Cant remember who was in it) and its has a great score. Columbia remade it as My Sister Eileen with a new score as I guess Harry Cohn didnt want to pay what they were asking for the rights. The score was nowhere in the same league.......

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The score is great. I've seen three revivals of the show: first when I was quite young, at City Center in NY, with Elaine Stritch (1966); in London in 1986 with Maureen Lipman; and about ten years ago in NY with Donna Murphy. I enjoyed all three, but the recording of Roz is still my favorite. She actually made two recordings: the original Broadway cast (1953), and the early television production (1958). Donald Saddler, who choreographed the original Broadway production (and who is now 93) told me how diligently Roz worked on the dances, and what a pleasure it was to work with her.

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Coming in a bit late here . . . I did see, as a HS kid, Merman do Gypsy. When the film came out, no one seemed to like it, including myself. When I watch it again, many years later, I see why I didn't like it for all the reasons that have been discussed by several Posts. But, even without Merman's voice, I still think Russell does a credible acting job. And I think some Film Historians feel that it is a performance that is being re evaluated because there was just so much negative criticism of Merman not being cast. I totally agree there was "not enough Wood", and Natalie made her scenes count, to the point of stealing the film from under the star and producers nose. I am a big fan of Rosalind Russell but think that period of her career was a bad one - - Majority of One, Five Finger Exercise...

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I have to confess -- I love the film of Gypsy. I even prefer the dubbed voice of Russell to the recording of Merman. (Most of Natalie Wood's singing voice was dubbed as well, I think, apart from "Little Lamb.").

 

Natalie Wood's singng was not dubbed in GYPSY although it was in WEST SIDE STORY.

 

I too like Rosalind Russell in GYPSY and also like the singing voice of Lisa Kirk (who dubbed Russell's singing in the movie --- with the exception of "Mr. Goldstone" and the first part of "Rose's Turn").

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I'm glad to hear that Natalie Wood did her own singing in Gypsy. I've read conflicting reports on that over the years, some of which say it was *Marni Nixon*, which is absurd. I've met Marni -- she dubbed the female leads in The King and I, My Fair Lady, and for Wood in West Side Story, but it is definitely not her voice in Gypsy !

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It's possible part of Wood's songs were dubbed, but that's definitely Natalie singing Let Me Entertain you......

 

I wonder if that Together, Wherever We Go number still exists? They filmed it, but cut it (due to length probably). Its probably on the soundtrack (which I dont own).........You can hear the music for it start, then the film cuts away.......(was when they were stranded in the desert)....

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I ran some light cues for Lisa Kirk, in my infancy, when she was rehearsing for an audition in the 1970s. She lived in the Parc Vendome apartments on West 57th Street.

 

I don't think that Lisa Kirk did much ghost singing. She appeared on Broadway several times, her most famous role being the original Lois/Bianca (supporting female role) in *Kiss Me Kate*, where she introduced the songs "Why Can't You Behave?" and "Always True to You in My Fashion."

 

Here's Lisa singing the latter song, with a bit of an intro from the former and a photo montage:

 

 

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