Jump to content
 
Search In
  • More options...
Find results that contain...
Find results in...

Worst Movie Musical Ever Made!


Recommended Posts

I think the worst musical I've ever seen is a tie between two, which I dislike for different reasons. In my "modern cinema class" (which was actually run more like an alternative cinema class) we watched Lars von Trier's Dancer in the Dark. That film was physically painful to watch. So uncomfortable and I believe mislabeled as a Dogma-95 film because it goes against the Dogma-95 ideals. Bijork was awful in the film and the only "shining" spot was Joel Grey's performance. The ending....totally unfulfilling. I don't mind sad endings, but this...bleck.

Another more conventional musical that I disliked was Mame. I adore the Rosalind Russell version, but this...it wasn't even that Lucille Ball played Mame. I felt that the sound editing was dreadful. You could hardly hear the singing over the music! Not the point of a musical in my opinion. 

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 2 weeks later...

I am by no means someone who is into musicals or who really knows much about them.  I will say that I disagree with anyone who says The Wiz (1978) and The Pirate Movie (1982) are the worst.   The former is wonderfully entertaining and bizarre.  The latter is so wonderfully bad it is good. :D

As others have mentioned I might have to say it is The Apple (1980).  This movie is bizarre and it is bad, but it is rarely entertaining in those regards.

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 5 months later...

There's a lot I could mention that strike me with nausea, even though I suppose that there's also a lot of musicals I quite enjoy. Its a harmless medium which can be very uplifting and cheering.

But at or near the top of my List of Utterly Awful Musicals, is certainly 'The Umbrellas of Cherbourg'. My god what hideousness. That berserk, sugary, lilting, sing-song-sung dialog is fiendish and diabolical. Something which still occasionally might appear in my nightmares years later whenever I experience troubled sleep. Its as bad as seeing a really gory splatter flick and never being able to erase it from your mind.

There's something unsettling and insane-seeming about a girl strolling down a street, shopping and chatting with people, normal in every way...yet at the same time creepily singing her dialog ....and no one noticing or reacting any differently. Gives me the willies.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Just a few that I find particularly abhorrent out of a genre that I generally dislike:

  • Man of La Mancha
  • Hello, Dolly!
  • Oliver!
  • Sound of Music
  • Annie
  • The Phantom of the Opera (2004)
  • Into the Woods (2014)
  • Beauty and the Beast (2017)
  • Star!
  • Finian's Rainbow
  • Most mid-to-late period Elvis movies
  • Mary Poppins

 

  • Like 1
  • Haha 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
5 hours ago, LawrenceA said:

Just a few that I find particularly abhorrent out of a genre that I generally dislike:

  • Man of La Mancha
  • Hello, Dolly!
  • Oliver!
  • Sound of Music
  • Annie
  • The Phantom of the Opera (2004)
  • Into the Woods (2014)
  • Beauty and the Beast (2017)
  • Star!
  • Finian's Rainbow
  • Most mid-to-late period Elvis movies
  • Mary Poppins

 

I get the dislike of Elvis' movies but Elvis: That's the Way It Is will always be my favorite of his films.

 

Link to post
Share on other sites
6 hours ago, LawrenceA said:

Just a few that I find particularly abhorrent out of a genre that I generally dislike:

  • Man of La Mancha
  • Hello, Dolly!
  • Oliver!
  • Sound of Music
  • Annie
  • The Phantom of the Opera (2004)
  • Into the Woods (2014)
  • Beauty and the Beast (2017)
  • Star!
  • Finian's Rainbow
  • Most mid-to-late period Elvis movies
  • Mary Poppins

 

I agree with you about many on that list. I'm not a fan of the film of Hello Dolly. I've seen Channing and Bailey on stage and don't like Streisand in the role, or the way the film unfolds. I love the original Broadway cast album of The Sound of Music with the great Mary Martin but not the film. Star! is not worthy of the great Noel and Gertie. On a positive note, I recall having enjoyed some of Oliver! and all of Mary Poppins, both of which I haven't seen in yonks.

But -- back to The Sound of Music. I suppose he wasn't considered glamorous enough for the film, but I would liked to have seen this man as von Trapp. The song was written specially for him, a Jewish Viennese actor/singer who fled Austria with his family in 1938:

 

 

 

 

Link to post
Share on other sites

Hmmm. Let's see if I can recall some others I have heretofore tried to dismiss from my memory.

  • Brigadoon. Not a fan.
  • Seven Brides for Seven Brothers.
  • Doctor DoLittle. Would have probably been an acceptable flick without the music.
  • Chitty Chitty Bang Bang. Ditto. Fun film but unappealing music.
  • nearly everything --no, let's just say 'everything' by the guy who did Cats, Phantom, Miss Saigon, etc. Why bother trying to find exceptions to the rule, just cancel everything from that guy.
  • Fiddler on the Roof. No.
Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 2 months later...
On 1/4/2019 at 1:54 PM, Sgt_Markoff said:

 

But at or near the top of my List of Utterly Awful Musicals, is certainly 'The Umbrellas of Cherbourg'. My god what hideousness. That berserk, sugary, lilting, sing-song-sung dialog is fiendish and diabolical. Something which still occasionally might appear in my nightmares years later whenever I experience troubled sleep. Its as bad as seeing a really gory splatter flick and never being able to erase it from your mind.

There's something unsettling and insane-seeming about a girl strolling down a street, shopping and chatting with people, normal in every way...yet at the same time creepily singing her dialog ....and no one noticing or reacting any differently. Gives me the willies.

I think a certain suspension of disbelief is required here.  If you don't like this movie, you're not going to like King Kong.  It turns out great apes are almost never the size of houses, and very few of them are erotically interested in white women.

Link to post
Share on other sites

H'mmm. Well...I don't think that analogy is effective in making your otherwise legitimate point. It's one thing to suspend one's disbelief about a fantastical creature --can anyone really insist on what color a mermaid's scales are?--versus asking one to suspend disbelief about verifiable human behavior which everyone agrees on and which we all encounter routinely. Averring that it could suddenly be perverse, inconsistent, and manipulable.

In traditional musicals, the performers break from reality to sing grandly and exuberantly about love, passion, romance; but in this movie the character remains inside faithfully-depicted realism and sings her normal everyday speech (to clerks and waiters, cabbies and tram conductors) with her own mental orchestra accompanying  --reinforcing --her phrases. Somehow, it's music-in-her-head which we are coerced into hearing. Disturbing!

I'm sorry to harp on my dislike for 'Cherbourg' if its a film you enjoy --not trying to lessen your pleasure for it --but yes, it really bothered me a long time. Burrr!

Link to post
Share on other sites
On ‎1‎/‎4‎/‎2019 at 3:54 PM, Sgt_Markoff said:

There's a lot I could mention that strike me with nausea, even though I suppose that there's also a lot of musicals I quite enjoy. Its a harmless medium which can be very uplifting and cheering.

But at or near the top of my List of Utterly Awful Musicals, is certainly 'The Umbrellas of Cherbourg'. My god what hideousness. That berserk, sugary, lilting, sing-song-sung dialog is fiendish and diabolical. Something which still occasionally might appear in my nightmares years later whenever I experience troubled sleep. Its as bad as seeing a really gory splatter flick and never being able to erase it from your mind.

There's something unsettling and insane-seeming about a girl strolling down a street, shopping and chatting with people, normal in every way...yet at the same time creepily singing her dialog ....and no one noticing or reacting any differently. Gives me the willies.

I'm picturing you as Ignatious J. Reilly in the novel A Confederacy of Dunces, yelling at the movie screen and spilling his popcorn while the ushers cower. He carefully scans the credits to see if there are any people who have offended him in the past. There's an especially funny episode when he's watching Jumbo and loudly recoiling at the kissing scene between Doris Day and Stephen Boyd. 

Link to post
Share on other sites

There's no one to blame but oneself for sitting through a bad or offensive movie. I typically get up and walk out. Been doing so all my adult life. One can always go and sit down somewhere else, and crack open a book.

The worst thing one can do is just sit there and accept it like a sheep accepting a meatman's axe.

"When you cannot love or hate anymore, then where is the charm of life?" --Arthur Schnitzler

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
18 minutes ago, Sgt_Markoff said:

There's no one to blame but oneself for sitting through a bad or offensive movie. I typically get up and walk out. Been doing so all my adult life. One can always go and sit down somewhere else, and crack open a book.

The worst thing one can do is just sit there and accept it like a sheep accepting a meatman's axe.

"When you cannot love or hate anymore, then where is the charm of life?" --Arthur Schnitzler

Ignatious would sit there and escalate his commentary the more "offended" he became, so maybe it's not a good parallel, but it tickled me to think of you two as fellows that way. Your exquisitely colorful aria of disgust reminded me of one of my favorite literary characters. 

Link to post
Share on other sites
6 hours ago, Sgt_Markoff said:

There's no one to blame but oneself for sitting through a bad or offensive movie. I typically get up and walk out. Been doing so all my adult life. One can always go and sit down somewhere else, and crack open a book.

The worst thing one can do is just sit there and accept it like a sheep accepting a meatman's axe.

"When you cannot love or hate anymore, then where is the charm of life?" --Arthur Schnitzler

Interesting you bring up Schnitzler, Sarge since just last week I got out again my copy of his "Traumnovelle" [aka "Dream Story"] which I ordered after seeing Kubrick's "Eyes Wide Shut" thinking it would be fun to compare notes with the 1999 movie and the 1926 book.

I really enjoyed the book, but then I also get a kick out of Dostoevsky and Thomas Mann, as I have always enjoyed wallowing in misery and pain and dysfunctional relationships...but only for others. Never have read anything else by Schnitzler but do you have any recommendations? Thanks in advance if you do...

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
21 hours ago, Sgt_Markoff said:

 

In traditional musicals, the performers break from reality to sing grandly and exuberantly about love, passion, romance; but in this movie the character remains inside faithfully-depicted realism and sings her normal everyday speech (to clerks and waiters, cabbies and tram conductors) with her own mental orchestra accompanying  --reinforcing --her phrases. Somehow, it's music-in-her-head which we are coerced into hearing. Disturbing!

I don't see why people singing all their dialogue is necessarily less realistic than people suddenly breaking into song and/or dancing. It's not as if these were things actual London criminals, phonetic professors, Austrian nuns or Oklahomans in general usually do.

Link to post
Share on other sites
On 1/6/2019 at 1:04 AM, Sgt_Markoff said:

Hmmm. Let's see if I can recall some others I have heretofore tried to dismiss from my memory.

  • Doctor DoLittle. Would have probably been an acceptable flick without the music.
  • Chitty Chitty Bang Bang. Ditto. Fun film but unappealing music.

I'll let the others slide (and only a heart of stone would not cringe at seeing Rex Harrison as the doctor "whimsically" sing a love song to a seal in drag), but as for CB2, I must take exception that there are no bad Sherman Brothers musicals.  I've tried to find one, and there AREN'T...Even "Huckleberry Finn" has its Sherman moments.  I can even remember tunes from "Snoopy Come Home", whether I want to or not.

But especially when you take the three that were arranged by Irwin Kostal (Mary Poppins, Chitty, Charlotte's Web), who could hitch up a full studio orchestra and turn even the flimsiest Sherman song into pure magic.  Qv. the title tune from "Charlotte's", or the Entr'acte from Chitty.  👍

I will admit, however, that "Slipper & the Rose" tests the theory, and I have not, as yet, been able to track down The Magic of Lassie (1978).

On 7/12/2018 at 7:42 PM, Looney said:

I am by no means someone who is into musicals or who really knows much about them.  I will say that I disagree with anyone who says The Wiz (1978) and The Pirate Movie (1982) are the worst.   The former is wonderfully entertaining and bizarre.  The latter is so wonderfully bad it is good. :D

As others have mentioned I might have to say it is The Apple (1980).  This movie is bizarre and it is bad, but it is rarely entertaining in those regards.

The Wiz tried hard, and could have turned Diana Ross and Michael Jackson into gold, but had Sidney "Wrongway" Peachfuzz at the helm, just because producers thought "Well, he knows NYC!".  And The Pirate Movie is not just bad, it's Australian bad...That's a whole different dimension, even leaving aside any comparison to the better "real" Linda Ronstadt/Kevin Kline movie it stole.

And similarly, The Apple is not just "foreign"-bad (as in "And boy, was it foreign..."), it was Menahem Golan's idea of "What a musical is"...That should speak volumes right there.  Now, I just have to track down a copy of Golan's Mack the Knife (1989) version of "Threepenny Opera".

So I just thought: what does everyone think of Stanley Donen's *The Little Prince* ??

I have to confess, I always adored Saint-Exup?ry's charming book, but have mixed feelings (and somewhat fuzzy memories) of the musical. The one song I can remember offhand is "A Snake in the Grass". The rest I can't even remember, and I'm not sure I would want to watch again.

Eleven years after the question no longer needed to be answered:
Weird, depressing (I keep hearing Wally & Andre's discussion on "Some sentimental SS officer in love with St. Exupery's story"), sappily embarrassing for Gene Wilder, and would have been my choice, if not for Richard Kiley letting loose his Full LaMancha on the title tune...And grab the Kleenex when he does.  😥

Not a great moment for Lerner &....D'OHH!!  How could I forget Paint Your Wagon (1969)?  How could ANYONE??

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

"If I were a man" --sung by Samantha Eggar walking in the empty countryside by herself, shortly after meeting the Doc and arguing with him for the continued practice of foxhunting. Need I say more?

"Trudy Scrumptious is truly scrumptious" --from Chitty Chitty.

My case rests here as far as I'm concerned. It might be because of the outlandish outfits both of these actresses/characters wore while singing these particularly fiendish melodies, I don't know. Bleh!

 

Link to post
Share on other sites

re: Arthur Schnitzler and ...eh....who's the other one...oh, August Strindberg. Ayah. From each bloke I think I merely read half-a-doz of their most popular/most recommended works; just for the sake of completeness if for no other reason. Worthwhile but left no lasting impression on me. I'm more of a fan of Ibsen.

Link to post
Share on other sites
Quote

I don't see why people singing all their dialogue is necessarily less realistic than people suddenly breaking into song and/or dancing.

--skimpole

 

It's not that it's less realistic ...its that it's more realistic. How can you not see the difference? A traditional musical strikes a clear departure from realism, when a number starts the cast (usually) lurches off down the avenue of pure, unmistakable fantasy.

When the song is over, they return to normal and that's what makes it work. The clearly demarcated divide between the two.

But something is definitely eerie about a character looking straight at a cashier, paying for a purchase, but singing her mundane, routine words to him as if she is in a mental dreamworld all her own. With no apparent reason for it. And so all the characters around her don't hear the voices in her head, yet we do? Freaky-deaky  

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 3 weeks later...
On 3/15/2019 at 10:54 AM, Sgt_Markoff said:

But something is definitely eerie about a character looking straight at a cashier, paying for a purchase, but singing her mundane, routine words to him as if she is in a mental dreamworld all her own. With no apparent reason for it. And so all the characters around her don't hear the voices in her head, yet we do? Freaky-deaky

Seems I recall pretty much all the characters in that film sing their dialogue... except for this one scene where there's a moving man taking boxes out of her shop and just barks a gruff "Pardon, ma'am!" at her, or something like that. It made me LOL because he seemed to the only person in the movie that wasn't, uh, drinking the local water.

I'm inclined to go easy on that film because I think it was pretty ambitious of them to do the whole film that way, but after a while you can feel the monotonous melodies slowly churn your brain into omelette batter... and you think maybe they should have tried it as a short first.

  • Like 1
  • Haha 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

Okay, howsoever they had it arranged, in the exact details...whether one character sang, or duets...still, totally strange to see characters dealing with mundane daily routine --and at the same time, singing their thoughts or speeches. Rather than, stepping away, off to an obvious 'set' to dance and sing a massive jubilant song with extras and choreography ...which would then lead them back to ordinary, dull, puttering around. Sure, it was 'innovative' what they did here ... but 'innovative' in a bad way!

Link to post
Share on other sites
On 3/15/2019 at 11:54 AM, Sgt_Markoff said:

--skimpole

 

It's not that it's less realistic ...its that it's more realistic. How can you not see the difference? A traditional musical strikes a clear departure from realism, when a number starts the cast (usually) lurches off down the avenue of pure, unmistakable fantasy.

When the song is over, they return to normal and that's what makes it work. The clearly demarcated divide between the two.

But there's no reason why that should be the only way to do it.  There's more the one of producing musical magic.  But rather than on about The Umbrellas of Cherbourg, I'll let Jim Rildey in his essay for the Criterion do it for me:

 

By the mid-1970s, the received wisdom on Demy was that he was a dabbler in irrelevant genres whose time had passed. And none of his films sounded sillier in the abstract than The Umbrellas of Cherbourg, this oddity in which every line of dialogue is not only sung but sung in French. It didn’t help that his movies grew harder to find in subsequent years, or that the superlatives of his style—brilliant color, exquisite framing, elegantly choreographed camera work—were grotesquely ill served by the aesthetic abattoir of lop- and-chop VHS.

It wasn’t until the mid-1990s that I saw Umbrellas for the first time, under near-perfect conditions—in a restored print at San Francisco’s glorious Castro Theatre, with an audience so besotted that they anticipated the melodies. I expected a mawkish pastiche— the judgment rendered in 1964 by the New York Times’s reliably fusty Bosley Crowther, who dismissed the film as “a cinematic confection so shiny and sleek and sugar-sweet—so studiously sentimental—it comes suspiciously close to a spoof.”

What Demy delivers instead is the most affecting of movie musicals, and perhaps the fullest expression of a career-long fascination with the entwining of real life, chance, and the bewitching artifice of cinematic illusion. More than any other film I know, Umbrellas affects people differently at different stages of life. When I first saw it, newly married but still remembering vividly the pang of adolescent crushes, it played as tragedy: the story of a young love snuffed out by war, fate, and economic hardship. Over the years, seen in the light of Demy’s other films, it has come to seem more properly an exaltation of life’s bittersweet balances and trade-offs—of unexpected triumphs made richer by the dashed hopes that offset them.

When Demy released his masterpiece in 1964, the big-budget Hollywood musical was a mammoth cakewalking on a cliff’s edge. The musical as breezy, high-spirited entertainment had yielded to ponderous road-show events such as My Fair Lady and The Sound of Music; their success would beget extravagant decade-closing flops like Star! and Doctor Dolittle. On a genre noted for its lightness, prestige worked like carbon monoxide. The more these movies lusted for acclaim and recognition, the more stale, square, and ludicrous musical conventions looked.

bf6eafa3-c69b-442a-b8e3-a4a79a12f6aa.jpg

 

But in Umbrellas, Demy found an ingenious way to extend the form of the screen musical, restoring its effervescence in part by reducing its scale to something recognizably human. Rather than surge and lunge in elephantine production numbers, the entire movie would flow on an uninterrupted current of music. The singing and color would evoke the piercing immediacy of first love, even as the abstraction granted a very contemporary distancing effect.

Is there a genre that demands a greater leap of imagination from a viewer, a more sophisticated acceptance of blatant artifice, than the movie musical? Someone watching, say, Vincente Minnelli’s Meet Me in St. Louis in essence enters into a compact with the filmmaker: I accept that characters will erupt into song and dance as naturally as conversation, and in return I will become their confidant, privy to their otherwise inexpressible longings. Accept those terms and a different emotional plane appears in the midst of Minnelli’s boisterous, crowded household—a private space in which the characters open their throats, their hearts, directly to us. This is not the real world; this is a world with the veil of realism parted, allowing the passions beneath to peek through.

This is life as viewed through Demy’s lens. But if Umbrellas uses the conventions of the Hollywood musical to express the immediate exhilaration of young love, it also subverts them to convey what’s left when the illusions fade. Among other things—many things—the film is about how our lives measure up against the romantic ideals we see on the big screen. “People only die of love in movies,” a character tartly observes—yet her pronouncement has an unmistakable note of regret.

umbrellas+cherbourg.png?format=2500w

 

Even before the title appears, Demy establishes a universe that fuses the commonplace and the cinematically heightened. The iris that closed on the black-and-white world of his 1961 debut Lola opens on the sepia-toned harbor of coastal Cherbourg, its workaday fleets of trawlers and naval ships. Without cutting—a seamless transition into the realm of stylization—Jean Rabier’s camera tilts directly down on the waterfront’s stone streets. A light rain begins; pastel umbrellas seen from overhead engage in delicate spatial choreography with the credits. On the soundtrack, we hear the first wistful iteration of Michel Legrand’s “Je ne pourrai jamais vivre sans toi,” the theme song that will follow the leads like the fading scent of prom gardenias.

In the first section, “The Departure,” set in November 1957, handsome, brooding Guy (Nino Castelnuovo) waits to get off from his job at the garage so he can see his girl. It’s not just any garage: as Demy’s widow, Agnès Varda, points out in her loving tribute Jacquot de Nantes (released a year after his death in 1990), it’s very much like the one Demy’s mechanic father ran. And it’s not just any girl: Deneuve is a vision of pristine loveliness. As Geneviève, the daughter of a single-mom shopkeeper, she’s introduced here as the most desirable element in a store window filled with the titular parapluies. She and Guy cavort down thoroughfares hot with neon yellows and sultry blues, as if the intensity of their passion has caused the town to bloom.

Her mother (Anne Vernon) tries to tell her to consider her future, to think of Guy’s callowness and the grim economic realities. (Another thing that changes over the years, as we watch the movie, is our grudging awareness that she speaks the truth.) She’d rather Geneviève cultivate a visiting jeweler (Marc Michel, in one of the earliest of Demy’s intertextual movie references, portraying the same dejected-suitor character who pursued Anouk Aimée’s dime-a-dance siren through Lola). Then comes word that Guy has been drafted for military service in the Algerian War. With only a night left together, Geneviève vows that she cannot live without him, and she offers up the same proof as the Shirelles in “Will You Love Me Tomorrow?”

At this point, the dizzying height of their infatuation, Demy cuts from the young lovers’ tearful exchange to the two literally floating down the slickened street in an embrace, carried by the swelling current of their ever-ready theme song. I have yet to see the movie with an audience that didn’t burst out laughing at the audacity of Demy’s artifice, the boldest such moment in the movie. It may take a second viewing to realize that the director isn’t just kidding their abandon but inviting us to remember the delirium of our own first loves.....

Cherbourg-pregnant.jpg

....

Is this the saddest happy ending in all of movies, or the happiest sad ending? The beauty, and profundity, of Demy’s vision is that it’s both. In Umbrellas’ opening scenes, it seems that Demy is whittling the Hollywood musical’s subject matter down to the particulars of daily life. But in this closing sequence, the converse is just as true: the movie urges us to see the color, hear the music in the currents of life and the rhythms of everyday speech. How different Demy’s sympathetic stylization is from that of a fascinating experiment like Herbert Ross and Dennis Potter’s lip-synched 1981 antimusical Pennies from Heaven, which considers its characters rubes for buying the tinny platitudes issuing from their mouths. Demy knows the limits of tuneful homilies, but he also understands why they lodge in our imaginations. They lodge in his too.

Demy would return to the musical throughout his career, starting with The Young Girls of Rochefort (1967), whose public-space-as-playground resourcefulness suggests Jacques Tati’s Playtime as staged by Arthur Freed’s MGM production unit. It’s a beautiful film, but its airy expanses were eclipsed in the year of Bonnie and Clyde and Weekend. By the time of Une chambre en ville, a shocking recitative musical that makes explicit the violence that’s always threatened or implied under Demy’s pastel surfaces, the sailors of his earlier films had given way to union-busting storm troopers, and infatuation had curdled into murderous obsession. (Perhaps alone among directors, Demy might have made something more than kitsch from a movie-musical Les misérables.)

None of these films have ever approached the popularity of Umbrellas, whose influence turns up in the least expected of places. Even if they hadn’t featured the undimmed presence of Deneuve, such dramatic musicals as Lars von Trier’s Dancer in the Dark and François Ozon’s 8 Women would be unmistakable as tributaries of Demy’s initial vision. Curiously enough, one of the strangest yet most astute homages to the movie is a 2002 episode of the animated science-fiction sitcom Futurama, in which the cryogenically thawed hero debates whether to clone a DNA sample from his dog, left a millennium earlier with the instruction not to move from his spot. He ultimately decides that the dog must have moved on and leaves the matter be—at which point the show cues a time-lapse montage of the dog waiting faithfully for his owner for years, until the moment he slumps to the sidewalk. The music playing over the montage is Connie Francis’s recording of “I Will Wait for You” (the Americanized version of Legrand’s song)—that anthem of a finite forever and an eternally preserved present that never loses its ache.

“One of the sad things about our times, I think, is that so many people find a romantic movie like that frivolous and negligible,” Pauline Kael lamented about The Umbrellas of Cherbourg in a 2000 interview. “They don’t see the beauty in it, but it’s a lovely film—original and fine.” And it’s just as lovely today—its color just as vivid, its hopes just as fragile and delicately suspended. When I watch it now, it reminds me of the doorjamb in my grandmother’s house with my height marked in pencil over the years, or the dresser with my own children’s measurements notched along the edge. In it I see the person I was and the person I turned out to be, but the object itself will always be the same. It will wait, forever.

umbrellas-of-cherbourg-the-1964-002-cath

Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm sure it has its fans; and I am not a professional film reviewer nor professional film critic. Also, I can't go back in time to 'how things were before this movie appeared', to appreciate better 'how inventive it was'.

All I can say is how it struck me --yours truly --when I saw it, and I can only offer up my rationale for why it failed with me.

I certainly agree that there may be many sundry different ways to score and choreograph a musical. As innovative as this one is said to be, it is the only musical I can name which gave me such a violent revulsion. See, I've sat though many musical I disliked; but this one makes me squirm with disgust.

Link to post
Share on other sites
On 4/1/2019 at 5:33 PM, Kay said:

Seems I recall pretty much all the characters in that film sing their dialogue... except for this one scene where there's a moving man taking boxes out of her shop and just barks a gruff "Pardon, ma'am!" at her, or something like that. It made me LOL because he seemed to the only person in the movie that wasn't, uh, drinking the local water.

I'm inclined to go easy on that film because I think it was pretty ambitious of them to do the whole film that way, but after a while you can feel the monotonous melodies slowly churn your brain into omelette batter... and you think maybe they should have tried it as a short first.

Les Miserables is also almost entirely sung with only a few bits of spoken dialogue (don't remember which ones at the moment). I enjoyed that one much more than Umbrellas of Cherbourg. Umbrellas is too kitschy and that theme is just so melodramatic. 

Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
© 2021 Turner Classic Movies Inc. A Time Warner Company. All Rights Reserved Terms of Use | Privacy Policy | Cookie Settings
×
×
  • Create New...