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BAD MOVIE ALERT: MAME


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Minnelli was way too young.....

 

 

They could've aged her somewhat. I dont think it really would've hurt the part. Barbra was way too young to play Dolly.............

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Minnelli was way to young and ..... not a good enough actress to pull it off. It would have been Sally Bowles in a cloche hat.

 

Shirley MacLaine maybe but not a good enough singer. Julie Andrews definitely if she could have done an American accent. Carol Burnett might have been a good choice, but not a big enough box-office draw.

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LIZA in her [..] prime would have blown the hinges off the doors as MAME.

 

I agree. Some have said Liza Minnelli was too young at the time, but how old was was Mame supposed to be anyway?

Lucille Ball was in her 60s when she made the movie  and didn't they use  a filter on the camera lens to make her look younger?

 

Someone also said Liza wasn't a good enough actor to play the role of Mame, but I very strongly disagree with that statement.

She's one of the best, especially when it comes to musical material.

 

Here's a clip of Liza performing the song "So What" from the stage musical CABARET.

The song (which was not used in Bob Fosse's movie) was sung by Sally's German landlady Fraulein Schneider.

It's amazing what Liza Minnelli does with the song with no costumes or sets. 

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LZc2fUqmaXE

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HoldenIsHere--Mame should be somewhere between 35-55.  Yes, and your answer is plural--they used so many filters on Lucy the edges of her clothes weren't clear, & the pearls she wore in the hangover scene showed up as polka dots. Liza would have just had to tone down her energy & had a good makeup job done for a good to great movie.  Liza & Bea Arthur (who did 3 duets with Lucy in 1974's Mame)  would have been two great performers together. Interesting casting that didn't happen.

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One only need watch ARTHUR to know Liza was a wonderful, relaxed and very natural comic actress. (And to bemoan the fact that she did not get enough chances to show this on screen.)

 

Yes, and one only need to watch THE STERILE CUCKOO to see what a "natural" dramatic actor Liza Minnelli is.

People who say that her performance in CABARET was "over the top" don't understand Sally Bowles.

By the way, that expression "over the top" irks me.

Who decides what "the top" is anyway? 

I see people behaving in "real life" in ways that some would label as "over the top" if they saw that behavior in a movie. 

Sometimes, less is less.

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according to Wikipedia, Jerry Herman wrote the musical with Judy Garland in mind, but was persuaded by her management team that she would not be able to handle the stress of an 8 week Broadway run.

 

. I have to say I think her team was probably right. However had she been in top mental and physical shape, I'm sure Judy could have done something fabulous with it.

 

However- and this may sound nit-picky- but I wonder if she wasn't maybe too short for the role....Maybe this is influenced by the fact that the two actresses who personified the role, Roz Russell and Angela Lansbury, were I think something like 5 foot 8 & 5 foot 11 respectively.

 

. I don't know why, but the age isn't so much as important as the height of MAME. both MAME and Vera just need to be played by tall actresses in my mind.

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according to Wikipedia, Jerry Herman wrote the musical with Judy Garland in mind, but was persuaded by her management team that she would not be able to handle the stress of an 8 week Broadway run.

 

. I have to say I think her team was probably right. However had she been in top mental and physical shape, I'm sure Judy could have done something fabulous with it.

 

However- and this may sound nit-picky- but I wonder if she wasn't maybe too short for the role....Maybe this is influenced by the fact that the two actresses who personified the role, Roz Russell and Angela Lansbury, were I think something like 5 foot 8 & 5 foot 11 respectively.

 

. I don't know why, but the age isn't so much as important as the height of MAME. both MAME and Vera just need to be played by tall actresses in my mind.

Actually, Wiki is wrong about that.  Jerry Herman wrote HELLO, DOLLY! for Ethel Merman and she turned it down.  From that moment on, he never wrote a single song with and actor or actress in mind.  He wrote all his songs only with the character in mind, and he believed this was the only way to write a musical.  Once the show was written and the producers were talking casting, they wanted Mary Martin or someone as big as her.  He would have been thrilled with her, but she declined.  Jerry Herman wanted Angela Lansbury, who the producers felt wasn't a big enough draw, and even worked with her, without the producers' knowledge, and taught her a couple of songs from the score.  When she auditioned, he accompanied her on the piano, and she blew everyone away. completely nailing the tunes.  When she decided to leave the show, Judy Garland said she wanted to replace Lansbury, and Jerry Herman was thrilled at the prospect..  So much so, that even when the show's producers declined, because of her reputation of unreliability, Herman fought for her to do the show.  He claimed that even if she only did one performance of it, it would be historical.  They just weren't willing to entrust their investment to someone with her reputation.  There's no question in my mind that she could have been remarkable in the role.  Had she been healthy, and lived, she should have been in the film version of HELLO, DOLLY!, as well.  Such a shame. 

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What about Robert Preston?

Preston is a Broadway legend; his Professor Harold Hill is one of the classic characters of musical comedy. Surely at some moment he must have realized that MAME was bound for disaster, and that he could do nothing to save it.

At that time in Puerto Rico, Rafael Pont Flores--a humor columnist, not a film critic, mind you--liked the movie so much that he wrote an enthusiastic review that concluded with: !GRACIAS, LUCILLE BALL!

Encouraged by this plaudit, I paid to see the movie; long before its end I was asking myself: What the bloody blue blazes??? This can't be the movie that Pont Flores liked so much!!!

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It must have seemed like a plum for Preston, who I don't think had done a musical since The Music Man 12 years before. Although he was 7 years younger than Ball, he probably couldn't resist since he'd also get to sing the new song written for the movie. And the "weight" of the production was squarely on the star's shoulders, so regardless of reviews, most of the fallout was on Ball, while Preston, Beatrice Arthur, and Jane Connell flew pretty much under the radar.

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drednm is right: Bea Arthur & Preston gathered the lion's share of good reviews, &  Jane Connell pretty much escaped comment.

 

Palmerin--you're right about Preston.  I'm sure he recognized Mame was headed for disaster--but if he'd already banked his check, there was nothing he could do about it except pitch in & do his utmost in a losing effort--& his efforts worked--the one number where Lucille Ball looks at ease is the title number, where she does a soft shoe dance with Preston.

 

I am completely unfamiliar with the columnist you cite?

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Actually, Wiki is wrong about that. 

 

Whut is that you say, good suh? I believe you have impugned thuh good name of wikipedia and I shall have to challenge you to a duel, good suh...

 

(slap slap!)

 

(really though, they should call wikipedia grainofsalt.com.)

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Ball and Arthur each won Golden Globe nominations with Ball bizarrely losing to Raquel Welch for The Three Musketeers and Arthur losing to Karen Black for The Great Gatsby.

 

Had Mame been a hit, Bea Arthur might have snagged an Oscar nomination.

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Ball and Arthur each won Golden Globe nominations with Ball bizarrely losing to Raquel Welch for The Three Musketeers .

yeah that is pretty bizarre. may be the most bizarre thing I've heard all day....(Raquel must have worked overtime with the Hollywood Foreign Press to bring home that one.)

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yeah that is pretty bizarre. may be the most bizarre thing I've heard all day....(Raquel must have worked overtime with the Hollywood Foreign Press to bring home that one.)

 

Raquel Welch was good in THE THREE MUSKETEERS though. 

I like the humor she brought to the role of Constance and of course her fight scene with Faye Dunaway.

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Whut is that you say, good suh? I believe you have impugned thuh good name of wikipedia and I shall have to challenge you to a duel, good suh...

 

(slap slap!)

 

(really though, they should call wikipedia grainofsalt.com.)

 

 

Yes, Garland was considered as Lansbury's replacement, but the producers eventually nixed it, fearing her unreliability. What might have been.............

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Raquel Welch was good in THE THREE MUSKETEERS though. 

I like the humor she brought to the role of Constance and of course her fight scene with Faye Dunaway.

 

Oh man. Hope they had some EMTS standing by for that one.

 

I take your word for it- never having seen a substantial amount of THREE... or FOUR...

 

The only two films I can ever recall seeing Raquel in were THE LAST OF SHEILAH, and she is lovely to look at and embarassing to watch, and her "special guest appearance" in LEGALLY BLONDE and her craft has not improved with time.

 

ps- who'd you put odds on, Raquel or Faye?

pss- do recall the SEINFELD episode though. that was a fun one.

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Yes, Garland was considered as Lansbury's replacement, but the producers eventually nixed it, fearing her unreliability. What might have been.............

 

Of all the words of tongue or pen....the saddest are these...yup, pretty much. 

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Oh man. Hope they had some EMTS standing by for that one.

 

I take your word for it- never having seen a substantial amount of THREE... or FOUR...

 

The only two films I can ever recall seeing Raquel in were THE LAST OF SHEILAH, and she is lovely to look at and embarassing to watch, and her "special guest appearance" in LEGALLY BLONDE and her craft has not improved with time.

 

ps- who'd you put odds on, Raquel or Faye?

pss- do recall the SEINFELD episode though. that was a fun one.

 

 

Yes, she was hilarious in that Seinfeld episode.....

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J. Peterman was the best though.

"I love a good catfight!"

 

edit- now I remember, that's also the one where the coworker's arms don't move when she walks.

 

 

Yes. LOL. I cant remember her name. She was on SNL. She was hilarious too.

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Yes, she was hilarious in that Seinfeld episode.....

 

Yes, she was hilarious in that Seinfeld episode.....

I like her, a lot, in KANSAS CITY BOMBER.    I also saw her in WOMAN OF THE YEAR, on Broadway, and thought she was excellent in it.

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