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Rodgers and Hammerstein Musicals


kitsy
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Good question, Kitsy.

 

Y'know, I find I don't like the movies as much as I did when I was a child. I'm not sure why. These days, I find the one that holds my interest the most is Flower Drum Song - maybe it's because I liked the book so much, although the movie doesn't deal with the culture clash issues of the book quite so realistically.

 

In any event, I think I like the song lyrics of Flower Drum Song the best. They are almost Cole Porterish (maybe they are almost Lorenz Hart-ish?) Also, the actors in that movie are truly wonderful, and it's good to see them showing what they could do. In terms of "best picture," I like The King and I - knockout performances by the leads, and a beautiful production. My vote for Rodgers' best score would be South Pacific. I don't care much for the movie. Mitzi Gaynor for Mary Martin? Come on.

 

Although I love Shirley Jones, I have trouble sitting through Carousel and Oklahoma. Too much, and all too frantic and jumbled. I'm afraid I can't take much of Julie Andrews at once, so I avoid The Sound of Music at all times. Julie Andrews for Mary Martin? Come on. Listen to a recording of Martin singing "The Sound of Music." It's a whole other, better, song the way she sings it.

 

This isn't to say I don't like the R&H collaborations - they are all tuneful and fun to watch. I don't think it's their contribution that puts me off, but the films themselves that in some cases don't do their material justice.

 

How about you?

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I am a big R&H fan. My favorite of their musicals and the filmed versions is OKLAHOMA! It's so beautiful on the new dvd. The film version is notable because Agnes DeMille recreated her landmark choreography from the stage version for the film. Sadly, the same thing was not done for the film version of CAROUSEL, and it shows. The June is Bustin' Out All Over number especially looks like cut-rate De Mille. It's not terrible, but it isn't very creative or original.

 

Sandy K

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And the fact that in the past we couldn't see these films on TV in letterbox -- it spoiled the whole setup of the dances. These musicals were made to be seen in the theater, on a big screen, and many of them lose their impact , and consequently their entertainment value, when they are squashed to fit the standard TV screen.

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As many have stated in the other thread, I also choose "The King And I". Yul Brynner and Deborah Kerr brought the magic of the music on screen with their great chemistry. I still have the image in my head of them waltzing in the ballroom.

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I think your right. Howerver, I do like "The Sound of Music" though. In "Oklahoma!" I enjoyed the songs "Poor Judd Is Daid" and "Everything"s Up to Date In Kansas City" The opening song "Oh What A Beautiful Morning" is also good. I'm sorry to say I"ve never watched "The KIng and I" Yul Brynner is one of my favorite actors. I think the only way to watch any of these movies it has to be in letterbox (or any other movies made in that format). That's why I like TCM because they only show widescreen versions. I think many people find the black bars distracting. Anyway widescreen is becoming more popular and I'm glad we can see them in their original form. However, I mean no dis to pan and scan. To each his or her own.

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