Al Marsh, Tony Naylor and Jerry Ralby, Broadway producers, are desperately looking for backers. Al is one of the heirs of a dress salon in Paris, but this is almost bankrupt. The two other ... See full summary »
Al Marsh, Tony Naylor and Jerry Ralby, Broadway producers, are desperately looking for backers. Al is one of the heirs of a dress salon in Paris, but this is almost bankrupt. The two other heiresses, Stephanie and Clarisse and the three producers are able to convince the creditors to back a fashion show there. Things become complicated, when Al and Tony fall in love with Stephanie and Al's New York girl friend Bubbles arrives. Written by
Stephan Eichenberg <email@example.com>
Howard Keel's character was named "Tony Naylor". During the 1950s and 60s, one of the most popular hang-outs for the stars in to meet after the filming was called "Tiny Naylors". It was located in Hollywood at the corner of Sunset Blvd and Vine Streets. Keel's characters' name was a nod to that famous coffee shop. See more »
In the restaurant, when Jerry and Clarisse start dancing, his right arm at her waist pins one end of her scarf to her body. In the very next shot, although his arm hasn't moved, the scarf end is flapping loosely. See more »
While I have to agree with many of the points made in the preceding reviews (and I'm surprised there are so many) no one has pointed out one of the main attractions of LOVELY TO LOOK AT; it is simply one of the most beautiful Technicolor films ever made.
Once upon a pre-home-video time this was one of the legendary vanished films of my youth. So (some years ago) I jumped at the chance to see a rare revival of it at the late, much lamented Regency in New York when it was screened as part of a Jerome Kern film retrospective.
The Regency must have unearthed an original Technicolor print because the film was even more stunning visually than I remembered. The deep blues in the Champions' "Smoke Gets in Your Eyes" number, the infernal reds in their "Yesterdays" sequence in the fashion show, the misty pastels in Keel and Grayson's dawn ride in the Bois de Bologna, the gilded primitif look of Miller's "Hard To Handle" nightclub act ..
These are among the most stunning Technicolor sequences ever shot.
MGM Technicolor seemed to peak in the late 40s and early 50s (prior, I might add to the industry-wide conversion to inferior but cheaper Eastman color). MGM films such as HOLIDAY IN Mexico (1946) and THE PIRATE (1948) through LOVELY and SCARAMOUCHE (both 1952) brought the art of color cinematography to a peak it was never to equal again.
Musically LOVELY is stunning too, with it vintage Jerome Kern score, beautifully arranged (mostly) by Leo Arnaud. The modernistic, sometimes jazz-tinged orchestrations are brilliant, especially in the fashion show instrumentals. (Listen again to the "Yesterdays" arrangement here, if the smoldering reds behind the Champions do not blow you away).
And Kathryn Grayson's rendition of the classic "Smoke Gets in Your Eyes" is one of the highlights of her career.
Rhino recently released the full soundtrack in stereo, a CD worth pursuing for those with an interest in vintage musicals and arrangements.
Both musically and visually LOVELY TO LOOK AT defines'50s Populuxe. It will take a super DVD release to reveal both the visual and aural riches of this flawed under-rated classic.
Grayson and Keel allegedly both loathed this film, but everyone in it is also at their peak of '50s attractiveness. The plot is secondary, and there are emphatic lapses such as Red Skelton's routine about mid-film when director Mervyn Leroy, in a rather shocking sequence for MGM, apparently just let the camera roll because Skelton was on one.
The Tuesday matinée series at the Los Angeles Museum of Art has LOVELY TO LOOK AT scheduled for screening in Dec. By fortuitous coincidence one of the most gorgeous Technicolor musicals is followed (the next week) by one of the most beautiful BxW musicals ever made, Lubitch's 193 THE MERRY WIDOW.
I only hope LACMA gets a print comparable to the one I saw at the Regency in New York so many moons ago! (Did anyone mention Vincente Minnelli guest-directed the fashion show finale?)
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