A filmed performance (in CinemaScope) of the highly popular Broadway hit that was basically a collection of skits, sketches, songs and dances built around a flimsy plot to meld them all ... See full summary »
A filmed performance (in CinemaScope) of the highly popular Broadway hit that was basically a collection of skits, sketches, songs and dances built around a flimsy plot to meld them all together which, for the most part, worked. The plot involves a performer/producer (Ronny Graham)who finds himself in financial difficulties on the eve of opening night because a big check is needed before the curtain can go up. But a wealthy Texan says he will put up the money, if his daughter is in the show and he can see it first. End of plot, but the beginning of the careers of some young and talented people who have had careers across many decades. Ertha Kitt sings four songs, including "C'est Si Bon" and "Santa Baby" in and around some funny skits; "Trip of the Month", "Snake Charmer", "Crazy Man" and "Oedipus Goes South." Graham and Mel Brooks (in his Melvin Brooks days)are credited with most of the sketch material and just the title of the "Oedipus" bit suggests Brooks. There is a burlesque of "... Written by
Les Adams <firstname.lastname@example.org>
On the whole, I found the film disjointed and silly, BUT I'm giving it a high rating because it was so much fun to see the likes of Alice Ghostly, Paul Lynde and Eartha Kitt as young performers.
I never knew Ghostly had an actual, excellent singing voice! Always the comic, she also shines vocally in her rendition of "In Boston".
Later, Lynde and Ghostly play the parents of a disappointing son in a sketch that, while amusing, reveals one of the drawbacks of going from stage to film without coaching -- they shout as if they need to work to be heard in the back row. This is an interesting bit of history to be shared with young people today who primarily observe performers fully wired for sound.
For me, the best parts of the film were the several appearances by Eartha Kitt doing her unique and delicious vamping at a time most of us think of as uptight and way too tame. There is nothing uptight or tame about Kitt's performances here! They alone are worth the price of the DVD.
6 of 6 people found this review helpful.
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