|Index||10 reviews in total|
This movie has been shown recently in England,so liking musicals,I decided to watch it.Curious mixture of voice overs,flashbacks and a film within a film,all packed tightly into less than 90 minutes.Mitzi Gaynor is astounding.The film works because of her.Although the period setting is earlier in the 20th Century,the dazzling production numbers are pure 50's.Paintbox bright colours are prevailant.Mitzi's costumes are spectacular.One wishes it was longer and more detailed,but it's an extremely agreeable way to spend 80 odd minutes.An entertaining curio.
It's a great pity but "The I Don't Care Girl" was indeed severely cut. Scenes and numbers were shuffled, scenes and numbers ended up on the cutting-room floor, scenes were re-filmed, Jack Cole was brought in (and even his 'I Don't Care' and 'Beale Street Blues' traded places so that the one designed to end the film, didn't, and the other one, with its scene to follow, did), until what was released (in 1953, rather than 1952) was the hodge-podge you see today. Yet despite all of the butchery the multi-talented Mitzi sets the screen on fire whenever she appears, whether it's in a dramatic scene or dazzling her way through those Cole-choreographed production numbers. Sadly we'll never see the complete version, or those cut numbers. Drat!
Not the greatest of musicals I've ever seen, but I was fascinated by the combination of Mozart & The Johnson Rag. The intricate dancing was dazzling & I replayed this sequence several times. Turns out that the Italian lyrics were not the original ones but the combination of Mozart & jazz dance steps I thought were brilliant. One of the most intriguing dance routines I've seen. Being 20th C Fox & not MGM, this has never been given the credit it deserves. Oscar Levant, as always, was a bonus.
In spite of its imperfections, the film contains one of the most inspiring performances of any song in any film. Mitzi Gaynor becomes Eva Tanguay, insists on coming out into the audience, hits a star quality personality in the song "I don't care" when she sings - "Let down the gangway, for I'm Eva Tanguay, and I - DON'T - CARE!!!" I have tried to find this on DVD, but it does not exist. CAn someone get this changed??? Does it exist on CD or MP3 anywhere? I believe that Judy Garland sang the song in the film "Good Old Summertime" but I can't find that either. I have been remembering this song for over fifty years now, which shows how memorable it is. Not many songs have this power to impress itself on the memory, and it is only because of the great performance of Mitzi Gaynor, who is apparently still going today with live performances!
I understand that The I Don't Care Girl was severely cut by Daryl F Zannuck which was his usual practice, despite this Mitzi showed what a Great talent she was, unlike other great female dancers of the time Mitzi was set apart because she had personality, I also think Mitzi was at the wrong studio and totally wasted in Hollywood, although she was'nt wasted in Las Vegas where she was the top box office star for years, and later her great tv shows.
It begins, even before the credits, with an onstage production number in which Mitzi, as famed vaudevillian Eva Tanguay, emerges hoarse and uncertain onstage, thus forcing the stage manager to ring down the curtain. AND IT NEVER COMES BACK TO THIS. That's how ineptly cut this Fox backstager is, leaving a major plot thread unacknowledged for the next 78 minutes. Along the way we get some clichéd show-must-go-on situations, the unappealing Oscar Levant (especially unappealing when deprived of good dialog, which Comden and Green provided him the same year in "The Band Wagon") plunking away on some classical piano, David Wayne in what first appears to be the leading-man role but turns into an inconsequential supporting part, the pleasant-voiced Bob Graham as Mitzi's love interest, George Jessel playing himself pretending to be a nice man, and several big, big production numbers. These have nothing to do with the vaudeville milieu and are set to undistinguished music, but the color's great, and Gwen Verdon gets to do some sinuous Jack Cole choreography in one of them. The whole thing's framed in a desperate-looking "Citizen Kane" conceit, as two studio boys are exhorted by Jessel to "come up with the REAL Eva Tanguay story," but the movie never wanders anywhere near the real Eva Tanguay story -- maybe it just wasn't that interesting. Worth looking at for the blazing Technicolor, the dances, and Mitzi, who's never less than professional, and never more.
What could have been a very good musical ends up being bunch of mixed
up scenes that make no sense whatsoever. Fox had a good idea with the
material, but somehow botched it up. A good vehicle for poor Mitzi
Gaynor, and she must have very dismayed with what ended up on the
Fox Archives has released this recently along with other older films. Too bad they couldn't include the missing footage as it's very obvious scenes and details to the plot were left out on the 'cutting room floor', so to speak. The musical numbers, for the most part, are very good to excellent, even though they do not belong in the time element of the story. One very strange number, the second I DON'T CARE sequence, has Mizi changing costumes RIGHT IN THE MIDDLE OF THE ACT, and a character that was long gone, back in the scene. I'm sure this number was supposed to be a 'dream sequence', that would be the only reasonable explanation!!!! What did Mr. Zanack have in mind when he edited this film??? I know he was responsible for all editing of films under his regime. He also ruined the fabulous MM movie, NIAGARA along with sever cuts to THERE'S NO BUSINESS LIKE SHOW BUSINESS. And he was supposed to be a 'movie' person? I think not.
The musical comedy biopic gets the Rashomon treatment in this faked-up
biopic of Eva Tanguay, one of the great stars of turn-of-the-century
vaudeville. Mitzi Gaynor, as always, gives a great performance and it's
a pity that, with the exception of the movie version of SOUTH PACIFIC,
she was always Fox's B musical star, doing whatever they gave her. The
musical numbers are all overdone, as if choreographer Jack Cole is
mocking the form; the semi-strip-tease to jazzed up Mozart (I'm not
making this up! It's the most out-of-place dance number outside of
Sally Forrest's weird one in EXCUSE MY DUST) and other numbers that
recall LADY IN THE DARK -- all very modern for the era and absolutely
bizarre in context.
Oscar Levant plays the piano magnificently a few times and David Wayne gives a typically graceful performance in support.
perhaps now twentieth century fox are at last releasing Mitzi's bloodhounds of Broadway, they might set about putting out the full version of the I don't care girl, it would be great, although it was a silly plot and not at all true to the life of Eva Tangway, and Mitzi leading men did not help her at all, Mitzi 's fabulous dance numbers showed why she was completely wasted in Hollywood, would love this film to be released with all the great production no's that were cut, also great to see Mitzi's TV shows being released on DVD, why do these things take so long? another great mitzi film although it was pure sinatra, not released is the great film the joker is wild, lets hope that one is released too
...why Mitzi Gaynor, certainly one of the most talented ladies in the business, never became a major movie star. here's your answer: too many movies like this. Taking a RASHAMON approach to the life of Eva Tanguay is certainly a novel idea, but right from the start post-production butchery is all too obvious and the remaining seventy-nine minutes make little or no sense what so ever. I truly believe someone was trying to do poor Miss Gaynor in with this one. Characters appear and disappear randomly, the score is mediocre at best, and the production numbers - where Miss Gaynor should really shine - are executed in such a sloppy, slap-dash way that it is hard to believe this film was released by a major studio. Gaynor shines during the first rendition of "I Don't Care" which is done in true (movie) vaudeville style and gives some glimpse of what the real Miss Tanguay must have been like as a performer, but the other numbers (I suppose those conceived by Jack Cole)are a mess, totally out of period, including a hep cat version of the title tune that has Mitzi dancing in a chug-chug style that does nothing to display her very real dancing talent. During this number her two male co-stars keep turning up in different guises long after one of them has left the story. Huh? Looking at a quartet of films (this mess, THE BLOODHOUNDS OF Broadway, DOWN AMONG THE SHELTERING PALMS, and GOLDEN GIRL)designed to make Miss Gaynor a star, one wonders what the powers that be were thinking. No wonder Marilyn arrived on the scene shortly there after and staked out the Fox lot for herself!
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