Two Americans on a hunting trip in Scotland become lost. They encounter a small village, not on the map, called Brigadoon, in which people harbor a mysterious secret, and behave as if they were still living two hundred years in the past.
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Americans Tommy Albright and Jeff Douglas, on a hunting vacation in Scotland, discover a quaint and beautiful village, Brigadoon. Strangely, the village is not on any map, and soon Tommy and Jeff find out why: Brigadoon is an enchanted place. It appears once every hundred years for one day, then disappears back into the mists of time, to wake up to its next day a century hence. When Tommy falls in love with Fiona, a girl of the village, he realizes that she can never be part of his life back in America. Can he be part of hers in Brigadoon? Written by
Jim Beaver <firstname.lastname@example.org>
I'm sure that when Gene Kelly and Van Johnson wandered into that quaint Scottish village called Brigadoon they must have thought they were entering a Scottish theme park. Certainly no modern conveniences around and everyone dressed in costume. But there's a reason for it, a most enchanting reason, the heart and secret of Brigadoon.
Brigadoon ran in the 1947-1948 season on Broadway for 581 performances in the initial production. It was Alan Jay Lerner's and Frederick Loewe's first really big Broadway success though it was their second collaboration. MGM bought the property for the Arthur Freed unit and it lay dormant for a few years while a lot of creative and financial differences got worked out.
Gene Kelly curiously enough had the reverse problem with this that his Broadway hit Pal Joey had. The original production of Pal Joey was his first big musical hit and he never went back to Broadway after. But when the film for Pal Joey finally got made it was with Frank Sinatra in the lead and the part was changed to a singer's as opposed to dancer's role.
Similarly the original Broadway Tommy Albright was a singer named David Brooks and Fiona was played by Marion Bell both pretty good singers. Kelly who could carry a tune had a whole lot of trouble with some of the songs, in fact he himself asked that his version of There But For You Go I be cut from the final film.
Changing over to dancing leads, Kelly got Cyd Charisse as his partner and as was usual, Cyd's singing was dubbed with Carole Richards's voice. They did do some mighty nice dancing though, especially The Heather on the Hill ballet and Kelly's lighthearted romp to Almost Like Being in Love which was the big hit from Brigadoon.
Kelly wanted to shoot the film on location in Scotland, but MGM eying budgetary problems and director Vincente Minnelli's desire to do it on their sound stage the film was shot indoors with Brigadoon recreated at Culver City.
One of my favorite numbers from Brigadoon is My Mother's Wedding Day which the character Meg Brockie sings. It was eliminated by the Breen office censors would you believe. They thought it inappropriate for drunken Scotsmen to be cavorting about on a solemn occasion like a wedding. As a result the character of Meg Brockie was cut down to nothing. A pity because Pamela Britton won rave reviews for her Broadway performance and Dody Heath is left with next to nothing in the role.
Still there's enough of Brigadoon for audiences to still enjoy and dream about an enchanted Scottish village we might all like to escape the travails of the world to.
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