The assistant stage manager of a small-time theatrical company (Polly Browne) is forced to understudy for the leading lady (Rita) at a matinée performance at which an illustrious Hollywood ... See full summary »
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The assistant stage manager of a small-time theatrical company (Polly Browne) is forced to understudy for the leading lady (Rita) at a matinée performance at which an illustrious Hollywood director (Cecil B. DeThrill) is in the audience scouting for actors to be in his latest "all-talking, all-dancing, all-singing" extravaganza. Polly also happens to fall in love with the leading man (Tony) and imagines several fabulous fantasy sequences in which the director is free to exercise his capacity for over-the-top visuals in this charming 1920's era flick. Written by
Bliss Blood <firstname.lastname@example.org>
As hilarious today as it was in 1971, this much loved comedy is probably to musicals what Blazing Saddles is to westerns. I know that might sound odd but the analogy describes how much of a very funny send up of Busby Berkeley musicals and wobbly British seaside theatre this film really is. I saw the longer 139 min version in a 1997 reissue in Australia, and it actually is not as tidy as the shorter 109 min version originally released, It is too excessive and impromptu (cast laughing etc) whereas the shorter version does work better. However it does allow for 2 more songs and some extras in the dance numbers that you will want to see... Twiggy is gorgeous, the art direction superb and the end result hilarious and charming. Interestingly it was made because MGM fumbled the possibility of a straight stage reworking with Julie Andrews (she made Thoroughly Modern Millie instead), and by 1968 the world went to hell in the Vietnam war and street riots. The Boyfriend has aged well, and so has Twiggy. Alert viewers will see some of the same clothes previously in Women In Love because Shirley Russell used to buy the real 1920s garments from London markets and used them in several films her husband made. BRIGHT YOUNG THINGS is a good 2003 equivalent in art direction and style.
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