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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 <email@example.com>
Excellent musical that should be the basis for all other musicals. Seamless, flawless, and visually stunning. A wide variety of backdrops and settings are used. There is everything from the conventional dance line to a fairy tale setting where the performers are dressed like ladybugs and living in giant mushrooms. There is also a fun take off on Greek mythology done in a scenic forest setting.
By far the two best segments take place with them dancing on a giant record player and another with them made to look like characters on a giant playing card. The giant record player one as got to be the most impressive because they show them on not one, but two giant record players, side by side and from overhead. The dancers than dance on top of the giant turntables and , as a group, make unique symmetrical designs with their bodies. It's like a old Busby Berkley number and yet almost out does even him.
This is a rare film that can carry itself on visual level alone. The story is at best just a standard musical plot. It involves a group of underpaid actors who put on a tacky low budget musical for a small group of people. The film than interweaves between the low budget numbers, which are all still really good, and their visual fantasies of what things would look like if they had a big budget. Twiggy plays the shy awkward crew hand that comes on as the star when the leading lady breaks her leg.
Sure it is, at times, predictable, corny, and lightweight yet it also has a really good sense of humor. The songs ALL have a good score and the dances are certainly fun to watch. Twiggy may never score as a great actress, but she hits the mark here. She has a cute bob haircut and a constantly perplexed expression that is really amusing. All the other characters have amusing idiosyncracies also. Jackson is fun, of course, as the injured leading lady who comes back and is none too happy to see how successful her replacement is.
Some of director Russell's films have been considered excessive and nonsensical. Yet that is not the case here. His visual flair and indulgence really work. This guy has talent. He use of primary colors in every shot is nice.
This is truly a visual delight that is impressive even by todays standards. This is a really fun to watch.
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