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For years I watched this movie on a personal videotape with all the dross edited out---most of which contains Don Novello (aka Father Sarducci) filling up time while Gilda Radner changes costumes backstage. Recently seeing the film "uncut", I cannot begin to say how Novello drags this down. He is the worst kind of unfunny comedian, with smug, pothead observations about life stemming from the obviousness of the human condition and dated bits of politics which are no longer topical. Radner, on the other hand, is amazing in her sets: rarely frantic or desperate for laughs, she plows right through if a joke happens to bomb. If only Hollywood could've tapped into this bottle of unabashed energy and self-delight, we might've seen Gilda in some hot comedies. Her takes on Emily Litella and Roseanne Roseannadanna are outrageously funny, her timing so sweet when she sings "The Way We Were" as Lisa Loopner, her wit sharp but always tempered with love. She clearly was one-of-a-kind, proving that Hollywood does make mistakes--one of them being its inability to turn this crowd-pleasing woman into a star. **1/2 from ****
I tremendously enjoyed Gilda Live. A lot of her most loved characters from
SNL in a broadway show, what more could you want? You get to watch this
amazingly talented actress do what she did best: making people laugh.
It's no more complicated than this: of all the comediennes that came from
the early days of "Saturday Night Live", Gilda Radner was the funniest.
"Gilda Live" shows her doing what she does best. Not only is there a sketch featuring our old friend Emily Litella telling an interesting children's story but also a menagerie of other characters in routines that are funny, touching and somehow heartbreaking.
The biggest scene has to be Gilda singing the song "Let's Talk Dirty to the Animals". Just watch it "Gilda Live"; you'll see why.
Nine stars. Big laughs for the little lady.
I was one of the (very few) people who saw this in a movie theatre. It
was a filming of her comedy act on stage with unfunny Don Novello
popping up so she could go backstage and change costumes. When I first
saw it I hated it. I had never watched SNL so I was completely at a
loss at who these characters were she was playing. The only funny part
I found was her song "Let's Talk Dirty to the Animals" (which alone
gave the film an R rating).
Years later I saw it again after seeing reruns on the original SNL. This time I knew who the characters were and I loved it! I was laughing out loud a few times and came to realize what a great comedienne she was. The only bad part is this comes across as (obviously) a little stagy and Novello's segments are just horribly unfunny. Still it's worth seeing for Radner's comedic talent. However you SHOULD have a basic working knowledge of the characters she played on TV. Otherwise you might not enjoy it.
I give it a 7--Novello is horribly unfunny and the staginess does wear you down.
"Gilda Live" may be the best concert movie ever. It's got Gilda Radner
performing some of her "SNL" skits on stage. Whether it's nerdy Lisa
Loopner playing "The Way We Were", Emily ("Never mind!") Litella, or
Roseanne ("It's always something!") Roseannadanna, she always has
something. Don (Father Sarducci) Novello gives some of his usual
commentary; notice the "coincidenza". It's really too bad that Gilda
Radner died. She was really funny (her song at the beginning of this
movie is truly something else).
I never would have envisioned Mike Nichols directing a concert movie. Now that's always something!
I have been a huge Gilda fan forever and if you really want a taste of her humor and see her most famous characters, then this is definitely the video to rent. This is as close as we can get to a movie solely about her!!
I love Gilda Radner, and was very pleased to be able to get this video. The first time I saw it, I was about 7 and it was on TV at 1 AM in the morning, and I thought it was the funniest thing. This tape of her live theater-like performance is a must-keep, I only hope it comes out on DVD sometime, although I don't know why, but it'd be nice :) There is also a soundtrack to this, and I suggest getting it if you like this tape, there are longer versions to "I Love to be Unhappy" and "Goodbye Saccharin", and also a new song before "Gimme Mick" that do not appear on this tape. So go get both! :) Now only if I could find a poster for Gilda Live...
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
I was a student at NYU when Gilda Live was in production. The production company wanted a college age audience to fill in the seats of the Brooklyn Academy of Music, where the show was filmed. They sent a bus to the dorm & a group of us excitedly left Greenwich Village for Brooklyn. The filming was tedious, boring, long, repetitive (due to many takes of the scenes) and hard to sit through. The ONLY aspect of the night that was in the least bit entertaining was Don Novello both in character as Father Guido Sarducci and out of character as his hysterical self. He kept the audience laughing and in good spirits all night long. Gilda Radner on the other hand was difficult, angry, impatient with the staff and audience, and very acting spoiled. Luckily for her, none of this behavior translated into the final edit. I have seen the final version and enjoy Novello's segments while I recall how he made a potentially unpleasant experience end as a memorable one.
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