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Lloyd Fellowes is the director of a theatre company. He's desperately trying to get his production together, despite the best efforts of the cast, the crew, and Lady Luck. We follow the production from final rehersals, through opening night, and onto the tour: as with any group of actors forced to work closely together for any great length of time, romances and arguments are bound to break out. Quite often, what's happening on stage is nothing compared to what's happening backstage.... Written by
Murray Chapman <email@example.com>
The play which the film is based on is done in three acts; act one is the final dress rehearsal; act two is the matinee performance; act three is the evening performance. The bridge scenes, with Michael Caine's voiceover narration, including the opening scene where he leaves the theatre and the ending scene where he returns, were written for the film and do not appear in the play. In the play, the last line is the frantic call for "Curtain!" See more »
In the Miami matinee, after Freddie's quick change, he trips and falls and both his headband and glasses fall off before he knocks on the door and falls through. In the next shot, his headband and glasses are back in place. See more »
Curtains going up! Curtains going... up! Curtains going up!
A big Broadway opening. Everybody who's anybody in New York is inside this theater tonight. Everybody but one man. This man - ME!
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"Noises Off" brings door-slamming hilariousness to the screen as an adaptation of the stage play. With the cast to die for: Michael Caine, Carole Burnett, Nicolette Sheridan, Julie Haggarty, Christopher Reeve, Denholm Elliott, and John Ritter, the storyline of a cast preparing for out of town run of a comedy quickly descends to back-stage antics, jealousy, lost contact lenses, and sardines at every turn. Peter Bogdonovich steers this witty production of a play, in a play, in a play with multiple staging's as dress rehearsal, opening night, and the worst night in Cleveland is turned into a Broadway triumph.
The initial opening dress rehearsal sets up the story of the play's characters, their original entrances and exits, key lines, and props if all went well. From then on, the production deteriorates with backstage gossip, romances, and fiasco mistakes that quickly become running jokes of missed timing, malfunctioning props, and erratic ego's out of control. Each character's quirks are their achilles heel and from start to finish, the play's momentum keeps the cast on their toes as they step on and over each other to curtain.
If you've ever done theatre at any level, this film is for you. It is simply the most hysterical comedy of timing and entrances. If you've wondered about theatre productions, this film is for you. And, if you just love the theater, this film is definitely for you. It is filled with trueisms that have happened, will happen, and could happen in all the disastrous and varied forms.
I caught this film originally on HBO and laughed so hard I had to buy the video. It is a wonderful film for great performances by the late actors, Reeve, Ritter, and Elliott, and their brilliance is all the more bittersweet by the excellence of their timing, physical humor, and read of the lines. For the sex is Desperate Housewife, Nicolette Sheridan in her underwear from moment one to last scene, on her knees, and blind as a bat without contacts. Michael Caine should have been acknowledged for this performance as he is so perfect as the harried director that it makes his work in drama all the better.
Each time I catch this film, it gets funnier and makes me laugh to tears. See it just to cry over what great talent has been lost too young, and just be amazed and amuzed at what great ensemble casting is all about behind and in front of the curtain.
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