When police discover that a mob hitman has moved in next door to the Robbersons, they want to find out what he is up to. So they set up a stakeout in the Robbersons' home. Hard-nosed, ... See full summary »
Murray is a male fairy godmother, and he is trying to help 8-year-old Anabel to fulfil her "simple wish" - that her father Oliver, who is a cab driver, would win the leading role in a ... See full summary »
The escaped delinquent John W. Burns, Jr. replaces Dr. Maitlin on a radio show, saying he's the psychiatrist Lawrence Baird. His tactless radio show is a hit, and he becomes very popular. ... See full summary »
In 1980, the head usher at the Pasadena Civic Auditorium gives his crew a pep talk: he wants tonight's "Betty Midler" show to go smoothly. He's a little worried about risque language, ... See full summary »
It's time again for California's "Young American Miss" beauty pageant, the biggest event of the year for Big Bob Freelander and Brenda DiCarlo, who give their all to put on a successful ... See full summary »
Gabriel Caine has just been released from prison when he sets up a bet with a business man. The business man owns most of a boxing-mad town called Diggstown. The bet is that Gabe can find a... See full summary »
Molly is a high school track coach who knows just as much about football as anyone else on the planet. When the football coach's position becomes vacant, she applies for the job, despite ... See full summary »
In New York, the journalist Blair Maynard convinces his editor to travel to Florida to investigate the mysterious disappearance of ships in the Bermuda's Triangle area. Maynard is divorced ... See full summary »
Angela Punch McGregor
Two teenagers on neighboring farms steal glances and hide their romance from their feuding fathers. Little do these love-birds know, however, that their fathers are actually good friends who've hatched a plan - with the help of a mystical roving side-show and its equally mysterious ring master - to get these two lovers down the aisle! But be careful what you wish for. Because to bring these families together... they must first be torn apart! Written by
Given the resources and talent involved, one would have hoped for much more, but the movie lacks the sparkle of even a mediocre stage production.
Joel Grey as Bellamy phoned in his performance. Even making allowances for the fact that he was 63 when he made the movie, his performance was remarkably lifeless and his singing was unremarkable, even strained at times. Brad Sullivan as Hucklebee was even worse, flat performing and flat singing. Joseph McIntyre as The Boy turned in a passable performance, though he didn't really do the role justice. Jean Louisa Kelley as The Girl was perhaps the brightest spot in the lineup, delivering an adequate if not inspired performance.
Jonathon Morris was sadly miscast as El Gallo. He had the agility and strength needed for such a physical role, but lacked the proper menacing look needed. His acting was, if not totally flat, at least rather plastic. And the one song he needed to really carry -- "Try to Remember" -- he didn't have the voice for.
The staging was the most inspired part of the movie. Simply filming the minimalistic stage production wouldn't have worked, but the movie's set -- two homes and a carnival set in the prairie -- was sufficiently minimalistic to honor the play's concept while still bending to the requirements of the big screen. This facilitated devices that helped to flesh out some of the more ambiguous scenes in the play.
The script was unfortunately a Bowdlerized version. The song substituted for "The Rape Ballet" was incredibly uninspired and inconsistent. It was almost as if the writer wanted the substitute to be bad, in retaliation for pulling the original piece. In addition to "The Rape Ballet" substitution, several other songs were changed from the original, generally not for the better, and the delightful "Plant a Radish" was omitted entirely.
Perhaps the saddest change of all from the stage play was that the role of The Narrator was essentially omitted, and with it some of the most enchanting poetry in the script.
14 of 16 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?