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The Fantasticks (1995)

 -  Musical | Romance  -  1995 (USA)
5.8
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Ratings: 5.8/10 from 901 users   Metascore: 48/100
Reviews: 70 user | 20 critic | 15 from Metacritic.com

A mysterious fair come to a small community in the countryside, which could make real the illusions of two kids.

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
...
Matt Hucklebee (as Joe McIntyre)
Jonathon Morris ...
Brad Sullivan ...
...
Mortimer
...
The Bavarian Baby
...
His Assistant (as Joe Anthony Cox)
Victoria Stevens ...
Jo Jo, The Chicken Lady
Trayne Thomas ...
Tattooed Man
Shaunery Stevens ...
Dyrk Ashton ...
Gregory Amato ...
Smuin Ballet / SF Dancer
Lee Bell ...
Smuin Ballet / SF Dancer
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Storyline

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 Anonymous

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

One Of Broadway's Legendary Musicals Comes To The Big Screen. See more »

Genres:

Musical | Romance

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG for some bawdy carnival humor | See all certifications »
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Details

Official Sites:

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

1995 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Fantasticks  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Box Office

Budget:

$10,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$24,176 (USA) (22 September 2000)

Gross:

$44,757 (USA) (6 October 2000)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

|

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Paramount Pictures owned the rights to this property in the late 1960s. Originally Gower Champion was set to direct with Howard W. Koch producing. During the summer of 1972 Paramount paid for a trip to Italy by Champion and songwriters Schmidt & Jones to scout locations. By January 1973 the film had been called off. See more »

Quotes

Amos Babcock Bellamy: You see! Whenever you have a problem, the United States Postal Service comes to the rescue.
Ben Hucklebee: Yeah, they run a tight ship.
See more »

Connections

References Feet of Mud (1924) See more »

Soundtracks

Soon It's Gonna Rain
Music by Harvey Schmidt
Lyrics by Tom Jones
Sung by Jean Louisa Kelly and Joey McIntyre
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

The Impossible Film
5 May 2001 | by (Los Angeles) – See all my reviews

I think the defining moment of "The Fantasticks" is the presentation of the song, "It Depends on What You Pay." In this film, that title is the only line from the original song that makes it into the film. That's because an alternate title of the original song is "Rape," the word being defined in the musical as "abduction," not the darker meaning. That explanation, curiously, remains in the film, but the other lyrics, describing different kinds of "rapes" are excluded. The exclusion of those lyrics is not surprising--what seemed only risque in 1960 now seems not only politically incorrect but surprisingly callous and insensitive. The fact, however, that one song from a 1960 Off-Broadway musical cannot fit into a 1995 movie, doesn't necessary mean the rest of the musical can.

Much of what was classic in the past no longer fits into contemporary thought. Updating, however, cannot necessarily preserve what made it into a classic in the first place, and it is not just "It Depends on What You Pay" that's been updated.

Speaking of the original "Fantasticks" as a whole, the score is something I fell in love with 34 years ago. The simplicity of it--scored basically for harp and piano--was a revelation compared to overscored Broadway shows. It also accentuated the music's occasional harmonic surprises, which seem to look forward to Stephen Sondheim. More than this, the minimalist staging--no real sets or props--also was very foward-looking, and assisted in making more timeless what might now seem like a very timebound story. I think the fact the original play has run non-stop for 41 years verifies this.

All this is lacking in the film. Jonathan Tunick's updated orchestrations are good, but they blunt the impact of the score. In place of a bare bones stage, we now see location shooting and a huge carnival set. Other songs are abridged, and dialogue omitted. Maybe this had to be done to adapt the musical into something that didn't seem just a filmed stage event and adapt it for modern audiences, but it isn't really "The Fantasticks" anymore, and it shows on the screen. The film comes off hopelessly hokey and contrived. Worse, it comes off as the very thing I believe I remember Luisa asks God not to make her in the play's introduction to "Just Once": ordinary.

Perhaps this is a film that should never have been attempted. And perhaps someone will have the foresight to release the 1960's TV version on video soon.


7 of 8 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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