Henrietta Robins works out of her home and her husband Pete drives a cab to try to support her. When Pete gets a tip from one of his fellow drivers that a deal will be made by the Americans... 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 »
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 »
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 »
Err, the title is almost a summary itself. Based on the true story of a Texas mom who tries to hire a hitman (through her ex's brother) to kill either or both a cheerleader and her mother. ... 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 »
Neighboring widowers plot to romantically unite their son and daughter by pretending to feud and forbidding the two children to associate with each other. Their scheme works and the two ... See full summary »
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
The actors sing live during the shots, while listening to the music on hidden earphones. See more »
We got your advertisment in the mail and we got a little problem.
Amos Babcock Bellamy:
A love problem.
You two have a love problem? And you seek sympathy from our little band of outcasts? Well, what would you two be willing to do in front of an audience?
Amos Babcock Bellamy:
We're not talking about us. We're talking about our kids.
Who happen to be a boy and a girl.
Less challenging. Follow me.
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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.
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