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This is a quality musical movie, with another ten star score from the
great Jerry Herman, my favorite composer. Most others have said many of
the things I wanted to say here, so I'll just say don't miss it.
Someone questioned why politics were added. In Lansbury's biography,
she states that she turned down the role at first because it was too
"fluffy" and when they added the human rights thing she was more
Composer Jerry Herman was very ill with HIV at the time this was being filmed. She also did this as a favor to him. He really wanted her to do the TV movie of MAME, saying that she was still able to pull it off, but she felt she was too old for the role, and so to do something for her friend, she did this musical, and I am glad she did this (although MAME would have been awesome, and finally a good movie).
The score, orchestrations are 10 out of 10, the only problem I had was with a few of the special effects, I felt they could have been a notch better.
Lansbury and Durning are excellent. This is a great 2 hour experience of the kind of movie that is so rare, and it works because of all of the broadway talent involved, that's who should be making musicals. Director Rob Marshall (Chicago) did the choreography and that's superb.
Great movie, great cast, great music! The DVD also has a great but short "making of." on it, the DVD is definitely in my collection! I wish some of Herman's other shows were good movies, Hello Dolly being the only good one, my opinion of course. There's The Grand Tour, Dear World, La Cage Aux Folles, Milk and Honey and Mack and Mabel, great musicals without being filmed.
I, like so many people, never knew for the longest time that Angela Lansbury could do anymore than show up at dinner parties where people would soon be killed. But this delightful Christmas flick, scored by Jerry Herman, who wrote music for two of Lansbury's Tony-winning roles, has everything a terrific holiday classic needs. First of all, Lansbury's portrayal of the bored Mrs. Claus reeks of charm as we see the type of woman we all wish was our grandmother. There is never a dull moment with her on the screen, and her renditions of the very catchy songs Herman so vividly wrote are superb! The rest of the cast is likewise wonderful, complimenting the "Almost Young" La Lansbury's every move. Of course, they never get a scene on her, but they add a nice background for a presence like herself. The only disappointment is the waste of Charles Durning's talents as Santa Claus. He appears very bland as the allegedly Jolly Old Saint Nick and seems to make Santa depressing. But, luckily, this movie is about his wife and he has maybe 10 minutes total of film time. If you like Christmas and you like musicals, you will adore and treasure this movie for years to come.
This is about the finest made-for-TV Musical I have seen Angela Lansbury in! I can easily visualize this on the stage. I think in the past her talent has suffered from small production budgets but thankfully, that's not the case with this show. Everything is top drawer. This doesn't have the complexity of a drama but that's not the point. This show succeeds nicely at what it sets out to be: a fun, holiday romp. Kudos to her step-son, David Shaw as the Executive Producer.
Possibly the greatest Christmas film ever made, this is fun for kids and the whole family. The lead actress's full talent is explored here through a convincing and 'i'm really enjoying this' performance, with singing and dancing on top. The talent of Jerry Herman is also explored, and 'Almost young', the star song of the show, is memorable, enjoyable and performed superbly. Also very good are the song sung at the very end, the first two and 'whistle'. The added deep meaning of 'stand up for yourself' is evident throughout the film in many disguises, but also evident is the theme and Christmas cheer and kindness. Lansbury proves here that she is the greatest ever actress of all time.
I loved this TV musical because it keeps the talents of Broadway present in the larger TV audience. I love anything Angela Landsbury does. I especially love that Jerry Herman rebounded from illness to then write the songs for this show starring his friend Angela. "Almost Young" is charming and hopeful and stands out for me among the great music of Jerry Herman. I am a huge fan of his work and so very grateful that he is hanging in there. If he ever tells his story, it would be an inspiring work. I can't find the CD for Mrs. Santa Claus, though I have tried to order it. I would love to buy the CD again since the first one I bought for my mother has literally worn out. She sang along with it every day for the last several years during her swims to deal with arthritis. We like these tunes even in the summer. We share a bond through musicals and especially shows like Hello Dolly and Mame. I add Mrs. Santa Claus to that list for us.
Well, what can I say but THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU !!! The magic of Christmas coupled with the excellent performance of Mrs Lansbury and all the cast, works miracles on my almost 1-year old twins who LOVE watching this movie. My son, Gabriel, recognises the movie from the very first notes of the introductory song while my daughter, Megan, is mesmerised by the music and the choreography. They spend the whole length of the movie in utter awe and complete silence, so when I need a break .. on goes Mrs Santa Claus!! In all honesty, I almost know it by heart myself - dialogue, song and all, considering that they watch it every day. Besides the benefit this movie has brought my family, I recommend watching this movie as it has all the right ingredients for wholesome, family fun. Magical Christmas scenery, catchy tunes, marvellous costumes, original plot, breathtaking choreography are all it takes to make the movie, in Augustus P Tavish's own words ...'OUTSTANDING' ...
Angela Lansbury does another good lead role in a TV film as she does
any film.Mrs. Clause is not being paid attention to by her husband
Santa at The North Pole and so she decides to take a trip of her own as
a good cause for Christmas and for shortly before Christmas comes.Yes
as My Mom,Mary E.(Garvey)Baer & I do agree it's very cute & even
interesting as to how Mrs.Clause influences all of the people upon
arrival & even before she does how all of the people are dancing &
singing in the streets & including the Jewish People outside of their
Synagogue & how she inspires them as well.Also in doing so it shows how
even though faiths are different people are still all the same inside.
It's also a very good follow up of the time in history in which it's
placed in US History as well as in the streets of Brooklyn in 1910.
Including how Mrs. Lowenstein had said "I must say I enjoy the
festivities even more than I should." Then in addition to this how one
women on Avenue A is demonstrating how woman aren't allowed to vote &
of which is why even though she's Jewish she had proposed a Christmas
toast because admittedly she has the biggest mouth on Avenue A & it
makes her cause good for a number of good things as well.It was on
Dec.25,1999 that I worked on my first Christmas ever & it was @ a Movie
Theater & I had even enjoyed working on it even more than I had
anticipated that I would.
Truthfully, Stephen "Steve" G. Baer a.k.a. "Ste".
Mrs. Santa Claus is absolutely delightful. It's styled like an old time Broadway Musical and perfect for all ages. My 90 year old mother-in-law and my 2.5 year old granddaughter adored it. It was actually written by a Jewish guy and the words & music were written by another Jewish guy (Jerry Herman who wrote the scores to Mame, Hello Dolly and La Cage aux folles). In addition to the wonderful score, it has Rob Marshall's choreography. The guy who plays the stable keeper is now playing Frankie Valli in Jersey Boys. It also features a young version of the daughter from Grounded For Life who has a fantastic voice. If you have kids, you may recognize Michael Jeter (Arvo) who plays Mr. Noodle on Elmo's World. Angela Lansbury plays Mrs. Santa Claus. There's a lot of talent and good entertainment there. It's now on my list of Christmas movies to watch each year. However, my granddaughter won't let me put it away just yet.
Lansbury is charming as always in this musical from Jerry Herman about Old St. Nicks' Mrs. It's nice to see Lansbury singing again and having a good time.
I would have liked Mrs Santa Claus to be a tad longer, but I was really
surprised at how good this film was when I saw it for the first time
four years ago on TV. While not my favourite Christmas film, it is a
seasonal classic and for several reasons is very special to me.
The production values are lovely. The sets are quite colourful with a magic quality to them. The costumes look warm and cosy. The scenery is breathtaking. And the photography is surprisingly skillful. Even the sleigh looks as though care was taken to construct it.
Jerry Herman's music is just wonderful. The orchestration is very memorable and mellow. But I just adored the songs, especially the beautiful Almost Young, which is the best performed vocally and emotionally rendition of the film. All the songs benefit from great melodies and catchy lyrics.
I love the choreography as well. There have been film musicals where it is sprightly and energetic such as in West Side Story, and some where it is messy and misconceived seen in The Wiz. Mrs Santa Claus's choreography left me transfixed, being neither being too simple or too difficult but showing evident care and skill.
That's not all. The story is not predictable or badly paced in any way. It is original, brisk, exciting and fun. Also towards the end it is even heart-warming.
The script is another strength. It is simple without being too simplistic or childish, mature without being too sophisticated or convoluted, charming and poignant without being schmaltzy and funny without any obscenities and crude humour. In short, it has something for the whole family, adults will love the choreography, script and titular performance and kids will love the production values, songs and story.
The acting is also very well done. Angela Lansbury, a fine character actress who has always had a special place in my heart, is perfection in the title role. Acting-wise she oozes with charm, choreographically she is as light as a feather and natural and singing-wise she emotes and sings beautifully. She is very well supported by the charming Michael Jester, the solid Terence Mann and a slightly underused but still okay Charles Durning.
All in all, Mrs Santa Claus is a seasonal classic in my view and a real treat for fans of a great talent like Lansbury. 9/10 Bethany Cox
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