Behind the Camera: The Unauthorized Story of 'Charlie's Angels'
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3 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

Amazing Angel Casting!

Author: Jim Sgambaty from Santa Clara, CA
9 March 2004

This made for TV movie was a hoot to watch! The 2 hours just flew by! Nice direction, fun 70's music, and well paced. Kudos for the incredible casting! Christina Chambers as Jaclyn Smith (My Favorite Angel) was so 'dead-on' in appearance and voice, that I had to look twice in some scenes. Lauren Stamile as Kate Jackson had her voice down so perfectly that it was darn right freaky. Tricia Helfer as Farrah Fawcett Majors had the hair and smile, but lacked the shy /giddy personality that I remember.

What could possibly be next?? Behind the Camera: The Unauthorized Story of "Fantasy Island" and "Dynasty"......God help us all!

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4 out of 5 people found the following review useful:

Fun Look at the Hit TV Show

8/10
Author: Old70115 from United States
27 April 2004

Well if the Brodcast Networks (ABC,CBS,NBC) are going to make TV movies at all then they should stick to what TV newtworks know best and that of course is TV! Remeber when we only had 7 or 8 tv channels? Remember that if you were watching "Little House" "The Walton's" "dynasty" or "DALLAS" chances were every else was too! Well Remember when TV movies were great (BRIAN'S SONG,BAD RONALD,SALEMS LOT,THE DAY AFTER) well its been years since they gave us something worth talking about. Any how this is a fun look an the creation of the hit show. This also show's Farrah in a positive way. That surprised me. I will not give too much away but lets just say that if your a Pop Culture Junkie you love this! ITS TV JUNK FOOD AT ITS BEST! Take a look!

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4 out of 5 people found the following review useful:

Once upon a time.....TV shows became fodder for TV movies!

Author: Poseidon-3 from Cincinnati, OH
9 March 2004

Another recent trend in Hollywood is filming "untold" or "behind the scenes" TV films about previously broadcast TV series...a continuation of the cannibal-like cycle of television programming. Previous TV shows that got this treatment include "Gilligan's Island", "The Partridge Family" and "Three's Company". They're like "E! True Hollywood Stories" with doppelganger actors playing out all the juicy tidbits instead of relying on interviews or footage. This time, "Charlie's Angels" is the subject and, all in all, it isn't too bad. The makers of this flick have gathered 3 ladies who truly do look and sound like the ones they are portraying. That goes a long way in putting the project over. Helfer as Farrah Fawcett-Majors has the hair down pat and shares the wall-to-wall smile, tan and bone structure. The only big difference is that she isn't quite as ditsy-acting as the real lady was. Stamile as Kate Jackson does a tremendous job with the voice. It had to have taken work and she nails it. Chambers as Jaclyn Smith is startlingly right-on in both looks and mannerisms...even her posture and stride. They all are so good at inhabiting the original trio that it does give one that sense of being "Behind the Cameras". The film has ample humor in it as well, with intentionally hammy portrayals of Aaron Spelling, Jay Bernstein and Fred Silverman. There is also a running gag of show ideas that keep getting turned down even though later they were unbelievable successes. If one has seen any documentary on the series or biographies of the stars, there isn't much new here. Still, it's a fairly captivating two hours for those who enjoy '70's nostalgia, '70's clothing or the series itself. One drawback is the lunk-headed, humorless, one-sided portrayal of Lee Majors. It's true that he had some Cro-Magnon views on marriage, but this teleplay makes it impossible to understand why Farrah would have married him in the first place.

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2 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

Once there were three little girls......

6/10
Author: Angus T. Cat from England
5 February 2006

I watched "Behind the Camera" with my husband on a gray cold winter Sunday afternoon here in the UK. It brightened up our day by bringing back a lot of memories. I was in junior high school when "Charlie's Angels" was first broadcast and I remember the Time magazine cover and the zillions of rip off products capitalizing on Farrah's skyrocket ride to fame. The script tells the story of the making of "Charlie's Angels" effectively and blends in dozens of in jokes bound to be appreciated by those who relish 70s TV (I especially enjoyed the Baretta joke). The three ladies playing the Angels all give skillful performances, recreating the charms of Farrah, Kate, and Jackie while portraying the people behind the glitz. The script illustrates Farrah's struggles with finding a balance between her sudden stardom and the demands put on her by her husband the Six Million Dollar Man. The screen Kate Jackson battles for feminism and her career; I don't know how accurate the script is regarding the women's real life problems, but the film gives an idea of the issues of the time, the pressures of show business, and the meaning of the show for millions of viewers. The role of Jacyln Smith is the thinnest, as the movie shows her mildly troubled by how her character will appear to Smith's family and young girls. Christina Chambers (Maria of "Sunset Beach") fleshes out the role well and she looks particularly lovely. It was a stroke of genius to cast Dan Castellaneta as Aaron Spelling: his performance is supremely enjoyable. The set designers did an excellent job of recreating 70s interiors: I could have sworn I was looking back in time to my parents' living room. I am surprised that with all references to the Angels' hair and the scenes of blonds with identical flicks (some of them trick or treaters) there was no discussion of Farrah's do.

I could not stand "Charlie's Angels" when it was on the air but the film enchanted me by revealing the backstage gossip and recreating a time that now ironically looks mildly innocent compared to today and today's TV. All in all, "Behind the Camera" is an hugely entertaining tribute to an era as well as a TV show .

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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

Music from the Angels Movie

Author: schtdygirl from Cambridge, MA
10 March 2004

Did anyone like the soundtrack of this movie as much as I did? Would love to have all the music; that was the best part of this fluffy thing.. I got a kick out of it. Especially the tight-A Lee Majors! Makes Farrah look like a fluff-head too.

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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

"Three's Company"

2/10
Author: ldavis-2 from I am here. Where are you?
9 March 2004

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

was everything this isn't: it had pace, pop, actors who weren't afraid to chew the scenery, and a decent script. This one had me scratching my head. If Farrah isn't serious about a career, why does she have a manager (and why is he wasting his time)? If Kate and Barney are "artists," why do they sign up for The Mother of All Jiggle Shows? They weren't industry bigwigs, but they weren't exactly starving, either. And while they got the history right (the poster was released before Farrah got the show), Silverman rejecting pitches for "Funniest Home Videos" and "American Idol", and Spelling promising his baby girl Tori that he'll create a show for her someday obviously did not happen.

What bothered me was how Spelling's role is distorted. He's shown as the show-runner and creator when he was neither. And how he "comes up" with the "idea" for Charlie's Angels is laughable!

How were Spelling and Goldberg allowed to enforce Farrah's oral contract when the others were signed? Why didn't Farrah or Bernstein tell them she was leaving not because she discovered her Inner Diva, but because Lee Majors wanted her to? This is why, when it tries to created conflict by setting Farrah up as the "bad girl" (like Suzanne Somers), it fails because the groundwork was never laid -- that was where the "Three's Company" pic delivered.

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2 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

This was supposed to be a biography of the rise and downfall of the program and it wasn't!

2/10
Author: Bradley Baum from London, England
3 July 2006

This was shown on the biography channel and was about as informative as a children's comic! I gave it 2 out of 10 for it's attention to detail because for the most part it had a 70s feel to it and the three ladies that played the original three angels looked like them so the make-up was good.

This was supposed to be a biography on the biography channel but it was void of everything that is normally / usually seen in one of their biographies. No interviews with surviving cast members, crew members, production team members etc., or their friends, families, and any biographers of those people. In fact I know just as much now about the programme as I did before I watched this film that was based on the (supposedly) biographical book. As for actually learning something that no-one knew about the program and wasn't common knowledge well that never happened.

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2 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

Good Nostalgia Trip

8/10
Author: AP-Project from CT
10 March 2004

There's plenty of truth hidden in the glitz of this CA origin story. Some series pilots can have terrible preview screenings, but then go onto great success as this one did. Other shows, without an influential producer, will be killed by mediocre or bad test screenings. The time was right in'76 for CA, and Spelling knew it. However, the world wasn't ready for reality shows then (with many classic comedy and drama shows still in their primes) and green lighting them then was unthinkable. The underlying theme of this movie is every series, and every idea for a series, has a certain time window when it can be launched successfully. As shown in the movie, one of the CA writers later created Cagney and Lacey. C & L probably could not have existed without CA paving the way for it.

As for the Angels themselves, Jaclyn Smith is portrayed as the shy, conservative young woman she was. She was the most demure of the bunch, but ironically Jaclyn became the biggest television star (of the 3) after CA ended. She was in a huge number of highly rated made-for-tv movies. Kate was the most ambitious, but the key to playing her is capturing that distinctive voice. When I recall the show, her voice is impossible to forget. Kate had no idea this would be a "jiggle" show, and it still broke barriers as an hour of television devoted to the weekly adventures of 3 smart women. That concept, for 1976, was revolutionary. Also, Kate came from the "The Rookies," another series that had pushed the envelope, although from a racial aspect. Farrah was raised as a very conservative Texas girl who always put her man, and his needs, first. She practically polled Lee daily to see if he was tolerating her stardom. As Lee self-righteously pointed out, he was making much more money per episode than his wife. Later, perhaps a year or two after the first season of CA had ended, Farrah realized that her upbringing taught her subservience to men, but life had more to offer than that. She became a successful dramatic actress. This movie is very accurate in its details and is well worth seeing.

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Quite dull

4/10
Author: triple8 from Conn
8 February 2005

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I happened to love the show growing up, along with millions of others. So I tuned in to this movie, thinking if not good it might be at least a bit dazzling and fun.

WRONG! I just have to wonder, at the end of this, was Charlie's Angels really that boring? I don't seem to remember it as such. But this movie, as bad as movies of this type can be, bore little resemblance to the excitement of that time period and show. I did see it all, in spite of the negatives, it wasn't unwatchable. But it was very bland, which I do not fault the performers for at all, particularly the women who played the angels as they really did look like them. The movie just wasn't that interesting. It tried to make each angel a "character". (One angel is to feisty, one is the "good girl", one is to into her husband....),all characters were portrayed with one major characteristic defining them and little depth beyond stereotypes. The excitement of the show was missing and the dialog was....dialog. That's pretty much it.

Not awful. Not the worst of TV movies. But missable.

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The three girls were spot on, the movie tongue in cheek

10/10
Author: christinedavid407 from United Kingdom
15 March 2004

This was not a movie intended to take itself seriously, the dialogue was cheesy, but nonetheless, fun to watch.

The girls looked the part, although Ms Fawcett Majors lookalike, didn't exactly look like the Fawcett Majors of old, but that is down to Farrah having plastic surgery.

The sheer back biting between the girls was an eye opener. How the original Charlie's Angels series, ever got off the shelf and became such a huge success is a miracle in itself.

Don't expect this movie to appeal to your intellect, it's not that kind of movie. It's just popcorn fun, bringing the seventies and eighties back.

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