Reviews written by registered user
|28 reviews in total|
OK - I know I will be sent to Sweeny for a shave myself for what I am
about to say, but here goes.....This is another reason why a Sondheim
show is hard to film. There is something missing and I just can't put
my finger on it. I'll admit it is a great looking film with great
actors and it is always nice to see a Broadway musical on film, but
there is just something there that kept me from coming away with a
"WOW" as the credits rolled.
Maybe it's knowing the show so well and what a big scope of a thing it is on-stage and then to find it all in the cramped quarters of a movie screen with all the choral music missing. Some of those sounds and harmonies are just as haunting as the show itself.
As I mentioned above, it is great to have it added to the list of adapted Broadway musicals and Tim Burton was the perfect choice to do this kind of film, but.........
As the song title states, I can sit and watch this film again and again, especially now that it's on DVD and in a glorious release! What colour, what spectacular circus scenes. Both Busby Berkley and Charles Walters make use of the Cinemascope screen. Doris Day is at her perky best and what a treat to see two such clowns as Martha Raye and Jimmy Durante in a film together. Even such a small part as John Noble, the rival circus owner, is played by a great character actor - Dean Jagger. The only small fly in the ointment is Stephen Boyd. He is not suited for musicals, in fact I could never see what people saw in him as an actor, except maybe his good looks......OK, I'll give him that, but only that. The R & H (Rogers and Hart this time) score survives and even the additions by Roger Edens work to bring the wonder and amazement of the Pop Wonder Circus to life. This was one of the last, if not THE last, major musical from MGM and it shows they still had not lost their touch!
This is an odd, but charming, little film. A remake of an old Ginger
Rogers film called Tom, Dick or Harry. But somehow in musicalizing it
and making the changes necessary for the new location, something has
been lost and I just can't quite put my finger on it.
Your have a great cast! Jane Powell, fresh from her MGM days. Kaye Ballard in one of her very rare movie roles (there are times when she still seems to be playing to the balcony) and a great supporting cast of people like Frank Caddy, Una Merkel, Cliff Robertson, Tommy Noonan and Keith Andes, who was also rarely seen on film. The choreography by Gower Champion is bright and inventive, especially the number on the beach and a score by Hugh Martin and Ralph Blane. What else could someone want?
I still don't know.
Ms Powell's character has no redeeming characteristics. She is out for one thing and one thing only - to marry a rich man and she doesn't care who she steps on along the way. Then when she does have the millionaire she just drops him suddenly,on the very hour of their wedding, to go back to Fiancée #2, the mechanic, with no thought to Fiancée #1 (her childhood friend) who seems to be the only one honestly in love with her. Ah love - one can never understand it.
Picked this up for a quarter when our local Video Store was selling off
all his VHS tapes. Had seen it around and a fan of James Coco, so
thought it would be fun. Well, was I wrong. Well to be honest, James
Coco is the best thing in it. This lame comedy about a computer nerd
who sells his sole to Dr. D to become a hunk is like one long SNL or
SCTV comedy sketch. John Allen Nelson is nice to look at, but then so
is his nerdy self Steve Levitt. It's the others around him that are
hard to take when they're on screen and don't ask me what Robert Morse
is doing here.
I think my twenty-five cent price tag was pretty good for what it turned out to be.
The only thing this film has going for it is catching all the great actors, at the start of their careers) that are in smaller roles as the sailors on board - James Farentino, a skinny James Coco, Larry Hagman, George Lindsay, Dick Gautier and even a young Jack Nicholson! OK Walter Matthau is worth watching in anything he does, but that is all. The rest of the film is another Josh Logan homo-erotic mess. Yes, it is. He seems to have spent more time on the scenes where the sailors get together and have fun dancing in their underwear, whacking each other on the butt, running around with no shirts and skimpy shorts and there is even a scene where one sailor, as they sit and listen to the radio, has one arm draped over another guys leg. The rest of the story is like the boat they are on - old, rusty and goes no where. The worst is Robert Walker(who should have kept the Jr after his name)who does his best to do a perfect Jack Lemmon impersonation and that gets irritating as you wonder why they didn't get Jack himself. He probably read the script.
Being a dancer, well, former dancer, I loved seeing this film when it originally came out. Felt it was a little short and still concentrated heavily on MGM. Not wanting to take out the fact that MGM WAS the greatest producer of musicals in Hollywood, but there were some others just as good and memorable from other studios. Glad it is now on DVD, and watching the extras (very poorly put together BTW)I can see that in it's original form, this film would have rated a 10 from me. Kelly says that the film originally ran well over 2 hours and is now down to just over 90 minutes. There must have also been problems in securing rights from different studios, as a lot seem to be poorly represented (20th) or not at all (Columbia). My only other complaint, and would have given more time for others, is that they almost show the entire number to represent a dancer or film. Some of the clips in That's Entertainment we a little too short, but there could have been a happy medium. I would have given up looking at the Jets for that length of time if I could have seen other BDWY to HWYD transfers as Hello, Dolly! / Mame / Grease / Guys and Dolls and especially a rarely seen film like Where's Charlie? But all in all, when the music stops and the dance is over, the fiddler has been paid and the memories linger.
---and see him in three roles in this B / W comedy of his. His first is
the lead role of Rusty a bumbling photographer who is trying to save
the family business; his father a rather old fashioned and quiet guy
that might be Rusty one day if not for his Grandfather (the third
role), a playboy a heart, who shows Rusty how to handle a woman
properly. The special shots of the three of them and even two of the
same characters are great and there is no blurring screen or noticeable
break in the film.
This film may be only for Skelton fans, of which I am not really one, but I did found a lot of the routines here funny (especially a scene in a Dr.'s change room) and did laugh out loud at some of Skelton's delivery and timing. The girls are great - Arlene Dahl and Ann Miller. They have their share of gags, though Miller is quite far the funniest of the pair. Some tributes to old movies are obvious, especially in the final chase scene. The only scene people might find objectionable today is where Grandpa tells Rusty how to handle and keep a woman by showing him old Clark Gable and Robert Taylor movies.
This is great preservation of a moment in cinema history.
They say that ballplayers can have a slump, like Palmer does in this movie. I'd also like to add that so do writers and this is Simon's slump. He must have needed the money as the plot has none of the Simon wit of scripts past and the whole idea has been recycled numerous times over the years by every writer in LA. Ashby's direction lacks any pacing at all and the whole thing could have been cut by at least 20 minutes. I will admit there are moments of fun but they are brief and far between. The film also seems dated. I went on a Simon kick last week and watched Barefoot in the Park and The Odd Couple 1 and 2 and they still hold up even though the first two were written in the 60's. Simon has had little success with scripts written directly for Hollywood (Murder by Death is an exception) and his biggest successes have always been stage plays first.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
I gave this film a low rating only because I just saw a dubbed version and I must say it is the funniest film I've seen in years - especially the first half and only because of the English dubbing. The dubbing seemed every joke you've heard about dubbing an Asian movie. I wish now I had watched it with subtitles as then the original feelings and emotion would have come through and I might have given it a higher rating. I think there is a good film there. Some interesting idea and creative shots and neat effects. The one thing that did bother me was that if they poured that much stuff down the drain, how come there is only one monster?
Miss Reynolds came out of "semi-retirement", as she likes to say, to star in this Albert Brooks comedy. She is amazing - so underplayed - so deadpan - so funny. Brooks on the other hand can be a whiner at times and you almost want to slap him for what he says to his mother, but like a good mom, she takes it and realizes he loves her deep down and doesn't mean it. The two together in their scenes are right on with pacing and the snappy dialog Brooks has written. Rob Morrow is a hoot as the jealous brother who also wants the mother's attention as well as a young Lisa Kudrow in a small, but very funny, part of a girl he goes out with after his divorce. For anyone with a mother, this film is a must!
|Page 1 of 3:||  |