Change Your Image
Upload An Image
Crop And Save
The Pajama Game (1957)
Definitely worth a look, but a little disappointing
If you love the score of this show, as I do, you should definitely take a look at this movie (although you should know in advance, one of John Raitt's songs from the original B'way version, "A New Town is a Blue Town", did not make it into the film). Raitt has a fantastic voice, and it's a shame he didn't make any other movie musicals in which he was the lead. Doris Day sounds very good as usual, Carol Haney is funny and a terrific dancer, and an added treat is the soft-shoe number from Eddie Foy Jr. and Reta Shaw (you will recognize her as the older character actress from numerous 1960's TV shows---this woman could really dance!). I personally found the visual aspects of this film a little disappointing. A heavy reliance on mid-range and long shots almost gives the feeling of watching the film from a great distance; there are very few close-ups and you therefore get the sense of not really knowing the characters as well, making even the usually perky Doris Day seem a little disengaged at times. The great dance numbers (choreographed by Bob Fosse) occasionally suffer from too much extraneous busy-ness in the scene ("Once-A-Year Day" dancers are sometimes relegated to the background in favor of seated picnic attendees, "Seven-and-a-Half Cents" just looks crowded, and why are the dancers in "Steam Heat" photographed in a long-shot that gives preference to a set of loudspeakers and miscellaneous draped flags?), and although the sets are frequent smoke-filled union meeting halls or dimly-lit office and factory scenes, the lighting could have been more creative (think MGM scene-composition and lighting techniques, and you realize how great this film could have been). Still, I'd definitely recommend it to musical fans.
A Lady of Chance (1928)
Silent shows Shearer's range!
Story of female con artist who falls for her scam victim is just a backdrop for Shearer, who photographs beautifully and shows a remarkable range without uttering a word (check out the "wedding veil" scene, where she moves from mocking the idea of marriage to momentarily embracing the idea, all within a few seconds of subtly-evolving facial gestures). Entertaining, even if plot takes a couple of slightly unbelievable twists, with nice balance of comedy and drama (again, Shearer's range of emotion in the last scenes of the film are impressive and engaging). Clearly shows why Norma Shearer was a major MGM star even before the advent of sound.