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About as close to the book as God's Little Acre is to the Bible
I had just finished reading the book, and was really looking forward to seeing this TV adaptation which was broadcast on the Hallmark Channel on Monday night (5/30/05). The key to the whole book was the manifesto which was stolen by the man with steel teeth, but I watched for an hour (out of 3 1/2) and I saw the man with the steel teeth but I never saw him steal a manifesto. I saw someone steal some virus but what did that have to do with the book? It's too bad because this film had great production values and a good cast, but isn't the idea of turning a book into a movie (TV or film) to get the people who read the book to be part of the audience. They only kept me for an hour. I thought the premise of the book was great and what did they do but throw out the whole premise. This book had a great McGuffin (to paraphrase Hitchcock) but they ignored it. And it said in the titles that Forsyth was involved in the production. They sure must have paid him a LOT of money.
The Band Wagon (1953)
One of the best musicals of all time.
I think this is a highly under appreciated musical. Taking nothing away from Singin' in the Rain or American in Paris, this was one more absolute gem that MGM put out in their golden years. From Astaire's wonderful number early on in the Arcade (who was that shoeshine man?) to the Dancing in the Dark number with Charisse-which has got to be one of the sexiest, most romantic dances ever put on screen-this movie had it all. It was colorful, tuneful, and a joy to watch. Fabray and Levant were great together and Buchanan was hilarious. The Band Wagon is a true classic musical. I know that when I get to heaven, Cyd Charisse will be dancing with Fred Astaire--when she isn't dancing with Gene Kelly of course.
I was pleasantly surprised by this fine film
This is really a great movie. I've been trying to track it down for years and just found it on the Fox Movie Channel last night. The script is well written and for a Hollywood bio-pic it is pretty historically accurate. I thought Knox was excellent as Wilson and wished he had done more high profile movies. And I was also very impressed by the high production values.
Don't know how much Zanuck spent on it but it was all up there on the screen. The Technicolor of those times is always lovely to look at too. Of course it came out in the middle of World War II, so a slight excess of flag-waving is to be expected. And any cast of supporting actors that runs the gamut from Thomas Mitchell to Vincent Price can't be all bad either. An altogether entertaining top quality movie.