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American Playhouse: Working (1982)
A wan version of a lost classic
This musical deserved more than its short Broadway run, and has gotten new life in college and regional theaters. I had the honor of performing in a community theater version in 2000. The PBS version is a letdown. It is like a documentary with a few songs thrown in. Sometimes the characters are shown talking to the narrator instead of performing or the songs are sung over still photographs or filmed versions of the actors doing 'work,' which blunts the impact. Some of the songs have been cut, and the 'ensemble' cast rarely interacts or performs together. Plus, it is not all that well cast; Barbara Barrie and Beth Howland are very lackluster in their roles (although I usually like Barbara Barrie). Look for a live performance, it will be worth it.
I know I'm in the minority, but this movie is creepy.
First of all, the puppets are so creepy-looking I would think they'd scare children. Second, Lili is 16 years old, and seems more mentally challenged than innocent at times. The movie has her in between two men, one a hound and one a bitter man who slaps her. Both of them look like they are bumping up on 30 or so.
If that isn't disturbing enough, the film has this supposedly 16 year old girl in dream sequences that show her trotting around in a short, low cut waitress outfit or in sequin pajamas, prancing around in front of Marco and trying to seduce him away from his girlfriend. It all left me feeling a little hinky.
Pretty Things (2005)
Good topic, shaky presentation
Others have noted that Goldwyn's documentary was weakened by her insistence on inserting herself into the story. Two of her subjects even told her she was interpreting their stories to reflect what she wanted to see! Her intrusions made it difficult for the women to tell their stories. It was a shame, because the film could have been a vivid picture of an era in entertainment that has disappeared. Older ladies teaching their stuff to the new girl was not a bad idea, but Goldwyn let it take over the show. She also omitted all mention of one of the most famous, and most mainstream strippers; Gypsy Rose Lee! Goldwyn seems talented, but needs to grow as a film-maker.