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|57 reviews in total|
I have to admit that when I first saw West Side Story, I didn't like it, but there are other movies that I didn't like when they first came out such as Gigi, but as the years roll by, these movies now are very entertaining. I believe that movies like West Side Story and Gigi were not really good for the time that they appeared. They are more for today than yesterday and will be much more appreciated for what there are in the future years to come. As far as casting goes, they could not have done a better job. The original cast on Broadway just could not have done it. There has been a lot of criticism about not casting Broadway Stars in the movie versions, but the Broadway Stars could not bring the American movie going public into the theaters to make the movie pay for itself. At first, Jack Warner was criticized for not casting Julie Andrews in the movie version of My Fairf Lady, but as Warner stated in his autobiography, nobody in Des Moines knew who Julie Andrews was, but they certainly knew who Audrey Hepburn was because the financial boom that was made off of her portrayal in The Nun Story proved that, and he was right in his casting her as Eliza even though most of her singing was dubbed by Marni Nixon. We will never know what My Fair Lady would have been like with the original soundtrack with Audrey Hepburn doing her own singing, but some of the songs were partially sung by Hepburn, but we do know that Marni Nixons voice was not suited for Audrey, but it was suited for Deborah Kerr in The King and I and definitely suited for Natalie Wood in West Side Story. Most of the singing for Anita was done by Rita Moreno for West Side Story, but only one song was dubbed and that was her duet with Maria for A Boy Like That. But as we know, dubbing is not a new thing in Hollywood. Rosalind Russell who can sing said in her autobiography that no matter what anyone says, that's Roz singing up there, but that's not entirely true. All of the songs were sung by Russell except for one. She just could not get Everythings Comin' Up Roses off the ground, so Warner hired Lisa Kirk to do the honors and for a hefty sum of moolah! But, back to West Side Story. First time around I hated this movie. Just couldn't stand it, but as the years roll by, now I see it as a great movie and a true work of art. The only flaw that I see is at the beginning of the movie when the boys start dancing while bouncing the basket ball. Still does't set well with me. Being an ex-dancer myself, it could have been done with less of a ballet-ish beginning. The guys look too much like sissy's that rough tough gang guys! But, thank God I can remember when it first came out and I saw it on the great big wide screen with stereophonic sound. This is the way movies like this should be seen. If you haven't seen it that way, you have never seen the glory of West Side Story. When I was in the Army, I went to Paris, France, and the Parisians wouldn't let it go. It was still playing at one of their theaters for three years running. Now, that proves that that West Side Story is one of the greatest movie musicals ever made!
Deep In My Heart was recently shown on Turner Classics and for some reason it was shown in a Letter-Box presentation. I remember when this film first came out and there were no widescreen movies at that time, but I do remember that when the widescreen process did appear, many of the old film were redone over in a widescreen process such as "The Wizard of Oz" and Disney's Fantasia which was preprocessed in Super-Scope with the advertisement "Fantasia Will Amazya!", even though Disney originally had planned to make Fantasia in a widescreen process it didn't happen because of World War II, but all it did in a Super-Scope presentation was to have it's fans run out of the theater screaming! So, I don't remember "Deep In My Heart" being released at that time in a Widescreen process, but maybe they did. This film ages like a fine bottle of wine. I really didn't like it then, but I do now, and I remember that the M.G.M. Soundtrack album was a very big seller at the time. So, let's not bring up the negative parts about the film. Instead, remember that no one knew that Jose Ferrer could sing and dance, and above all, he was an accomplished piano player as well. Yes! That was Ferrer playing the piano. And what about Helen Traubel. Well, anyone that didn't like her performance in the movie should be hung Softly As a Morning Sunrise! All her songs were perfection and her rendering of "Stout Hearted Men" was so effective that it's a wonder that everyone wasn't standing at attention during her singing of it. Sure, the movie has its flaws, but the overall effect is wonderful. I thought Jose Ferrar playing all those different parts when they were trying to write the show for Al Jolson was kinda dumb, but he did it so well. Tony Martin I've never really liked. He always sounded to me like a singer with a tight girdle trying to strangle him. Ann Miller? Well, there's something very obnoxious about Ann Miller. Probably because she was always given these parts of a girl with an abnormal appetite for the opposite sex, but her best role was playing Lois Lane in "Kiss Me Kate"; she was great! So, why aren't films like this appreciated today? Once again, this is another one of those wonderful films that you have to see on the large silver screen in a movie theater to really enjoy! Television only gives you some of the enjoyment of it. Again, I wish they would release these films nationwide in movie theaters so all the young people could see what all the drum beating is all about, but Deep In My Heart I know that When I Grow To Old To Dream, I'll Have This Film To Remember!
Sure, this is not a very good musical, but on the other hand, like most bad movies, it's the behind-the-scenes activity that makes it all the m ore entertaining to watch it. It's just like Liz and Dicks version of "Cleopatra": Even before the movie was released in the theaters, everyone was so informed as to what went on behind-the-sense that they went in droves just to see what all the hall-a-bah-loo was all about. Well, in Esther Willimas very funny autobiography "Million Dollar Merimad", she said that, first of all, Joan wanted her director Charles Walters to be her director on her first musical in her return to M.G.M. and, of course, Joan wanted Charlie-Boy in the sack as well as her director, but one thing wrong with that. Walter's is/was Gay, but Joan was sure she could convert him. So, she asks Esther if she can have him, and Esther says yes, while thinking, "Oh, please don't let her kiss me" and Joan plants one big kiss on Esthers lips with her famous "Bless You"! . So, in Joans first creative number, she and the director of the film, Charles Walters, do a dance number to a song that sounds very familiar. Well, of course, "You're All The World To Me" which as the song that Fred Astair did his famous dancing-on-the-ceiling-and-walls number in "Royal Wedding". Yes, people, same soundtrack whittled down for Foan and Charley-Boys big number. Later on you have "Two Faced Woman" sung by India Adams which was deleted from "The Band Wagon" with Cyd Charisse doing the number. Cyd's version was deleted because the film was too long, but you can see it on one of "That's Entertainment" films. I'm not sure that Cyd's version was better than Joan's, but for some reason I really like Joan Crawfords version. But, the film is just there. Heaven knows, it's entertaining once you get over the fact that Joan Carwford in her masculine portrayal could possibly fall in love with a blind man in which she claimed to him that he should get an eye-seeing human. That was a little too crass for even Joan Crawford to recite. But it's entertaining even if all the numbers that were sung by India Adams was deleted from the Band Wagon. I guess that's as good as any reason to use the numbers somewhere else, but you know what? For some reason I liked the movie. You really have to see in in a movie theater on the big screen in its glorious technicolor to really appreciate it for what it is, or maybe what it could have been. Quien Sabe! It's a good diversion for one who is bored on a weekend without nothing to do unless a White Rabbit runs by you say, "Oh my fur and whiskers; I'm late for a very important date. I'd fallow the rabbit! It would be my luck that the Queen of Hearts would be Joan yelling, "Off with his head!"
I'm a romantic! Always have been; always will be! This movie was aired for the first time on H.B.O. last night. Never saw the film, but heard a lot about it; mostly damaging, so I wasn't sure what I was expecting to see, but to my surprise, I was happy that I was lied to about what the film was really all about, but the problem with people seeing this movie is that you really have to be someone other than a city-slicker and have to love and appreciate the outdoors and nature! The scenery is spectacular. The story is very moving. The performances are incredibly honest. I wasn't sure how the end would come out, but it was one of those freak accidents that never can be explained leaving all those who loved the person beside themselves except for Jacks parents. It seems like they knew their son better than what most parents know their own son and was accepting of his life-style. They also knew who Heath was even though they had never met. This was apparent in Jacks father knowing where Brokeback Mountain was, and especially Jacks mother and how she related to Heath, and I'm willing to bet that the true ending to the story is that Heath later returns to Jacks parents and lives with them, and helps them with the farm until their dying day standing in for Jack as their second son! And this would complete Heaths love and respect for Jack! Betcha! So, after last nights airing, I have to say that I loved every minute, every second, and every foot of this classy film. How can, anyone, straight or gay, if they have any love in their hearts, not have compassion, and love, for these two men? But, when you come right down to it, how many men, and I'm sure there have been more than what we realize, found then selves moved because they, too, at one time, had been somewhat, in the same situation? But, and I know I'm going to be criticized for this, this is not a gay cowboy love story! These two men are not gay. It's true that circumstances being what it was in the mountains, no women around to have sex with; well, the inevitable happened and what started out to be a rape, turned out to be a love relationship that is hard to explain. What happened to them in the mountains caused them to become very much in love with a sexual relationship that was beyond gay, but even though that relationship continued on pass Jack's death, the two men were not gay! I don't know how to explain this any better. Even they both told each other that they were not queer! Maybe, I could say it was better than gay, that their relationship was more than gay! It was higher up the ladder! I'm sure that there is someone out there that knows what I'm trying to say when I say it was higher up the ladder than just being gay. It may have been a love relationship that many gay men would love to have but have never experienced! Anyway, this movie just tore me apart, and at the end when Willie Nelson, by the way one of my favorite performers, was singing, "He Was A Friend Of Mine", I just sat there overcome with a big large lump in my throat with tears pouring down my cheeks! Such an overwhelming, powerful, love story. Anyone who doesn't love this movie is a heartless, unloving, old Grumpy!
I remember when this movie first came out, and a clip was played from
the movie to promote it on television. It was the scene where Rosemary
Clooney has been misinformed about what Bing is going to do to promote
the show and she slams a chair on the stage and walks off. This was at
a time when new Wide-Screen Movies were going a-muck and this was the
first movie presented in Vista-Vision one of the many to come our way
such as Cinamascope, Super-Scope, Cinerama, and Todd-A-O just to
mention a few. So, we know the movie and how entertaining it is, but
there is a little history behind it and one of it's stars.
Rosemary Cloony, born and raised in Maysville, Kentucky, started singing here in Cincinnati, Ohio with her sister Betty on W.L.W. Radio, and then eventually Rosemary went to New York City and then eventually to Hollywood where she made a few films, but White Christmas was to be her most well known and successful film of her career. I remember when Rosemary made her debut in the movies in "The Stars Are Singing" and we were having exams in High School, so after the exams a friend of mine and I went to the Albee Theater and saw her walk in through the Vine Street Stage Door to the theater. Then between showings she got on the stage, sang some songs and talked about how it was so amazing to see herself on that big movie screen. So, years later, Rosemary's brother Nick would be our news anchor at W.K.R.C. television and then his son George Clooney, Rosemarys nephew, would make his mark in Hollywood as an excellent actor. Wonder where he got the talent from? So, Rosemary was on Tom Snyders Show on T.V. and he said, "I guess you're very proud of George, aren't you?" And she answered, "Oh, yes! But when he first came to Hollywood, all he wanted to do was sit on my couch, watch T.V., and drink beer. So, I had to kick his ass out of the house tell him to get a job!" So, back to White Christmas: One thing that people don't know is that Donald O'Connor was originally scheduled to play the Danny Kaye part but couldn't so he eventually played with Bing Crosby in the remake of "Anything Goes", and since Vera Ellen never really had a good singing voice, her voice double was usually Anita Ellis and for Call Me Madam, Carole Richards, who dubbed mostly for Cyd Charisse, but for White Christmas, when Vera Ellen is singing, that's really Rosemary's sister Betty Clooney dubbing for Vera Ellen's singing voice. By the way, Vera Ellen was born and raised in a section of Cincinnati, Ohio called Norwood! We can count our blessings that we have such wonderful entertainers from this city, including Doris Day, George Chakiris, Tyrone Power, and there's a rumor that Roy Rogers was born on the waterfront, and of course, the Looney Clooney's including George!
Well, it's O.K., but by the way everyone acts, sings and dances in this movie, it looks like they all were threatened with suspension from the studio if they didn't all participate. As much as I've always loved Kathryn Grayson, who I still say is the finest singer Hollywood ever put on the silver screen, she acts and sings like she's a spoiled teenage singing and acting in a High School production of Show Boat, and Tony Martin is a prime example as to why he should never have tried to play Gaylord Ravenal in the screen version of Show Boat in which you see a much finer Kathryn Grayson. Don't get me wrong; the movie is O.K. if you've run out of things to do, or if you've can't get out of the house because you're living in Chicago during a snow storm. Then you've got poor mixed up Judy Garland trying to tell Ms. spoiled Bremmer that things change for the good of the show, including her song being given to Judy playing Marily Miller. Then Bremmer does some over acting while chewing up the wall be because that was her song given to her by Uncle Jerry, which proves why relatives should not work together in the same business. No one in this movie is up to par with their talents and whatever happened the Lee and Lyn known as The Widle Twins? So to get a little more money out of a production gone wrong, M.G.M. releases what they shout is the album that started it all being the first soundtrack album from a movie. Well, it may have been for M.G.M., but the first? Not so Suzy Wong! The first soundtrack album was R.C.A. Victors 3 78 rpm record album with songs and partial duologue from Walt Disney's Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. But, again, for movies like these to be really enjoyed, they should be seen on the big movie screen. There are couple of reasons why people, today, do not like musicals. For one thing - they really don't make them anymore because of a lack of talent. Another reason is that you really have to see the old movies on large movie screens, but as Ann Miller said, we'll never see the likes of these performers again!
I love this movie! I love every foot, every minute, and every second of it! When I first saw this movie I was a practicing Mormon, and now that I am of the Catholic Faith, I love this movie even more than ever. There is a rumor about this movie that it was loosely based on the life of Cardinal Spellman. Was it? Could be, but I haven't found proof, but now that it has been completely restored on Video and in Wide-Screen; what a pleasurable experience, and what a cast. Perfection! And of course, even though briefly in the film, John Huston, as usual is the scene stealer, but when you watch it, I think that the reason this movie is so enjoyable is that not only does everyone look like they love being in the film, they all look like each one of them is trying to steal the scenes from one another and that just makes the film more enjoyable. In the book "The Hustons" John Huston was suppose to have told Preminger to watch himself when directing Tom Tyron because Tyron was a very nervous person and he was not to scream at him in any way, and the first thing that Preminger did, after hearing this, was to walk in back of Tryon and scream at him which sent him almost into having a nervous breakdown right there on the set. This was Tom Tryons last movie assignment and it could well be because of Premingers attitude toward him. Nevertheless, Tryon went on to become a very successful author and if it wasn't for him, we wouldn't have "The Dark Secret of Harvest Home" in which when it was filmed for television, we were to enjoy Bette Davis playing Widda, but back to The Cardinal, if anyone asks if this movie was the movie that made me convert from Mormonism to Cathocism; the answer is no. It was "The Sound of Music", although later, I was disappointed to find out that Mary Poppins was a Protestant!
When this movie was first released, I was a teenager and the movie theaters were having a field day with science fiction and especially outer space movies. There are two movies at this time that I really like, "The Day The Earth Stood Still" and "This Planet Earth", but why do I like "Stood Still"? Well, no one really knew what the writer was writing about until many years later! If you notice; Klatoo comes from heaven to teach the world to love one another and if they don't that their world will be reduced to a cinder. After escaping from the hospital, Klatoo takes on the name of Mr. "Carpenter"? Then he meets a woman who has a young male-child who is almost ready to marry a man who turns out to be power-hungry; a sort of "Judas" type person. Next he proves to be quite a miracle worker when the earth stands still. Helens boyfriend turns to Judas, then Klatoo is killed and Gort, the God-Force, brings Klatoo back to life.Klatoo finally give his message after he's been resurrected and he ascends back to heaven from whence He came! I think that it is no secret, now, that what the writer did was loosely base the movie on the life of Jesus Christ. This was innovative, but only a few has seen this, even today, and the movies message is more powerful and needed today. It's almost as if the movie has become very prophetic, but it's funny how a movie has become famous through the years by people playing trivia games asking "What did Klatoo tell Patricia Neal to tell Gort is anything happened to him." Many bets were made with this question and many bets were won! Anyway, what the film is saying, if we take our violence into the planetary system, we will eventually be destroyed, but if we learn the value of love and peaceful living - the Universe is ours! This is a great movie for all to see. We have a valuable lesson to learn from it. Unfortunately, you can lead a horse to water, but - - - - -
Actually, Gullivers Travels was the first animated feature made. It was
completed before Disney completed Snow White. The problem was that no
one would take a chance with it. Like they said about Snow White, "No
one will sit through a full-length cartoon!" Of course, Disney proved
them wrong. Howard Hughes was no fool and that's why he took the chance
and originally disturbed Snow White through his corporation R.K.O.
Radio Pictures, but the animators for Gulliver were in contract with
Paramount and when Snow White became a great big success, then
Paramount finally released Guliver on the heels of Snow White figuring
it finally would get the success it really deserved! So, just as Snow
White's soundtrack was released on a three 78 rpm record album, Decca
released the soundtrack from Guliver on a three 78 rpm album.
So, where did Disney get his idea for the multi-plane camera? Could it be that there were spy's at Paramount reporting to Disney that they had invented a two or three plane type of animation while they were producing Gulliver? But has anyone, today, known that Gulliver was produced in a 3-D version where you had to wear the 3-D glasses? For some reason it has never been shown in that format, the same as when 3-D was going out, they never played "The Day The Earth Stood Still" in the 3-D version and probably at this time it probably disintegrated long ago.
So, back to what I've said before: A lot of people who see these old movies, today, see them on television and not in the theaters as we did growing up. It's very easy to criticize an old movie like Gulliver's Travels and seeing what you might think are imperfections. Let's face the facts, when these features were made, they photographed on drawings that were about the size of a 21-inch television picture. You don't really see the beauty and entertainment value unless you see these old moves on the great big theater screen. None of you know what a marvel it was the first time you saw The Robe in Cinmascope with 3-channel stereophonic sound, or the thrill when Lowell Thomas said, "This Is Cinerama!" and how you sat there in awe while you felt you were actually on that roller-caster ride. Today, everything is wide-screen and an inferior stereophonic sound! It's just like going to another movie, except in our day to get in the movies you payed as a kid 10-cents and got a ten-cent bag of buttered popcorn with a newsreel, serial, previews of coming attractions, and 2 features. If you were an adult, you paid 25-cents and two bags of buttered popcorn would be 20-cents. So, you could take a date to the movies for 70-cents. We should have it so good today!
Geeeeee! I just saw this on Turner Classics for the first time since I was a kid when you went to the movies 'cause there was no television in the homes in those days. Everything was radio, or a 78 rpm record player, and as teens we would sneak into the Gayety Burlesque House here in Cincinati to watch Rose La Rose perform. This may be going off on a tangent, but Bob Edwards, the head of A.G.V.A. (American Guild of Variety Artists in which I was a performing member; no, I was not in Burlesque) told me about the time that the manager of the Gayety called him and said the musicians went on strike and that he was needed. Of course, he didn't know what he could possibly do, but he told the manager to find something to play music so they hooked up a radio, and the dancers would dance to whatever kind of music they could find and Bob said he went down to the theater in hot pursuit. So, he got there just in time for the star stripper to do the finale to the show and just as she got ready to go into her bumps and grinds, the music stopped, and a voice came over the theater system saying, "Have you had a rough day? Has it made you tense? Then bare it all with Bayre Asprin!" Well, Bob said he grabbed the curtain backstage and almost tore it down trying to stand up and laugh at the same time. The star stripper was not amused! So, here we have Barbara playing Gypsy Rose Lee, of course, because it's known that the first first novel someone writes is always an autobiography with a changed name, and for Gypsy's G-String Murders turned into Lady of Burlseque. They had to change the name in those days! It's lucky that the books title got mentioned on the screen seeing the power that The Hayes Office had for decency in those days! So, we have a different Barbara here. We have her singing in Burlewque, yes that's her singing, and she's dancing, doing cartwheels and playing straight-man to all the comics and turning in quite a remarkable performance. There are only two movies that she has made that I really like, this one and Christmas in Conneticut which has become a Christmas Classic to enjoy during the Christmas Holiday! They tried to re-make Christmas in Conneticut a few years ago. Big flop! Please, will the God of Burlesque never let them re-make Lady of Burlesque? Between this movie and Gypsy with Rosland Russell and Natalie Wood playing Gypsy Rose Lee, these are my two favorite Burlesque movies of all time! It's just a shame that they didn't have a Guitar Playing Female Singer in the cast which reminds me of the time that I was doing this show and this girl was on before me and she was playing her guitar and singing and all of a sudden she broke one of the strings on her guitar and not realizing it, she said, "Oh, my God! I just broke my G-string!" Brought the house down and I'm suppose to go on after that? Ah, the trials and tribulations of show business! Those great days are gone forever, but great are the memories!
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