A musical biography of Gertrude Lawrence, who led a hustling and bustling life on the stage.A musical biography of Gertrude Lawrence, who led a hustling and bustling life on the stage.A musical biography of Gertrude Lawrence, who led a hustling and bustling life on the stage.
Andrews makes the most of every musical number--and there are plenty of them--demonstrating her enormous talent along with a flair for a more sophisticated style of acting miles apart from her "Mary Poppins" or "Sound of Music" image. And the staging of these musical portions makes excellent use of the WideScreen photography, emphasizing the lavish budget expended on costumes and sets.
The central reason for the film's lukewarm reception at the box office is surely the fact that no attempt is made to make Miss Lawrence a truly likable person. She is shown, flaws and all, throughout--quarreling with those around her as she puts herself, first and foremost, above all other considerations. It seems that only Richard Crenna (as the man she eventually marries) is able to stand up to her stubborn nature with a will of his own.
Coming on the heels of Julie's outstanding success in previous musicals, it's easy to see why audiences found it difficult to accept her as Gertude Lawrence--when actually, she gives a very strong performance. The script has to share some of the blame. It's a lumbering thing as it attempts to frame the story with newsreel accounts of Lawrence's life before ending the tidbits of information by delving into the main structure of the story.
For fans of Julie who enjoy hearing her belt out song after song in various stages of Miss Lawrence's career, the film does homage to Julie Andrews herself more than to the famous stage thespian.
- Feb 15, 2011