Dame Julie Andrews' contract for The Sound of Music (1965) required her to do a second movie for Twentieth Century Fox. Executive Producer and Director Robert Wise and Producer Saul Chaplin were so impressed with Andrews that, as they were completing The Sound of Music (1965), they knew they had to take advantage of this by doing another big musical in which to cast her. See more »
In the number "Burlington Bertie" the banana skin thrown onstage by Gertie disappears. See more »
The only credits seen at the beginning of the film are those for a fictional black-and-white short subject about Gertrude Lawrence. The film's real credits all appear at the end. However, the Twentieth-Century Fox logo is shown only in black-and-white, and with tinny 1940's-style sound recording, as part of that fictional newsreel. We never see the logo in color and stereophonic sound, although Twentieth-Century Fox released "Star!" See more »
When business didn't meet expectations, the studio suggested some shortening, and Robert Wise offered about 20 minutes of cuts that were literally scissored out of the prints while the film played to initial reserved seat audiences. The studio also tried revamping the ads to appeal to a younger audience, even including a shot of Julie posing with a motorcycle that was just an on-location joke and not a scene in the film. Another idea was to make up a couple print ads that tried to make the movie look like a soap opera, adding "Loves Of A..." to the title. The "Loves Of A Star!" ads were only tested briefly in a few papers, and never used widely. This prompted a politely shocked letter from Robert Wise to the studio, who sheepishly admitted it was a desperate attempt that failed. That title was never put on the actual film. In the spring of 1969, the studio withdrew the film from release entirely and decided on a drastic edit and total new identity. After removing many of the musical numbers and preparing new ads that deliberately made the picture look like The Sound of Music, a two-hour version was released under the title "Those Were the Happy Times". At his own request, The credit "A Robert Wise Film" is not present on this version. The short version did no business. See more »
London, Broadway, the South of France, Julie Andrews
Yes, the story is somewhat thin. But Julie's performance, the music, the backstage scenes, the glamorous locales, the automobiles, the stage -- fill in where plot is lacking. This is, after all, a docu-musical that is, from what I know, a more literal rendering of Gertrude Lawrence's razzle-dazzle lifestyle, than a falsification of what actually happened. Robert Wise has said, to paraphrase him, that this is the one film he wished he could have done something else with. I personally would have included more scenes of Gertie being interviewed as she watched her life on the black & white tinny newsreels, and thus it may have bracketed her full color TODD-AO widescreen recollections. It might have drawn us more into her point-of-view. Still, the stage numbers, locales, party scenes (drunken one or two may have been) are fun to watch and experience. Script aside, the film is very well crafted, indeed.
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