TV Version Makes Interesting Comparison with 1931 Film
Unlike some of the other contributors on this site,I prefer this 1974 Great Performances adaptation of the popular Kaufman and Lardner comedy (their only collaboration) to the rarely shown Paramount version from 1931.The latter was indeed closer to the Zeitgeist of the 1929 spoof of Tin Pan Alley,but the film adaptation made significant revisions to the original text.Besides being a more faithful transposition of what is admittedly now rather lightweight and dated material,the TV show offers some outstanding acting jobs.Little known juvenile Tom Fitzsimmons nails the part of the gullible,naive rube from upstate NY prone to malapropism and brings out the charm of the character.In a smaller role as the wisecracking but sympathetic piano player Maxie, Stephen Sondheim gives a memorable rendition which makes one wish he had acted more frequently.
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