Musicals to Movies

Discussion in 'Off The Beaten Track' started by Vash01, Nov 23, 2012.

  1. Grannyfan

    Grannyfan Active Member

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    I've never seen Guys and Dolls done by professionals onstage, only a high school production. I love the music but not the movie. Except for Vivian Blaine and Stubby Kaye, I don't like the casting--not even Sinatra. Putting Marlon Brando in this movie has always seemed just weird to me.
     
  2. Wyliefan

    Wyliefan Well-Known Member

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    I liked Sinatra, but not Brando. It kills me that they had to take my favorite song ("I've Never Been in Love Before") out of the score because he couldn't sing it.

    (Sorry for all the blabbing in this thread. I'm crazy about musicals. :D )
     
  3. Cachoo

    Cachoo Well-Known Member

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    I didn't think Mame translated well to the screen and I thought it a terrific musical. I always wanted to see the musical about dancers (gypsies) on the screen--it starred Lauren Bacall and was called Applause. I guess it wasn't considered a stand-out show.
     
  4. Wyliefan

    Wyliefan Well-Known Member

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    Applause was based on All about Eve, wasn't it?
     
  5. VIETgrlTerifa

    VIETgrlTerifa Well-Known Member

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    It was all because of Lucille Ball's casting. She was far too old, couldn't sing, and I think her comedy wasn't right for the role. Watch Rosalind Russell in Auntie Mame and you realize that the actress needs to have the presence of a somewhat dignified yet eccentric lady who knows how to deliver her lines with wit and impeccable timing. So when some of the more zany scenes happen, it's funnier.

    People already got to know Ball as a screwball comedienne, so it seemed like I Love Lucy in a different setting.

    I have a soft-spot for the film version of Gypsy but even I can't ignore many of the faults. The pacing was all wrong (it seemed to overly long in many scenes) and Rosalind Russell played Rose like Auntie Mame. That said, there are moments where I love Russell's Rose despite the fact that I don't think the interpretation was spot-on. What I do love is the choreography, the three strippers (they were perfect), Dainty/Baby June and Natalie Wood. IMO, she's the best Gypsy. Her monologue at the end was perfect, and I love that twinkle in her eye when she's watching the strippers sing "Gotta Have a Gimmick" and you sense she's becoming Gypsy Rose Lee.

    I also think the trick with Gypsy is that near the end, you see Gypsy finally get her due (after Rose steals all the scenes) and have that great Strip number. Then they have an argument, and then Rose has the final song, and you see Rose stealing the show again without the audience realizing that Rose totally stole Gypsy's thunder. With Roz's limited singing, it's more difficult for her to sell that part.
     
    Last edited: Nov 23, 2012
  6. ballettmaus

    ballettmaus Well-Known Member

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    Not sure where your information comes from but I recently finished the biography of Walt Disney and that states that Julie Andrews wasn't under contract yet. The film studio chose Hepburn over Andrews because they wanted a "fresh face" and Andrews did Mary Poppins as a "consolation". Then Andrews went on to win the Oscar while, if I remember correctly, Hepburn wasn't even nominated for My Fair Lady. Though I might be wrong there but Andrews definitely won the Oscar for Mary Poppins whereas Hepburn didn't win anything for My Fair Lady.
     
  7. pilgrimsoul

    pilgrimsoul Active Member

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    The Pirates of Penzance has always been a favorite. Kevin Kline was incredible as the pirate king!
     
  8. VIETgrlTerifa

    VIETgrlTerifa Well-Known Member

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    I do wonder if Julie Andrews would've won an Oscar for My Fair Lady because Andrews lost the Tony for My Fair Lady to Judy Holliday for Bells Are Ringing (Ms. Holliday also beat Gloria Swanson in Sunset Boulevard and Bette Davis in All About Eve for the Best Actress Oscar for her role in Born Yesterday). I'm sure she would have since My Fair Lady won a lot of Oscars, and it doesn't seem like her competition was that great that year.

    To be quite honest, Hepburn deserved a nomination that year. Sure she didn't sing, but for some reason Hollywood began to care about dubbing in the 1960s while other dubbed actresses were nominated for musicals in the past (Dorothy Dandridge in Carmen Jones and Deborah Kerr in The King and I). From a book I read about regarding the Broadway/Hollywood relationship, the perception that Hepburn "stole" the role from Andrews was very strong at the time and she received major backlash from it. It was realized when she didn't receive an Oscar nomination. She apparently took it personally, but like a class-act, went to the Oscars and presented Best Actor to her co-star Rex Harrison. Katherine Hepburn wrote her a letter saying telling her not to worry and that the Academy will give her another nomination for a lesser performance once the whole thing blew over.

    In the end, Rex Harrison called Andrews and Hepburn his "two fair ladies" (they didn't call him Sexy Rexy for nothing), and Hepburn and Andrews became friends after the controversy. Also, Hollywood seemed to forgive her after that and she received another Oscar nomination years later.

    All that being said, Julie Andrews not getting My Fair Lady may have been a blessing. Not only do we have her glorious voice on two cast albums (Broadway and London), but she got a great role in Mary Poppins (which was a huge blockbuster and I think made more money than My Fair Lady the year of its release), got huge and audience Hollywood support for not getting the role, and last but certainly not least, the producers of The Sound of Music hired Andrews after seeing footage of Mary Poppins (it wasn't released yet), and offered her the role of Maria von Trapp, and the rest is history. I also like that we get to hear Marni Nixon's renditions of the My Fair Lady songs because I positively love the way she sang the material. They're more introspective and smooth to match Hepburn's Eliza.
     
  9. Bostonfan

    Bostonfan Well-Known Member

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    The best adaptation of a musical to movie screen is "Fiddler on the Roof" imo. There's a rawness about the environment in that movie that grounded it a bit.

    "Chicago" made a smart decision IMO in placing the context of the movie in Roxie's imagination (which is not how it's presented on stage).
     
  10. Artemis@BC

    Artemis@BC Well-Known Member

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    Love that version -- in spite of Linda Ronstadt. Who wasn't awful, just ... not great. And too old! I've seen lots of less-than-ingénue-aged women in stage versions of G&S, but again, it's easier to suspend disbelief as a live audience than for film.

    But Kevin Kline's amazingness more than made up for it, along with the OTT cheezy/campy feel to the whole thing. Angela Lansbury was great as Ruth too.
     
  11. Wyliefan

    Wyliefan Well-Known Member

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    I agree that Audrey's performance was very underrated -- she did a beautiful job. I've seen the movie many times (caught it again on TCM just tonight, in fact!) and I love and appreciate her performance more every time. Julie was treated unfairly in the whole process, it's true, but so was Audrey. It wasn't her fault that the studio refused even to consider Julie for the role, but she was the one who essentially got penalized for it in the end.
     
  12. paskatefan

    paskatefan Well-Known Member

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    I haven't seen the stage version (although I wanted to see it wit Lea Salonga), but I have the movie & the original Broadway cast recording. Love, love, love the music to it!

    As a fan of Gilbert & Sullivan operettas, I loved the movie version of The Pirates of Penzance with Kevin Kline, Linda Ronstadt, and Angela Lansbury. We saw it on Broadway literally the last weekend of its run, with Peter Noone (of Herman's Hermits) as Frederick! BTW, if you like G&S, don't miss the movie "Topsy Turvy" (about the making of The Mikado).

    I love Brigadoon the movie, and have seen a local professional theater version of it. Beautiful score (big fan of Lerner & Loewe & Rodgers & Hammerstein musicals here).

    Love the score to the 1990's revival of Guys & Dolls (with Nathan Lane & Faith Prince as Adelaide). OTT, but we saw a terrific skating show back in 1998 called "Skaters' Tribute to Broadway." Caryn Kadavy skated to Faith Prince's version of "Take Back Your Mink." IIRC, Faith Prince may have sung the song live as Caryn was skating (have to go back to my tape).

    We haven't seen "Catch Me If You Can" yet, but will a few months from now through one of our local theater subscriptions.

    Even though Julie Andrews wasn't in the movie version of MFL, I still think it's a terrific musical and I love the movie version. Marni Nixon has a beautiful voice (we were delighted to see her in one of the roles in the National tour of "The Drowsy Chaperone" a few seasons ago. I love both Mary Martin & Julie in their respective musicals (have the Broadway cast recordings & movie soundtracks of "South Pacific" & "The Sound of Music"). If I have one bone to pick about the movie version of TSOM (and I hate to nitpick because I love it so much), I wish they would have kept the songs "How Can Love Survive?" & "No Way to Stop It" in the movie. Actually, the instrumental music of "How Can Love Survive?" was retained in the ball scene, but the lyrics are very witty. When we saw the lovely revival of TSOM on Broadway , back in 1998 (with the wonderful Rebecca Luker who was also Marian the Librarian in the 2001 revival of "The Music Man"), I was thrilled that those 2 songs were restored to the stage version.

    Living in Philly has its advantages - every once in a while, we take the train to NYC to see a live show! :D
     
  13. VIETgrlTerifa

    VIETgrlTerifa Well-Known Member

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    I'm finding the best thing about living in Newark is how quickly I can get to NYC.
     
  14. Vash01

    Vash01 Fan of Julia, Elena, Anna, Liza, and Vera

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    Somewhat unrelated to the thread title, but related to the discussion on My Fair Lady, I found this video of Mary Martin on YT. Wasn't she the one the character of Eliza Doolittle was written for, by Lerner & Lowe? She also happens to be the mother of the late Larry Hagman/JR Ewing (separate thread on JR passing)

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ww743OGLgZk&feature=related
     
  15. icecat

    icecat Active Member

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    Here's an interesting switch.. Rogers and Hammerstein wrote "Cinderella" for television. It starred Leslie Ann Warren and Stuart Damon with Ginger Rogers and Walter Pidgeon as the king and queen and Celeste Holm as her Fairy Godmother. To me it's one of their very best productions in terms of music. It was remade starring Brandy some years back and I heard today that it will open as a revival on Broadway this year. From Impossible and Ten Minutes Ago to A Lovely Night and Do I love you because You're beautiful... it's all splendor and old Broadway glamour..and it certainly fits in to the Disney on Broadway direction of Lion King and Beauty and the Beast,. Directed it in college and had a blast!
    My favorite musical, however is COMPANY by Sondheim.
     
  16. A.H.Black

    A.H.Black Well-Known Member

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    The Leslie Ann Warren production was the second one. The first was a live TV production with Julie Andrews and Jon Cypher - http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0129672/
     
  17. michiruwater

    michiruwater Well-Known Member

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    The Brandy version of Cinderella is totally ridiculous. I always love the fact that, for some unexplainable reason, Whoopi Goldberg and Victor Garber apparently have an Asian son. And then there's Whitney Huston hamming it up and Bernadette Peters stealing every scene she's in (and the two stepsisters are a very tall, skinny white girl and a very short, wide black girl?...). And Brandy's acting abilities were limited - not that Cinderella really called for much range.

    The Lesley Ann Warren version is wonderful, but it was actually a remake. When they first wrote it for TV, it was in the 50s and starred Julie Andrews. I haven't seen Julie's version, but Warren's is available in its entirety on Youtube, in case anyone wants to watch it :)

    Also, speaking of both those actresses, Victor/Victoria is the best. I freaking love it. I just thought of it the other day before this thread started and re-watched this scene. I just die laughing every time. I don't know how Warren didn't win BSA that year.
     
  18. A.H.Black

    A.H.Black Well-Known Member

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    PBS? did a special rebroadcast of the Julie Andrews version a few years ago with lots of remembrances of the original broadcast and all the pressures of doing it live. I was able to record it. One of my favorite things.
     
  19. VIETgrlTerifa

    VIETgrlTerifa Well-Known Member

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    I don't mind the color-blind casting at all. I think Cinderella doesn't really call for race-specific casting and it's nice to see actors of other races getting roles they wouldn't normally get unless they were playing a character that called for their race specifically.

    I remember reading an interview with Lupe Ontiveros (the woman who played the woman who killed Selena) on why she took on her role in the indie movie Chuck and Buck and how she loved it because it wasn't written specifically for a Hispanic woman. She was able to just play a character without any accent or mannerisms that she would have if she played a character that was written to be Hispanic. She ended up winning a few awards for the role.
     
  20. Bostonfan

    Bostonfan Well-Known Member

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    If you want to see another great musical version of Cinderella, find "The Slipper and The Rose ".
     
  21. judiz

    judiz Well-Known Member

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    Were Bye Bye Birdie and West Side Story mentioned yet? Both started as musicals on Broadway, were made into movies and then returned to the
    Broadway stage as revivals after absences of over 20 years.
     
  22. cruisin

    cruisin Well-Known Member

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    Saw Grease on Broadway, long before it was a movie. The ones I thought translated well, and I saw on Broadway: Grease, My Fair Lady, The Sound of Music (just saw it at a local playhouse on Saturday - forgot how different the play was), The King and I, West Side Story, Annie, The Producers, A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum, Evita. Mostly because they cast them with people who could pull the roles off. I LOVE Jesus Christ Superstar, but thought the movie was awful. The vocals were good, but the past/present staging was terrible. I am worried about Les Mis. I don't think 75% of the vocals will be up to what is needed.

    FYI, we saw The Sound of Music at the Papermill Playhouse, in Millburn, NJ. It was outstanding! All of the actors are currently not working Broadway actors. The vocals were phenomenal. We don't go there often, which is a same because it is so close and they do such a great job.
     
    Last edited: Nov 25, 2012
  23. cruisin

    cruisin Well-Known Member

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    Marni Nixon sang for both women. In fact, she was the "go to" voice for (pretty much) any actress who could not sing herself. It's sad that Nixon never got the recognition she deserved.
     
  24. taf2002

    taf2002 flower lady

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    This is the 2nd time in this thread that someone suggested the role of Eliza Doolittle was written for a 20th century actress. The other suggestion was Julie Andrews. I knew George Bernard Shaw lived a long time ago so I googled him. He wrote Pygmalion in 1912 - a year before Mary Martin was born, and long before Julie Andrews was born. The play was written many years before it was renamed & made into a musical (1956).

    I didn't mind the color-blind casting. I minded that Brandy was cast in the role. Besides being not very attractive, I have never thought she had much talent either.
     
  25. VIETgrlTerifa

    VIETgrlTerifa Well-Known Member

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    I think when people say Lerner/Lowe "wrote" the musical for Andrews or Martin, they didn't mean the written text adapted from Shaw, but the musical numbers.



    Yeah, that I agree with.
     
  26. A.H.Black

    A.H.Black Well-Known Member

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    Even though "My Fair Lady" was adapted from "Pygmalian" (and stayed pretty true to the original writing), it is still not Pygmalian". My Fair Lady is clearly a separate and distinct production. Neither poster referred to "Pygmalian" nor George Bernard Shaw in their post. I'm quite sure both posters (positive about myself) were referring to Lerner and Lowe and their intentions during the creation of My Fair Lady.
     
    Last edited: Nov 25, 2012
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  27. taf2002

    taf2002 flower lady

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    Both posters said they thought the character of Eliza Doolittle was written for Mary Martin/Julie Andrews. I was just pointing out the the character of Eliza Doolittle was created by GBS. But I understand now that they meant the musical role, not the character itself.
     
  28. Vash01

    Vash01 Fan of Julia, Elena, Anna, Liza, and Vera

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    You got it right. I was indeed referring to the Lerner-Lowe (the musical version of Pygmalion). We are talking about musicals here. Even though MFL was based on Pygmalion, I was talking about the musical, and did not have anything to do with Pygmalion in this thread.
     
  29. Artemis@BC

    Artemis@BC Well-Known Member

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    The Neil Patrick Harris version of Company, which had an extremely limited run on Broadway (I think it was a handful of special fundraiser performances), was just released on DVD a couple of weeks ago. I saw it when they did a movie theatre broadcast of it a few months back, and it was great. Most surprising to me was to see performers who I never thought of as singers -- including Martha Plimpton, Stephen Colbert, Christina Hendricks, and Jon Cryer.
     
  30. Skittl1321

    Skittl1321 Well-Known Member

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    I really like musicals made into movies. I think it makes them more accessible, and I've loved most of the ones named.

    What baffles me is movies into musicals, in many cases. Does Elf really need a broadway run, for example. I kind of thought the same about Legally Blonde.