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Discussion in 'Blu-ray and UHD' started by Robert Harris, May 18, 2015.
Mrs. Jefferson could convince me to do ANYTHING!
I can't get Airplane out of my mind now.
Jack, do you like movies about gladiators?
I'll beg to differ with Bruce about the shots, I think there are a wealth of masterful moving shots that tell the story in a really powerful way. And Hunt had studied film a good deal before shooting so he wasn't totally green to what he wanted to accomplish. Just as any film there is good and bad but for me as a whole the technique used in the shooting of it is a big positive
Some comments I'd like to make:
To WilliamMcK: As someone who also thinks of himself as a musical aficionado, I'm curious to know which other musicals of stage and screen you'd rank highly.
As for Holgate's Tony win: As we all know here, he wouldn't have won in a million years if Daniels hadn't refused his nomination. If Daniels had been put in the correct category to begin with, then maybe Holgate would have won fair and square, but it would seem to be one of the least-deserved Tony wins of all time, unless you "had to be there" as Mr. Haines implies.
As for Franklin's comment, "Oh, he will, John. He will." Unless he's being facetious, this has to be historically incorrect, because Franklin, like Adams (and Jefferson and Washington) was a Deist who believed whatever God there is doesn't get involved in human affairs.
As to the way the "Lees" scene was filmed, I'm glad to hear that it came first and even Hunt isn't happy with it. The fast cutting when Lee gets on his horse is out of keeping with the way the rest of the movie was made, and the whole scene is something of a mess.
For those who think 1776 could have been better filmed, just compare it to the film version of a stage musical that came out a month later, and count your blessings. As Leonard Maltin said of "Man of la Mancha, "Beautiful source material has been raped, murdered and buried." (Or was he referring to "Don Quixote"?)
I'd rank 1776 in the Top Five for screen adaptations of stage musicals. When you think of how many miscastings there had been over the years -- how many songs were cut out -- how many plots were changed -- how many directors just didn't understand the material -- 1776 basically got everything right.
Yet Arthur Hiller had a fair bit more experience directing films than Peter H. Hunt. Post-Man of La Mancha*, he stuck to what he knew best: comedy and drama.
*Don't think it's a good adaption of the show or the original book? Okay, fair enough. And I'm convinced that John Goodman refusing to sing "The Impossible Dream" in King Ralph was a roundabout way of saying "take that." But look me in the eye and tell me it's as bad or worse than than Carpool (one of three films Tom Arnold made in 1996 and the only one I didn't pay money to see) or An Alan Smithee Film: Burn Hollywood Burn, which was so bad it ended up being an Alan Smithee film for real.
Well, yes, and it's better than "Plan 9 from Outer Space", too. There may be hundreds, if not thousands, of movies that are worse. But it still stinks. It's filmed as if Hiller's job was to figure out a way to ruin every song -- even every line!
Man of La Mancha is one of those exceptions to my rule that the best film adaptation of stage musicals are made by people who make movies. The best ones are made by film directors. Examples: Funny Girl (William Wyler), Oliver! (Carol Reed), West Side Story (Robert Wise), The Sound of Music (Wise again), Oklahoma! (Fred Zinneman), The King and I (Walter Lang), Fiddler on the Roof (Norman Jewison), Finian's Rainbow (Francis Ford Coppola), Bells Are Ringing (Vincente Minelli), Cabaret (Bob Fosse, by then an experienced film director), The Pajama Game (George Abbott, who had significant film experience as well as stage), Damn Yankees (Abbott again) and How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying (David Swift).
Clunkers like A Little Night Music (Harold Prince), The Producers (film of Broadway show) (Susan Stroman) and Sweet Charity (Fosse's first time as film director) are what happens when you put a director who's inexperienced with film in charge.
Arthur Hiller was very experienced, but there are exceptions to every rule. Paint Your Wagon (Joshua Logan) is another, and South Pacific (Logan again) comes close.
SWEET CHARITY looks like it was made by someone who knows film. For a first timer Fosse has done one hell of a job.
CHARITY at least looks like a film. My issue with the film version, is too many numbers are missing. Same with SUCCEED. Also, they tampered too much with the brilliant original libretto of SUCCEED. On its own, without comparison to the play, SUCCEED is a good film. By comparison, though, it fails, imo.
"Fiddler" is a good film but I felt they removed too much of the humor that was in the stage version. Humor was needed to balance some of the other parts of the film. With the exception of the "Sound of Music" I am not aware of any film version of a musical the exceeded the stage original. Possibly Cabaret is another, but the film version's story line was much different from the stage original as the two are almost unrelated to each other. The story in the film "Cabaret " is closer to the movie and play " I Am A Camera" than the stage version of " Cabaret". All were based on the same source, "Berlin Stories."
HAIR -as a film is better than the stage play.
THE MUSIC MAN is a near-perfect adaptation of the stage original with a largely non-cinematic director at the helm. I can't imagine how that one could have been improved upon.
The story lines of stage and movie versions of "Hair" are more different than "Cabaret" are. I had forgotten about that. The only thing in common the stories have is the names of characters. The movie version added a linear story which the stage version really didn't have. I saw the stage version of "Hair" during its last Broadway revival. I preferred the stage version to the movie. Just my opinion.
I would say the "Music Man" is probably just as good as the stage version. It essentially is the same as the stage version with Robert Preston recreating his stage role. I don't think it improved on anything from the stage version except perhaps for the ending which couldn't have been done on a stage. Most importantly it didn't lose anything from the stage version except for a few song changes.
Back to 1776 . Someone on youtube has posted the differences between the many releases of the film up to now , alternate takes, dubbing corrections etc.
I didn't know there was a 2010 DVD release.
It appears the youtube poster made their own cut.
No, The Music Man is a perfect stage to screen adaptation - it didn't lose a "few song changes" - it had ONE song change - My White Knight to Being in Love, which uses the bridge of My White Knight. That's it. Everything else is there. It's a wonderful movie, wonderfully adapted to the screen, well directed by its original stage director, Morton da Costa and Onna White's choreography (also from the stage version) is stellar. The cast could NOT be better, from Preston to Shirley Jones to the brilliant comic performances of Paul Ford and Hermoine Gingold.