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"AT LONG LAST LOVE" , "Where's Charley?" "Song of Norway" Status on musicals misfires

Discussion in 'DVD' started by GMpasqua, Feb 4, 2012.

  1. NY2LA

    NY2LA Screenwriter

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    Well we can see the "Platform Booking" style, more common in the past, has worked pretty well for The Artist. Still hanging on in the bigger markets, it hasn't quite yet made it to all the smaller neighborhoods, but I think that approach worked for this very unusual movie to build up a big snowball of positive word-of-mouth before going wide.
     
  2. Louis Letizia

    Louis Letizia Supporting Actor

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    As much as I love THE ARTIST, I have a feeling it will top off at 40 million, still an incredible figure. But, platform releases were making 2 times that a decade or more ago, even much more with inflation.
    I think Weinstein did a commendable job with THE ARTIST, IRON LADY and MY WEEK WITH MARILYN, but there total crosses combined don't even come close to SHAKESPEARE IN LOVE from 14 years ago...or even BROKEBACK MOUNTAIN, 2 films that were also difficult to.market.
    I thought something amiss when Judith Dench didn't get a supporting nomiñation for MY WEEK WITH MARILYN (or myriad more nominations for that movie). Harvey may not spending as much as he used to or voters have become more sophisticated. How so you explain a trifle such as CHOCOLAT and a poor adaption such as CIDER HOUSE RULES garner Best Picture nominations?
    I do think THE ARTIST may make it yo the winners circle, but don't rule out THE HELP dsneaking in as a surprise. As for Weinatein winning the Best Actor rave, that's a little more assured unless Brad Pitt sneaked in due to split votes between Clooney and his French counterpart, Jean Dujardain. I feel that for the same. Reasons that Michelle Williams may win with Streep and Davis cancelling each other.
     
  3. NY2LA

    NY2LA Screenwriter

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    Oh I loved The Help. I bought it, as I will The Artist and The Muppets, and if they ever make an unprofitable musical out of The Help, I'll be happy to discuss it here. Not going to speculate on Oscar. Meanwhile, back on topic, have you seen At Long Last Love or Song of Norway?
     
  4. Louis Letizia

    Louis Letizia Supporting Actor

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    Ok
     
  5. Richard Kaufman

    Richard Kaufman Stunt Coordinator

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    The Black Windmill is a damn fine film. Very good Michael Caine.
     
  6. Louis Letizia

    Louis Letizia Supporting Actor

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    I've enjoyed THE BLACK WINDMILL more as an adult than a 12 year old. Very underrated and so chilling. Universal did poorly with this but THE GIRL FROM PETROVKA -also at Radio City later that Summer was even more of a disaster at the boxoffice.
    I'd like to see both on DVD -my vhs copies arent cutting it anymore.
    Keeping on topic though- THE SONG OF NORWAY seemed a perfect fit for the Hall but wasnt premiered there.
     
  7. NY2LA

    NY2LA Screenwriter

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    Just something to look at...
    I can count on less than one hand the number of times a studio's home video art department has come up with anything as good or better than a picture's original key art. (and let's be clear in the case of roadshows, I mean the original roadshow posters, not the "popular price" version) Warners will sometimes clean up or somewhat enhance the original, especially if it's really old, but they most often don't ignore the original art and try to reinvent the wheel by like other studios do. I think this simple and elegant creation very well conveyed the feel of the picture, right down to the title treatment. The director must have agreed, because the title treatment in the film is exactly the same, and all the other film credits look remarkably like those on the poster.
    [​IMG]
     
  8. NY2LA

    NY2LA Screenwriter

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    Some interesting remarks can be found here: http://altscreen.com/06/20/2011/bogdanovichat-long-last-love-1975/ if one hasn't already seen them. On that page you can see a picture of Cybill singing in a marble tub.
    [​IMG]
    Since the picture is cropped a bit closer on the bottom than the film itself as it is running on Fox Movie Channel and Netflix, you can't see the bug crawling around the bottom of the frame while she is singing. Wonder if that was intentional or just supposed to be cropped off the picture...
     
  9. NY2LA

    NY2LA Screenwriter

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    [​IMG]
    A veteran Hollywood publicist, responsible for the tagline on an historic classic blockbuster and close enough to its legendary director to influence the ad campaigns, told me he was a big fan of whitespace on an ad. Only thing I would change here is a more flattering face shot of Cybill.
     
  10. Matt Hough

    Matt Hough Director
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    I remember those ads well. Beautiful creations.
     
  11. lionel59

    lionel59 Supporting Actor

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    Great news re the 70mm restoration of PORGY AND BESS done back in the '80's. Surely locating those elements should minimize the restoration costs for dvd. Can we safely assume that it is the complete Road Show cut? Not the 120 minute version which doesn't have 'My Man's Gone Now' which has been floating around as a bootleg (poor image quality but at least it's in wide screen and better than nothing to view). No-one seems to have made a comment on the remake of THE GREAT WALTZ. I only saw the trailer back in the '70's but it gave you a taste of the singing narration. I'm very curious to see it and surprised that Warner Archive haven't touched it. They could do a double feature with the (equally fictionalized but more highly regarded) 1938 movie with Miliza Korjus ("Rhymes with Gorgeous" said the ads). The late Horst Bucholz was an intense and likable actor who would have brought something interesting to the role of the younger Strauss.The female lead, Mary Costa, voiced the title character of Disney's SLEEPING BEAUTY (a toon I must confess I find very overrated, Technirama cinematography notwithstanding) I'm looking forward to seeing WHERE'S CHARLEY? and I hope Warners spend what is necessary to restore it for posterity. I have the 1930 (Charles Ruggles) and 1940 (Jack Benny) versions of CHARLEY'S AUNT. It would be nice to have the musical adaptation, which was shot in England in 3-strip Technicolor, a rarity for a Hollywood-financed movie. I also wish Fox had released the longer, two-feature version of CLEOPATRA. The doco on the Special Edition (and Blu Ray) is, I believe, one of the best I've ever seen. The folk on the audio commentary sound very sure that a collector somewhere has the full version (possibly in various shades of pink? Even so, I'd be happy with restored footage in black+ white if necessary just to grasp the original vision and see some of the cast- egs Finlay Currie, Marina Berti- who are either barely in the single-feature version or not there at all.) I have a big "soft spot" for musical flops which I enjoyed when young (eg :LOST HORIZON), but even at age 11, I was bored and irritated by SONG OF NORWAY (I think my interest was briefly revived whenever Edward G Robinson was on the screen). The animated sequences were poorly done for memory and I couldn't divorce Florence Henderson from 'Mrs Brady'. Still, I recall it doing well in Melbourne and being revived successfully in the '70's (double-billed with THE SOUND OF MUSIC, which must have been hard to sit through just from the physical angle!). I hope a good dvd version emerges to please it's loyal "cult following". By the way, the critic they quoted constantly in the ads+ posters who wrote "Takes on where THE SOUND OF MUSIC left off.." was furious as the rest of that quote read something like "...in sticky sentimentality". I believe Pauline Kael lost her job over her review of THE SOUND OF MUSIC and another movie, but bounced back. I too enjoy her reviews even when I disagree strongly with her. Lastly, I think MAME is flawed but great. It has one of the best Main Title sequences of any movie that I have seen. Bea Arthur is priceless recreating her stage role and was worthy of her Golden Globe nomination. Lucy was also up for a Golden Globe for her performance, which I believe is only marred by her limited singing ability. In an interview at the time she states that Broadway performer Lisa Kirk (who expertly dubbed most of Roz Russell's songs in GYPSY) was hired to sing for her but her tracks were not used and Lucy ultimately sang for herself (adequately at best). The soft-focus close-ups seem less noticeable on Warners' excellent dvd transfer (and she is far from the only star to have this done for her- look at Cary Grant's close-ups in NORTH BY NORTHWEST, only marginally less extreme). Still, the New York Times gave the movie- and Lucy- a fair and generally positive review and it did well in Australia .(We tend to love the flops as much as the hits here- LOST HORIZON in 70mm broke a house record in Hoyts MidCity cinemas in 1973, CAMELOT broke a house record in its '74 70mm revival in the same theater, CAN'T STOP THE MUSIC + XANADU both did great business here, though I can't say I have sat through every minute ofboth of them....). Apparently Angela Lansbury was dealing with an unwell son in Ireland when MAME was being made and was unavailable regardless from what I have read. As good as she was on stage (and let's not forget her '80's Broadway revival of MAME bombed), her name wasn't big enough at the box office for Warners to risk such a huge investment with and they probably would have made LESS with her in it than Lucy and her croaky voice (but great comedic timing and style). Her movie YOURS MINE AND OURS had been a big hit a few years earlier and I'm sure that played a part in her casting. Although we'll never know what Madeline Kahn would have been like as Agnes Gooch (and I'm guessing hilarious), Lucy did us all a favour in firing her from the movie as it freed her up to play Lili Von Shtupp in BLAZING SADDLES, and that's a performance I'd hate to have missed out on.('I'm tired...tired of love uninspired..") P.S. I like the movie of LES MISERABLES but in my opinion: 1) the movie should have been in CinemaScope, not 1.85:1, to add sweep to its visuals; 2) the score was sung better by the Original London Cast and pre-recording (and even some dubbing) may have helped the movie;3) Anne Hathaway acts her role brilliantly but somewhat to the detriment of her big number- listen to Patti LuPone, who I think gets the acting/singing balance perfectly in I Dreamed A Dream + is still unbeatable; 4) the new song written for Hugh Jackman was average+ needless and lengthened the movie unnecessarily. Surely it was written primarily to be eligible for a Best Song Oscar (an old trick with stage to screen musicals). That worked with EVITA (You Must Love Me'), but that was a much better song that added something to the character. Valjean's song adds nothing that isn't stated many times during the show (ie. his great love for Cosette). Selah.
     
  12. Doug Bull

    Doug Bull Advanced Member

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    Lionel here is a partial 35mm Technicolored frame of something you're waiting for. Just to get you excited. [​IMG] I would imagine that it will be a future Warner Archives release.
     
  13. ahollis

    ahollis Lead Actor
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    The last I read on the WAC Facebook page about Where's Charley was that they are searching for a decent element for all their elements would not work without a bunch money. But I do hope there is a good print in England or Argentina. I enjoy the You Tube clip of Once In Love with Amy.
     
  14. Doug Bull

    Doug Bull Advanced Member

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    I can offer them a Technicolored partial 35mm frame from the trailer. Well at least it's held it's color for the last 60 years or so. :)
     
  15. lionel59

    lionel59 Supporting Actor

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    Thanks Doug, that DID whet my appetite! I'm guessing Warners are nervous because they really waited too long to bring back ANNIE GET YOUR GUN from 'rights oblivion' and it had already been fully restored. I still think releasing the best print they can find or strike would be better than nothing. There must have been some kind of safety negs made from the original 3-strip Technicolor negs. A pity the Loesser family waited so long to finally permit its release. As it doesn't even have the fame and popularity of ANNIE GET YOUR GUN, they have done themselves and us a dis-service by with-holding it for so long. Ditto the Gerswhin estate re PORGY+BESS, though Joe Caps' news of the 65mm negative restoration is very heartening news. They are costly prints to produce, but maybe the recent honouring of the film by the National Film Registry will give some impetus to whoever now has the rights.
     
  16. bombayteddy

    bombayteddy Auditioning

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    I cant understand why critics panned "Song of Norway". True, it isnt GREAT cinema but it does have Grieg's lovely music, an interesting story-line and breath-taking locations caught "in the splendour of 70mm" as the billboards used to say here in Bombay :)

    I believe the time is ripe for a digital restoration and release on Blu-Ray. Perhaps then, a new generation will be able to appreciate this under-rated film.

    PLEASE keep me posted!!
     
  17. CULTMAN1

    CULTMAN1 Stunt Coordinator

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    according to the in70mm site Song of Norway is coming to blu ray........
     
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  18. lionel59

    lionel59 Supporting Actor

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    Thanks for that news Cultman.
    The Rumor Mill on that site mentioned that earlier this year the 65mm elements of PORGY AND BESS were being looked at for resroration and preservation purposes. Well overdue for a blu ray release.
    As Frank Loesser's widow finally lightened up re WHERE'S CHARLEY and the Technicolor negatives were restored by Ted Turner when all the WB titles were done, Warner Archive need to release this on blu asap.
     
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  19. Jim*Tod

    Jim*Tod Supporting Actor

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    Fingers crossed for PORGY AND BESS though given the rights issues over the years and its depiction of African American life, I wonder if we will ever see a release.
     
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