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Alan Tully

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Several Doctor Dolittle posts have been moved to that review thread so we can focus this thread’s discussion back to Paint Your Wagon.
Yeah, sorry, I seem to have inadvertently started that. I'm very pleased that the disc is a goodun, it's been fun reading these Paint Your Wagon threads, as it consists of some people saying it's rubbish, & other people (like me) saying they love it.
 

Virgoan

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My favorite two moments in the film are the simply beautiful "A Million Miles Away Behind the Door" and Lee Marvin's touching rendition of "Wand'rin Star". Both those songs captured moments that the rest of the film should have aspired to match, but didn't.
 
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bujaki

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Yeah, sorry, I seem to have inadvertently started that. I'm very pleased that the disc is a goodun, it's been fun reading these Paint Your Wagon threads, as it consists of some people saying it's rubbish, & other people (like me) saying they love it.
I suggest a compromise to unite both camps: Lovable Rubbish.
I consider They Call the Wind Maria, as sung by Harve Presnell, an excellent sequence.
 
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Alan Tully

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I suggest a compromise to unite both camps: Lovable Rubbish.
I consider They Call the Wind Maria, as sung by Harve Presnell, an excellent sequence.
Ooo, harsh :) but Harve Presnell does have a great set of pipes, he puts everyone else to shame.

According to the IMDB, Lee Marvin insisted on drinking real alcohol throughout the production, instead of the fake stuff. I suppose that's why he died aged 63 looking more like 93.
 

Indy Guy

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If this film is classified as a "Musical Comedy", then the clever and comedic songs and dialogue are there to balance the beautiful ballads. I think the balance in the filmed version of Paint Your Wagon is just about right.
As for the dance and ballet work prominent on stage, retooling these sequences as wild moments of outdoor exuberance, rather than the precise choreography of an opera house stage, makes perfect sense.
Looking back on PYW 55 years removed from its premiere at the end of the roadshow musical decade, is a chance for a fresh perspective. There will probably never be films of this scope and and authentic detail ever again. It is a film without a message or agend, yet overflowing with music and fun. Now, over half a century later it will soon be available in a format capable of exceeding the quality of most theatrical presentations of half a century ago. That is a wonder for this time in which we are living.
Each time I experience the poignant "Wandering Star" ballad, I can't help but wonder how the PYW wilderness locale may look today. Of all the gold rush adventures captured on film, that setting and the exuberantly unrealistic ambition of its "gold fever" inhabitants, documents the spirit of a time that once captivated the entire world with the glitter of a dream.
 

John Maher_289910

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"Wand'rin Star" is horribly "sung" (croaked) by Lee Marvin; but, surround his croaking with a superb men's chorale and outstanding orchestration, and you have a gem!
 

Alan Tully

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"Wand'rin Star" is horribly "sung" (croaked) by Lee Marvin; but, surround his croaking with a superb men's chorale and outstanding orchestration, and you have a gem!
The, I Was Born Under A Wand’rin Star bit was a bit croaky, but I thought the rest of the song was okay, & quite heartfelt really (helped by the visuals), it was a huge hit in the UK - that I don’t understand. It’s a song you remember after the film is over, & there’s not too many of those.
 

Virgoan

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The, I Was Born Under A Wand’rin Star bit was a bit croaky, but I thought the rest of the song was okay, & quite heartfelt really (helped by the visuals), it was a huge hit in the UK - that I don’t understand. It’s a song you remember after the film is over, & there’s not too many of those.
I agree. One critic at the time, and I don't recall who it was, described Marvin's rendition as eloquent and perfectly in keeping with his character. Ben Rumson was not a Met star or a Broadway musical actor...he was a rough, under-educated and flawed man.
 

John Maher_289910

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The, I Was Born Under A Wand’rin Star bit was a bit croaky, but I thought the rest of the song was okay, & quite heartfelt really (helped by the visuals), it was a huge hit in the UK - that I don’t understand. It’s a song you remember after the film is over, & there’s not too many of those.
Yes, it was a bit hit in Salzburg when I was living there, but for the reasons I stated, I believe.
 

jim_falconer

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Hell I'd' listen to this all day over listening to Russel Crowe sing in Les Misérables.
Haha, I actually like Crow a lot in the filmed version of Les Mis. He is one of the best Javert’s I’ve seen, and I’ve seen the show dozen of times (and I’m going again tomorrow in Schenectady).
 

Mark Mayes

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Haha, I actually like Crow a lot in the filmed version of Les Mis. He is one of the best Javert’s I’ve seen, and I’ve seen the show dozen of times (and I’m going again tomorrow in Schenectady).
I usually prefer better acting over a great voice with less connection to the material. But with Crowe I sensed a horrible lack of comfort invading his performance due to the inadequacy of his voice.

I am watching PYW right now (not for the first time) and am impressed with Marvin. Seberg looks amazing, I had forgotten how striking she was, and she acts beautifully. They have commitment to the material (sure, it's uneven and tortures some ideas beyond any fascination).
Eastwood is fine, not special, but subtly reactive as always.
 

davidmatychuk

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I'll be picking up my copy of the 4K "Paint Your Wagon" this week, but reading HTF comments about the movie made me realize that my own opinion about it was informed by not seeing it at all in theaters on release. My older brother did see it, and brought home the soundtrack album which he proceeded to play over and over again and I grew to love. So I was a fan of the music before I ever saw the movie, which I found to be underwhelming when I did eventually see it on video. For me, the movie really springs to life whenever the music starts, even when Clint Eastwood gamely warbles away, because I like that soundtrack album so much. I get a kick out of "Paint Your Wagon" on that basis, like it's a long-form music video.
 

roxy1927

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I think the Andre Previn songs are terrific as well. Not quite on the level of Lerner and Loewe of course But No Name City, A Million Miles and Gold Fever are songs I never skip over when listening soundtrack album. I especially like No Name City. And I always wanted to wear the some of the Truscott men's costumes. Giving a mod 60s touch to western gear.
 

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