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Phil Menard

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I have always loved this one, with it's sympathetic role for Bette Davis, who, I think, makes you forget that she's Bette Davis. The wife and I also like the 2000 version very much, but the dvd from Image is pretty bad, and now goes for outrageous sums on Amazon.
 

Matt Hough

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I've never heard it, I'm kind of jealous! Sherry! was a notorious flop (72 perfromances) when it opened on Broadway in spring 1972. George Sanders was the original Whiteside in that production when it was out of town but he dropped out prior to the Broadway opening and was replaced by Clive Revill, with Dolores Gray playing the part of Lorraine Sheldon.
Speaking of Dolores Gray and Sherry! remember when Ed Sullivan introduced Dolores in the audience while the show was running and made a memorable faux pas "In our audience tonight is Dolores Gray starving in Sherry! right now at the Alvin Theater." Ed corrected himself and chortled at his mistake, but there was known truth in the comment as the box-office never took off for the show, and it burned off its advance sale in a couple of months in 1967.
 

Waldo Lydecker

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And “Miss Otis Regrets” covered by everyone from Cab Calloway to Labelle!!!
Bette Midler performed a rollicking version on Johnny Carson’s final show…
 

Waldo Lydecker

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As noted before, Cole Porter wrote “What Am I to Do?” For The Man Who Came to Dinner…He also wrote “Farewell Amanda” for the Tracy-Hepburn film Adam’s Rib. In the film David Wayne continually serenades hepburn’s character much to Tracy’s chagrin… It’s heard on the radio sung by Frank Sinatra who recorded four takes for the film…All lost!!! Sort of a “holy grail” for both Sinatra and Porter fans alike!
 

Will Krupp

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Speaking of Dolores Gray and Sherry! remember when Ed Sullivan introduced Dolores in the audience while the show was running and made a memorable faux pas "In our audience tonight is Dolores Gray starving in Sherry! right now at the Alvin Theater." Ed corrected himself and chortled at his mistake, but there was known truth in the comment as the box-office never took off for the show, and it burned off its advance sale in a couple of months in 1967.

Eek! I wrote 1972 but, of course, you're right it was 1967! My apologies!!
 

Paul Penna

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Kaufman based the "famous" characters in the play on real life Broadway celebrities. Whiteside himself was based on Alexander Woollcott and "Lorraine Sheldon" is a thinly disguised nod to Gertrude Lawrence, one that's said to be closer to the real Gertie than Julie Andrews portrayal years later in Star! (lol)
As good as those all are, the real eye-opener is how he worked Lizzie Borden in.
 

Rick Thompson

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I know you don't mean Jimmy Durante was cast in the Nathan Lane production. Is your objection because the character is not named "Harpo?"
No, Jimmy Durante wasn't cast in the Nathan Lane production. However, Lewis J. Stadlen was, and he did his Durante imitation.
 

Will Krupp

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Have I misunderstood “Miss Otis Regrets” for my whole life? Certainly as sung by Ella, I find it to be a tragic song.

I can't QUITE tell if you're being serious? :blush:

According to her butler (who's singing the song) her very LAST words, as she's about to be lynched by a jailhouse mob, are "Miss Otis regrets she's unable to lunch today."

"Love for Sale" it ain't. :lol:
 
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lark144

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mark gross
Have I misunderstood “Miss Otis Regrets” for my whole life? Certainly as sung by Ella, I find it to be a tragic song.
It's kind of subtle, but Ella doesn't sing it tragically; she sings it comically--well, for Ella, anyway--with a somewhat light, ironic, almost wry tone, mock-tragic, with a kind of little girl voice, and lets the absurdity of the lyrics come though, though when she comes to the last line, "Miss Otis Regrets etc." almost insouciant. In your mind's eye, you can see her wink. But, being Ella, she's focused on the melodic and harmonic qualities of the song, especially with finding complementary chords to decorate the melody, not the emotional or lyrical content, and in that beauty, and let's face it, the melody is drop-dead gorgeous, you might have misconstrued her seriousness about the harmonic construction of the song, with her being serious about the lyrical content, which she isn't.
 

Caproni

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The only reason I'd want The Man Who Came to Dinner would because Bette Davis is in it. It was a rare turn towards comedy for her.

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darkrock17

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The only reason I'd want The Man Who Came to Dinner would because Bette Davis is in it. It was a rare turn towards comedy for her.

View attachment 121095

Bette had a natural knack for comedy, too bad she didn't do more of it. A few years ago I saw on YouTube the pilot she did for a TV series called The Decorator, it wasn't bad, would of likely ran for at least a season had it gone to series.
 

Caproni

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Bette had a natural knack for comedy, too bad she didn't do more of it. A few years ago I saw on YouTube the pilot she did for a TV series called The Decorator, it wasn't bad, would of likely ran for at least a season had it gone to series.
Davis was better at comedy than Crawford, but I wouldn't say either of them were very good at it. They were more at home in their tear-jerkers, where they chewed the scenery and held their own against every man and woman in sight.​
 

darkrock17

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Davis was better at comedy than Crawford, but I wouldn't say either of them were very good at it. They were more at home in their tear-jerkers, where they chewed the scenery and held their own against every man and woman in sight.​

I disagree, Bette was a riot when she was on talk shows talking about anything.
 

Caproni

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I disagree, Bette was a riot when she was on talk shows talking about anything.
But Bette on talk shows wasn't her "playing" comedy. That was her being herself. Performing something and being something are two entirely different things.
 

Will Krupp

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People who are naturally funny, comedy comes second nature to them.

I would agree that, as Margo Channing in All About Eve, she gives, IMO, one of the great comic performanes in film. She LEARNED comedy but it wasn't always that way. As wonderful is she is at playing the "straight" man in Dinner, she and James Cagney are PAINFUL trying to "be funny" in the same year's The Bride Came C.O.D. Watching the two of them make funny faces and talk in an exaggerated, racing clip to cajole the audience (by sheer force of will) into having "fun" is just loud and exhausting. Yuck. I think she fares better in June Bride because the comedy she's playing in that one (like the comedy her character is given in Dinner) is much more subtle. She was better at that but I find her unbearable playing farce. You'll notice she never, to my knowledge, did it again.
 
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darkrock17

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I would agree that, as Margo Channing in All About Eve, she gives, IMO, one of the great comic performanes in film. She LEARNED comedy but it wasn't always that way. As wonderful is she is at playing the "straight" man in Dinner, she and James Cagney are PAINFUL trying to "be funny" in the same year's The Bride Came C.O.D. Watching the two of them make funny faces and talk in an exaggerated, racing clip to cajole the audience (by sheer force of will) into having "fun" is just loud and exhausting. Yuck. I think she fares better in June Bride because the comedy she's playing in that one (like the comedy her character is given in Dinner) is much more subtle. She was better at that but I find her unbearable playing farce. You'll notice she never, to my knowledge, did it again.

When it comes to comedy, never force it, let it come out naturally; don't need to have a funny voice or exaggerated movements in order to get laughs. You can bring the house down just with how lines are delivered and what tone of voice you use.
 

Will Krupp

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When it comes to comedy, never force it, let it come out naturally; don't need to have a funny voice or exaggerated movements in order to get laughs. You can bring the house down just with how lines are delivered and what tone of voice you use.

It's a sure sign that someone (usually the director) doesn't trust the material
 

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