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  1. Yesterday
  2. What an interesting take! I've always assumed that Lansbury's experience in film would've made her adjust her Mame accordingly, if she'd ever ended up in the movie. As I said earlier, I've really come to admire Lucy leaning into her star power for the role. If she'd gone full "Lucy The Clown" as opposed to "Lucille Ball, The Icon", the movie probably wouldn't be as good. Another thought- despite being a huge success, Mame has only ever been revived once on Broadway, in an "ill-fated" production from 1983 with Lansbury. This is kind of strange when you think about the roster of stars who played Dolly over the years. They're very similar shows, but for whatever reason, the role of Mame Dennis is a lot less accommodating than Dolly Levi. I didn't see the recent production, but aside from Bette Midler, I believe that the role has been filled lately with Bernadette Peters, Donna Murphy, and Betty Buckley, at least. They all have their merits, but I can't picture any of them playing Mame. What would our contemporary casting choices be for a movie or revival of the show? I'll pitch in right now and say if we're talking a Broadway production, Julie Halston as Vera and Jackie Hoffman (although not of pregnancy age) as Gooch!
  3. It's East Stroudsberg. It's a town in the Poconos region, which back in Mame's time was a big honeymoon area, so that would make sense to run off to. It's also only about 2 hours from NYC. I stayed there once on a ski trip.
  4. Progress indeed. I was beginning to think it was all finished and had been put in storage.
  5. I'm always up for a "Mame" discussion! Nanny Nora Muldoon and Gooch were combined into one character in the Broadway musical version--which still contained the plot thread of Mame writing her autobiography, Gooch having been sent to secretarial school "Speedo" to take dictation. Until "FritzyBoy2" brought it up, I hadn't considered the notion that Jane's Gooch was too old to be pregnant. My problem (as stated MANY time) is that Gooch is such a subordinate character in the movie, we don't care enough about her to give her her own song. And besides, there's very little interaction between Mame and Gooch directly so Mame did not really give her the "live live live" lessons. (And BTW does "live live live" really translate into tramping it up in an East Flousberg* Pennsylvania motel room with God-knows-what sort of lowlife?) I don't know if, in the Broadway musical version, Patrick was such an a-hole to his old nanny Gooch, but it really bothers me in the movie. Specifically Agnes greeting him with a cheery "HI, Patrick!"....which goes unacknowledged and followed by "What is AGNES doing here???" to Mame as if Agnes wasn't even there. I'd be interested in how you, Harry, feel "That's How Young" is the weakest lyrically. I hadn't thought about it along those lines. I love the song. I'm not sure where else in the movie it could have been placed, but the film really needed a post-"Mame" LucyMame kicking-up-her-heels musical number--not that the goings-on afforded the opportunity for one. (Maybe Mame, Vera and Gooch doing "Ukulele Talk"?) Re: the Upson Downs scene. One prominent national critic praised it because "we get to see Lucille Ball, the actress". Right. Lucy is very low-key but true to the character. This scene in the movie certainly plays differently than the recording I have of the Broadway show (from the 1968 LA stop on the tour). The audience is laughing throughout. However, you can get away with cartoon-ing it up with broad performances on stage. I have mixed feelings about the decision to play it more realistically and much more sedate in the movie, which is a musical COMEDY after all. I'm not knocking Angela, because by all accounts she wowed them onstage, but if she had recreated that same performance in the film it just wouldn't have worked. The casting of Angela as Broadway's Mame up against so many higher-caliber women considered (Lucy included) and her subsequent triumph after years as a supporting player is the sort of show-biz success story people love. Established icon Lucy taking on a role (meant for Angela, after all and STOLEN) that was not necessarily her forte is the sort of show-biz story people love-----to HATE. *Is this REALLY a Pennsylvania city?
  6. Last week
  7. Still no announcement of a director, but the film has qualified for a California tax credit to shoot in the state. Seems like progress. https://www.dailynews.com/2019/11/12/major-directors-damien-chazelle-paul-thomas-anderson-shooting-their-next-films-in-california/
  8. Although it would be great for Lucy to have a big second act dance number, I’m not sure if “That’s How Young I Feel” would be the right number. It’s a very fun song, but probably the weakest in the score lyrically. The Upson Downs sequence was radically changed for the film version and I’ve heard many people say that they feel like this scene was Lucy’s best in the film (“Straight scotch.”) I can’t picture an uptempo number inserted in this scene. I’ve written this before (probably multiple times in this thread!), but, when I saw a screening of Mame a few years ago, “Gooch’s Song” got the biggest round of applause!
  9. What becomes a legend most?.... I love the juxtaposition of Dame Ann Miller in her Halston original and the Merm in that housedress.
  10. What an insightful perspective. I knew if I lived long enough Mame would eventually be seen as entertaining (I don't know about "masterpiece" ....). Some of your points: agree thoroughly about It's Today's "botch orchestration" (well put). Evidently "Gooch's Song" was a killer on stage. I've never even liked the song. I don't find it particularly tuneful or the lyrics clever. ("Although I was leery, I thrived on your theory that life could be a WOW"---yes, there are only so many rhymes to "now" but this one is real stretch). Without examining them all, I think this may be the worst song in any Jerry Herman musical. The problem with "That's How Young..." is that its placement is completely incidental to the plot. They loved it on stage because for one thing it's a great song, but that 2nd act needed a kick-up-your-heels production number. Perhaps they could have included it somewhere else in the movie. Lucy's portrayal is very well-acted (with one of two exceptions) but this Mame lacks the madcap quality Roz's had. This is the fault of the director and writer, not Lucy. In the clash scene between Mame and Patrick, he says "I was afraid you'd come up here dressed like a farmhand or the Queen of Sheba"...No she wouldn't. Not this Mame. There's nothing we've seen of her that would indicate she would do that. Her relationship with young Patrick is covered in the "Open a New Window" montage. Other than that, we don't see the bond between the two. I only wish they had added whatever soft-focus tricks they used, generating them in post-production, as they probably would today, instead of using filters--or whatever--as the film was being shot, thereby committing them to the film's negative. If they had used the former technique (assuming it was possible in 1974), these shots could have been corrected for the DVD or maybe even before the release of the movie in '74. . The point I've tried to make is that besides being excessive, they were not necessary---at least to the degree they were used. An unforeseen backlash is that those shots gave fuel to the critic-mob chant that Lucy was "too old" for the part.
  11. Good take. Since this movie originally got some good reviews to me its reception was better than LWL. At the Kennedy Center they even salute Lucy to custom lyrics of Mame title song . I love Lucy's dancing. "That's How Young I Feel" would have made a great addition. I agree Gooch's song is not my favorite moment and Jane looks too old for the part more than Lucy did. The film version had the governess and Gooch be 2 separate characters which made more sense. I am Gen Y but agree musicals than were art now it's too much pretend going on.
  12. 11/7/19 (morning): "Lucy & Viv Open a Restaurant" (episode #50) "Lucy Takes a Job at the Bank" (episode #51)
  13. This seems to be the case with My Three Sons (except most episodes of that series are unedited) as well. The pattern I see is that CBS/Paramount is charging more for their obscure series releases (i.e. Life with Lucy). I guess that is understandable. But still they could give us more for the price they are charging/asking (i.e. streaming access/digital copy to the series). At this time, I will be holding off. Life with Lucy was the exception. But with the others I am going to wait.
  14. Earlier
  15. It’s great to so clearly see Hazel running the steam table in the opening episode.
  16. My copies finally arrived this afternoon. Can’t wait to dig in tonight.
  17. Ah, back in the day when the original negatives were cut. Such a pity. But nevertheless, if this is what survives, I'm grateful it's getting released at all and will support the releases.
  18. Apparently, CBS went back to its original negatives and found they were cut. The company cleaned those up and this is what was shown on Me-TV. The edits are unideal. And the split volumes and high cost are modus operandi for CBS' MOD program now. But if you like the show, this is the best you're going to get. And I, personally, hope these sell okay so that we get the rest of the series. There are two episodes that haven't been seen since syndication in the early '60s, and they come from Seasons Two and Three, respectively. The fact that the first season's un-syndicated episode was released means it's a possibility that those other two could finally see the light of day, too.
  19. I'm disappointed but not surprised that the syndicated versions were used. Those must've been the cleaned up versions they already prepared some time ago. I doubt they considered it worthwhile to remaster all the network originals given the show's niche appeal. I hope they all still survive, though!
  20. I was undecided on buying these releases, but if they’re edited, syndication versions, it’s a “no” for me.
  21. Got my sets today. The good news: All 38 Season One episodes are included in this two-volume release... for the first time EVER. And they've all been cleaned up and look pretty good. The bad news: All the episodes are edited. Most run between 22:10 and 22:40. The first eight and "Aunt Mattie Boynton" are about a minute longer though, and one episode in Volume II -- "Public Property On Parade," which hasn't been included in the series' syndication package in decades -- runs in the 24-minute range. I'm generally pleased. Splitting the season into two separate sets makes it pricey (especially given the edited content), but if we want to see more of this series, and more releases of similar series, this is an effort we have to support.
  22. And don't forget in the Paris episode we get to see Bob Carroll Jr. as he stalks Lucy across Europe. And a quick glimpse of Madelyn too.
  23. I caught this show on the DIY Network this week. Salvage Dawgs It's a restoration/salvage show and they did a episode in Jamestown. There were a lot more mentions of Lucy then I thought in this episode. Kind of fun. Season 11, Episode 1 Jamestown Moose Lodge Eager to save some late Victorian architecture, the Dawgs accept an invitation to salvage a hundred-year-old Moose Lodge in Jamestown, New York. The 10-hour drive proves worth it as they collect unique stair spindles and beautiful stained glass.
  24. I rewatched Mame last night and I think that every couple of years when I pop the DVD in, I like it even more. Just like the recent discussions of LWL, Mame's reputation is far more disastrous than the product itself. One thing that really struck me this time around was Lucy's performance. For all of the complaints that come about comparing her to Lansbury, nobody acknowledges that this is a movie. She's not so much stiff as she is giving a performance metered for film. Imagine her chewing the scenery and falling flat like Ethel Merman's various attempts at the big screen. Another thing that surprised me was the pace. The first time I saw this movie, close to ten years ago, it took a couple of sittings to get through. Today, it's an absolute breeze to watch and there's rarely a dull moment. I admit that I skipped over "Gooch's Song". It plays great on the stage, but lord is it awkward when you're sitting alone in your living room. I would've much preferred the excision of this number in favor of "That's How Young I Feel". Yes, the title alone would've given some unfortunate ammunition to critics, but I can't imagine the number being any worse than the other big songs in the movie- plus it would've been a nice showcase for Lucy to do more dancing. Not to sound all "Boomer" (which is a dirty word right now, and besides, I'm "Gen Z" or whatever), but compared to recent movie musicals, Mame is an absolute masterpiece and delight. Regardless of the occasional botched orchestration (It's Today) or the painful attempts to conceal age through filters and piecemealed vocals, it's still way less artificial than something like The Greatest Showman, which, according to too many of my misguided friends, is a great movie. At least Lucy did her own singing and her own dancing; there's no autotune and no computer generated leg movement (yes, I'm looking at you again Greatest Showman!). Today, when a vast majority of financially successful movies are 50% Corporate Machinations, 49% Computers, and 1% actual real human artists, Mame seems downright brilliant. Speaking of "Art"...: A major factor in my enjoyment of movie musicals is something that isn't "tangible" (to quote Lucy on I've Got a Secret). There are numerous sequences in Mame that give me chills- those great moments on screen or stage where the production is just so great that it hits you in a way you can't explain. Of course the title number is one example, and another (of many) is the moment when Mame, Agnes, Beauregard, Ito, and Patrick link arms and stride into the taxi on that wonderful Hollywood backlot flurrying with snow. On occasion, in spite of incompetent direction, and no matter how much money-grubbing engineering and focus grouping you do, a movie will still make something simple fill you with joy thanks to great music and great performers.
  25. Back in the good old Public Domain days, I always believed the longstanding rumor that Joe Pesci was a part of the band in the Carol two-parter. Now, in HD, it's pretty obvious that he isn't, but I wonder how that rumor got started. He's still credited on IMDb! Even though episodes from the second half of TLS are, as Neil says, sometimes closer to skits than sitcom episodes, they still are ridiculously entertaining. Looking at everything else that was on the air from 1965-68, it's no wonder that the show came closest to ILL's commercial success in spite of an obvious downtick in quality. Previously excellent shows like Andy Griffith and Beverly Hillbillies were past their prime, and besides variety shows, TLS was one of the only places you could see comedy in front of a live audience! Episodes like "Roommate" or "Meets The Berles" really could play as a sketch on a variety show without any changes- there really aren't characters or story arcs that we're invested in- but they deliver such great laughs from great performers that there's no reason to complain. Connection: Carol sings "Heard Hearted Hannah" at the end of the episode. After she left Gary Moore she was replaced by the incomparable Dorothy Loudon, who gave a similarly burlesque performance of the song on her short lived sitcom that was written by Bob and Madelyn!
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