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Freddie2

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Everything posted by Freddie2

  1. 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!
  2. 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.
  3. 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!
  4. Of course they're going through the "Greatest Hits" for these specials, and it's cool that there are so many ILL episodes that have imagery and scenes that are so ingrained in the public conscious that they warrant recognition. Not everybody could tell you the plot of "Paris", but everybody certainly knows Lucy with the snail-eating mechanism on her nose, and to a lesser extent, the brilliant translation train in the bastille. Also- this news had me look up the episode on the wonderful "Paper Moon Loves Lucy" Tumblr account, where they point out that the wine Lucy gets at the restaurant is Paul Masson. If you haven't seen Orson Welles' outtakes during his campaign for the product, I highly recommend looking it up on YouTube. It's a real life Vitameatavegamin.
  5. Helen Hunt recently shared a selfie from the set with CLORIS LEACHMAN as well! This is really shaping up to be a must-see.
  6. I’d never heard that before and The Hogan Family is an excellent theory. As a fan of Valerie Harper and Jason Bateman, I enjoy the show and would have loved to see Gale on it. However, if it really was the role that Hillerman got, that was after the show had switched networks and only lasted for an additional 13 episodes- same as LWL!
  7. Although brief, the reviewer makes some good points. I love that he refers to criticisms of Lucy's Mame as "atypical". When he hypothesizes the show actually being a hit, he brings up something that I've never thought of. If the show had continued, how long would Lucy and Gale be able to keep up the physical comedy? I really do believe that if LWL had continued Lucy would have made it past '89, and maybe (like with the broken leg arc on HL) the scripts would actually start to acknowledge her age. The gals on Grace and Frankie are now older than Lucy and Gale were in 1986, and even though the physical comedy bits aren't nearly as constant, they still pull them off without critics bitching about their age and mobility.
  8. I saw OUATIH today and that reference made me smile. The line was something like "The only show where nobody got murdered was I Love Lucy!" and I think that Ann, Mary, Helen, Cynthia, Alice and Theodore beg to differ.
  9. Maybe I missed it somewhere but what was the actual order of episodes filmed? I thought that they all skewed fairly close to when they aired, but from what I've read, apparently not. The airing order makes a lot of sense, stacking the "best" episodes and guest star showcases right after the premiere; and I'm assuming "Mother of The Bride" aired pretty quickly after its production. Imagine if the Bob Hope episode had come to fruition- the cue card boys would be getting paid BIG overtime!
  10. One thing I thought of recently about "Breaking Up" is the scene where Lucy is having the big sale at the store. I was surprised by the diversity of the customers. Not only is there a plethora of races, but there's even a little person buying something at the counter! At first I thought he was part of Lucy's circus gimmick and wondered if there would be some sort of gag involving him, but not so! Even though it was far from tasteless, we all remember how Golden Girls centered an entire episode around this just a year before. It's certainly symbolic- who else but Lucy can bring together people of all kinds?
  11. As Lucy said en route to Aunt Fanny's Old Fashioned Ice Cream, "My God! This whole neighborhood's gone to pot!"
  12. This makes me think of the 30 Rock bit where they put Liz Lemon in front of an HD camera and she came out looking like a hag. Maybe Mooney could take the same route as Catherine O’Hara in For Your Consideration (based on Sally Kirkland) and get copious amounts of plastic surgery!
  13. The Late Show is a movie that has long been on my radar. If I ever find it streaming somewhere I’ll certainly check it out. It was hilighted by my very favorite movie reviewer (who also talked about Mame, a review that I believe has been shared here before): https://lecinemadreams.blogspot.com/2017/04/the-late-show-1977.html?m=1 Re, Maude: It’s actually my favorite Norman Lear show, and I agree about the extreme yelling, although I enjoy it because it reminds me of my own family.
  14. God finally got Bill Macy for that at 97.
  15. The absolutely bonkers Scotty Bowers has died at 96.
  16. "Green Thumb" and "Breaking Up" this morning. IMO "Green Thumb" is the only true stinker of the bunch- the rest at least have a few good moments, but this one feels like a Gorboona might come barreling through Lucy's scheffleras at any minute. Also, the poor direction is staggering. Even when the writing wasn't good, Lucy's shows had compositions and camera blocking that was at the very least decent. Unfortunately it's not so in the 80s with Marc Daniels at the helm. The pickup shots are uncomfortably obvious and close- and considerably more present than in other episodes, and the visible boom mics aren't exactly professional either. The one aspect of "Breaking Up" that I don't buy is the fact that Curtis would so willingly let Lucy and Leonard run the store themselves. And in that vein, a hardware store with only three employees must really be slow. I forgot that Hey Look Me Over is featured in the episode and it was a nice surprise. This one is also a great example of the show getting a creative choice right: Lucy and Gale's relationship has been developing since 1947, so the themes of the episode carry a lot more weight than what was built up over 12 episodes.
  17. My DVD was expected to arrive on Tuesday so I was happily surprised to see that it came today. With the unparalleled picture clarity, the nuances of Lucy and Gale's performances stand out more than ever. The extent to which Lucy elevates the material is nothing short of incredible, but we all know that. Like everyone else, the quality and special features are the real thrill for me. The main thing that I've been trying to look for is any sign of development over the episodes. You'd think that after the reviews and ratings started to come in, somebody would've put their foot down and done some tweaking, but I don't see much. The first half of the season has a lot of great physical comedy while the unaired episodes are a much better showcase for the family and their dynamic. If only the show had been given the full season it was promised- I think there would have been a lot more to dissect. Also, the Hour Magazine interview makes me consider the credibility of that longstanding rumor that Audrey Meadows was approached to be a regular cast member. Lucy's reverence for Viv is so heartwarming. I don't know how Audrey would have been as a second banana; Lucy and Curtis already have their well-established love/hate relationship and I think that yet another character would have been a misstep.
  18. This morning I was driving behind a cherry red Jeep with a tire cover featuring the ILL logo and the Lucy and Ricky stick figures. I couldn't find it online so I'm assuming that it was a custom job. On top of that, the license plate was "1LVELUCY", or something like that. I tried to take a picture but couldn't really maneuver it while driving, and the car sped up considerably so I wonder if they knew that I was trying to take a photo.
  19. I stopped at both Wal-Marts in my city, plus Target and Best Buy and came up short with all of them. The safest bet would probably be to order it online, but from what it sounds like, I may have to wait longer than usual. I was hoping I could just pick it up immediately at the store- I hate the anticipation of waiting for a package to arrive- especially one as big as this!
  20. I’ve though the same thing about the show being a great fit for TGIF! Although, Lucy didn’t live too long after that lineup became a “thing”. LWL also might’ve been a good fit for syndication or even as original programming on Nick at Nite.
  21. The Goldwyn Theatre was packed last night when TCM paid tribute to Robert Osborne by hosting a 35mm screening of his favorite movie Dodsworth. In attendance, and later up on stage to reminisce, were such luminaries as our own Carole, Diane Baker, Robert Wagner, Eva Marie Saint, and Dame (or is it “Mame”) Angela Lansbury. I really hope that there’s a recording of this in some form.
  22. While picking up a few things at Wal-Mart this morning, my eyes ferociously scanned the DVD section to no avail. I’ll stop at Target and the Wal-Mart on the other side of town tonight- hopefully they won’t be sold out (kidding!). All of the buzz has me dying to see it!
  23. Great article although I’ve never heard anybody call LWL ahead of its time and I’m not sure I agree with that.
  24. The quality looks fantastic! I can't wait!
  25. It was brief, of course, but we did joke around a little (how many people can say they’ve made Carol Burnett laugh), and I asked about her sharing a workspace with Red Skelton (as I recently mentioned in the Judy thread), because I don’t think it’s an aspect of her time on the show that usually gets mentioned. She’s extremely kind and approachable, and not in a phony way. There’s a reason she can still sell out a 2,500 seat theater at big prices.
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