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I'm afraid I can't watch this movie without constantly re-directing and re-editing it in my head. Just for the hell of it, I took a look at the title song tonight. Where do I begin?

 

The camera lingers when it should move, it moves when it should linger, it cuts when it should stay and it stays when it should cut. The tempo, especially during the dance segment, is so slow it's torturous. The orchestration has none of the energy and robustness of the Broadway album buts just plods along like it's wading through treacle. Lucy plasters that toothy grin on her face and holds it stationary for the entirety of the number; not necessarily her fault, I think she just should've been given stronger direction - Cukor would've helped her liven things up a bit. Then there are those beats of dead silence at the end that grind the entire film to a halt; Saks didn't even cut to a wide shot of everyone, what a wasted opportunity.

 

I haven't seen the film in its entirety since 2008 and I doubt I'd ever be able to sit through the entire thing ever again. 2 minutes feel like 2 hours where this film is concerned.

Meee-ow! :blink:

 

I don't disagree with a lot here except that it gives the impression that plodding scenes etc. were solely due to the way it was shot; as with the soundtrack, my opinion is it has a lot more to do with the way it was edited, and that was sloppily.  I also wonder how involved, if any, Lucy was in that process, to what degree Saks was and how much to blame on the film editor(s) for their ...questionable choices.  After all, it's not as if this film wasn't shot with multiple choices for most scenes, from master shots to varied angles, close-ups etc. once in the editing room.

 

So given all the "raw material" they had to work with... I too find many choices suspect, if not downright head-scratching. :lucydaze:

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Meee-ow! :blink:

 

I don't disagree with a lot here except that it gives the impression that plodding scenes etc. were solely due to the way it was shot; as with the soundtrack, my opinion is it has a lot more to do with the way it was edited, and that was sloppily.  I also wonder how involved, if any, Lucy was in that process, to what degree Saks was and how much to blame on the film editor(s) for their ...questionable choices.  After all, it's not as if this film wasn't shot with multiple choices for most scenes, from master shots to varied angles, close-ups etc. once in the editing room.

 

So given all the "raw material" they had to work with... I too find many choices suspect, if not downright head-scratching. :lucydaze:

Yes, the biggest problems were with the editing. You're right in that they probably had more to work with yet chose not to use alternate shots or angles for whatever reason. With a good tightening up the film could be significantly improved.

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Though the "Mame" number is the highlight of the movie, I agree about the fidelity of the music.  It's like they recorded the whole thing in monaural, broadcast it over an AM radio station and stuck a microphone next to the speaker of a cheap transistor radio and used THAT as the soundtrack.

 

Particularly disappointing was their decision to have the men singing "You make our black eyed peas and our grrrrrits...." all on the same note instead of the crescendo of rich harmony done on Broadway.  I can't remember if the movie soundtrack used banjo but if they did they didn't use it enough.  

I may have posted this before but below is the dropbox link to my attempt to insert the Broadway cast album audio track into the movie.  The movie's tempo is a bit slower, so my video is sped up to compensate.  I dubbed Robert Preston's singing into the track and augmented the music with a few cymbal crashes.   I sharpened up a couple of Lucy's face shots too just to show them they didn't need to soft-focus as much as they did.   (Example at 0:50, 1:50  and 2:56)

But I think Lucy does a great job in this number.  I like how she reacts as naturally as possible as if she's thinking  "oh, you're moving me around this way...Ok I'll go with you" ---example of what I mean at 5:20.

Let me know if this link works or not.  I did this a while ago and probably tried to upload this to youtube but they took it down because of the use of the music, not the movie.  Youtube is very inconsistent about what they will or won't allow. 

You can stream this from dropbox but depending on your computer/internet speed it may be choppier than if you download and watch from your hard drive. 

 

 

https://www.dropbox.com/s/oz32ns7lrtp16nh/01-Mame%20movie%20Broadway%20Audio.mp4?dl=0

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Yes, the biggest problems were with the editing. You're right in that they probably had more to work with yet chose not to use alternate shots or angles for whatever reason. With a good tightening up the film could be significantly improved.

Preach! :peachonthebeach:

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I haven't finished reading through all the comments but they're very interesting and insightful.  A few snarky ones, naturally but for the most part appreciative of the high points of the movie.  

Note that someone makes reference AGAIN to the rumor that will NOT die: "Viv was younger and contractually bound to stay 20 pounds overweight".  This was used an another example of Lucy not wanting a co-star to look better than she does---this after stating the Lucy was threatened by Madeline Kahn's beauty as the reason for her getting the boot.

Bruce Davidson comments that "That's How Young I Feel" was attempted (not sure what that meansbut scrapped because it was out of Lucy's vocal range.  Both "It's Today" and "Open New Window" have wider ranges, just by a little.  Both are an octave and a half.  Notice that Angela skirts around this by singing (Light the) CAN and DLES on the same note even though the music is written to go down 6 full notes on "DLES".   I don't think dropping "Young" was because Warners was thinking ahead to the reviews mentioning that the "aging star" shouldn't be singing a song about being young, even though that probably would have happened.  it's just that "That's How..." is unnecessary to the plot and an obvious ploy to shoe-horn in a 2nd act production number for the Mame character, something that is sorely lacking after intermission.   We can accept this on the stage, but in the movies: not as much.  Too bad they couldn't have given Lucy a post-intermission 'kick up her heels' number but I don't know where they could have worked one in.    I KNOW!!  To scare off the Upsons even more at Mame's party, Mame, Vera and Gooch could have performed "Mama"s Nui Nui Muumuu" as a way to disguise Gooch's pregnancy?  No?  Well it was just a thought. 

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Just wanted to alter my firm opinion from up above;  Brock, of course, is another who amazes me with stuff he finds; but, of course, that's Brock's business; finding stuff; loving each of you who DO RESEARCH for the rest of us...... 

 

I'll probably be apologizing A LOT more as I think of 'others', as well; get ready......

 

BUT, I'm Loving each of you; and in case I forget (aged, you know)  HAPPY HOLIDAYS; MERRY CHRISTMAS; AND ALL THE OTHER TERMS OF DIFFERENT PERSUASIONS AND PROPER LINGO (NO OFFENSE INTENTED TO ANY RELIGION, RACE, CREED, ETC.(s) - HONEST!!!!! :D ...JK  :fabrary: 

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That picture was taken when the Thalians honored Robert Preston in 1984. Mary Martin sang "Flaming Agnes" from I Do! I Do! and Lucy recreated the title number from Mame with Stuart Damon as Beau. I'm sure this was recorded and I would LOVE to see it!

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That picture was taken when the Thalians honored Robert Preston in 1984. Mary Martin sang "Flaming Agnes" from I Do! I Do! and Lucy recreated the title number from Mame with Stuart Damon as Beau. I'm sure this was recorded and I would LOVE to see it!

 

Recorded??? Where?  What?  Who?  Why hasn't this shown up on youtube?

 

There's a new book out by musical theater historian (and future recipient of nose-tweak from me because of his comments on Lucy in Wildcat) Ethan Morddan called "When  Broadway Went Hollywood"  and Mame is included.

 

He repeats all the stuff about Lucy: too old, miscast, bad singing, soft-focus shots.  He does say, without any footnotes, that Ball herself INSISTED on doing the singing.  Never heard that before.  

 

So he's no fan of the movie, but considering the drubbing he gave Lucy in Wildcat (not "Wildcat" per se, mind you: he laid the failings of the musical at Lucy's doorstep), he's actually kind (in spots) to Lucy in Mame.    I don't have the book but on amazon you can read snippets and the Mame pages are included.   He had this to say:

 

"There's something touching about Ball's need to cap a long career with a project that more than a bit of a dare.  And without a net. It could be called gallant.  In her participation in the title number, you can see how they thought a Lucy/Mame would work.  As Ball slowly makes her way between 2 lines of admirers who fall to their knees and sweeping off their black top hats, we almost feel the movie is saluting not Mame the characterer but Lucy herself and her eminent status in the industry.  The moment is really quite thrilling. "  And I think he's so right.

 

He does get points for mentioning, "she's game in the choreography even though dancing was not one of her fortes" because I get REAL tired of Mame critics saying she can't dance. 

 

He mentions the dreadful Paul Zindel script "when Zindel strays from the original libretto, what sailed along on daffy energy becomes slow and leaden."  

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Recorded??? Where? What? Who? Why hasn't this shown up on youtube?

 

I'm sure it's in the Thalians archive. Someone call up Debbie and Ruta. Lucy got a copy of her 1974 tribute (some of it is in the Best of Here's Lucy DVD release). Lucy's copy (now viewable at the Paley Center for Media) is in stop and starts. Hopefully someone recorded Robert Preston's event a decade later in its entirety.

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Ruta and I, strangely, have formed an e-friendship of sorts when I was questioning her knowledge of the FIRST MRS. WONDERFUL; occasionally, she sends me e-messages of interesting variety.

 

I have just sent her an e-mail, asking her to investigate whether there was a tape of the PRESTON tribute by Thalians; and if she would come over here and share it with us.

 

Keep your fingers crossed and say a prayer she will consider this.

 

JK :fabrary: 

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Ruta and I, strangely, have formed an e-friendship of sorts when I was questioning her knowledge of the FIRST MRS. WONDERFUL; occasionally, she sends me e-messages of interesting variety.

 

I have just sent her an e-mail, asking her to investigate whether there was a tape of the PRESTON tribute by Thalians; and if she would come over here and share it with us.

 

Keep your fingers crossed and say a prayer she will consider this.

 

JK :fabrary:

 

WELL!!!!!!!!!!! Shut my mouth and slap me silly; a REPLY ALREADY:

 

Guess we'll have to wait, though:

 

"Hola,

 

You guessed it....Off to glorious Las Hadas for the rest of the year and then some.

 

Webb and I will raise our Margaritas to you all wishing you a blessed Christmas and  Happy Healthy New Year.

 

Hold the emails please...unless it's Spielberg ....

 

xxx,

Ruta and Webb'

 

Perhaps I'll check in with her 'gal' and see if she can facilitate......JK :fabrary: 

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I remember seeing a clip of Lucy as Mame in the early 80s on Entertainment Tonight or a show like that.   Actually had it on tape.  One day I'll have to go through all my old VHS tapes and try to find it.  My memory says it was the red bat-wing It's Today outfit, but I could be wrong.   In this clip, there was no Robert Preston.  Or Mary Martin.  

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I remember seeing a clip of Lucy as Mame in the early 80s on Entertainment Tonight or a show like that. Actually had it on tape. One day I'll have to go through all my old VHS tapes and try to find it. My memory says it was the red bat-wing It's Today outfit, but I could be wrong. In this clip, there was no Robert Preston. Or Mary Martin.

Lucy doned her It's Today costume for a celebrity fashion show in 1982 and was interviewed on Hour Magazine.

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Lucy doned her It's Today costume for a celebrity fashion show in 1982 and was interviewed on Hour Magazine.

 

Jamie:  You got a DATE on that Hour Magazine interview?  Thanks if you can find.  JK :fabrary: 

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WELL!!!!!!!!!!! Shut my mouth and slap me silly; a REPLY ALREADY:

 

Guess we'll have to wait, though:

 

"Hola,

 

You guessed it....Off to glorious Las Hadas for the rest of the year and then some.

 

Webb and I will raise our Margaritas to you all wishing you a blessed Christmas and  Happy Healthy New Year.

 

Hold the emails please...unless it's Spielberg ....

 

xxx,

Ruta and Webb'

 

Perhaps I'll check in with her 'gal' and see if she can facilitate......JK :fabrary:

They DO seem to always be "on the go", god love her!

 

One of my few and far between "celebrity sightings" whilst living in Palm Springs was walking into the "lukel" Panda Express (cheap, McDonald's-like Chinese "fast food" for those unfamiliar) to get dinner to go only to find The Movie Star and her handsome hubby in line in front of me so naturally, at the first opportunity, I proceeded to gush, tell her how much of a fan I was, the "Lucy" connection, etc. etc.... and they both couldn't have been more gracious....and she is still a beautiful woman -- she wasn't "camera ready" but certainly done up enough to be very striking.... it's one of my favorite "star" encounters of all time.

 

Thanks for letting me share! :D

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