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Archive for September 20th, 2011

By Brian, a.k.a. Classicfilmboy

I love her funny face, to steal a line from the title track of “Funny Face,” because I adore Audrey Hepburn.

And this, her first musical, combines everything an Audrey fan would love: romance, comedy, a debonair leading man and Audrey’s stunning wardrobe, an array of late 1950s couture by her favorite designer, Hubert de Givenchy.

As for Givenchy, Hepburn once said: “I depend on Givenchy in the same way that American women depend on their psychiatrists. There are few people I love more. He is the single person I know with the greatest integrity.”

And why talk about clothes? Because it’s a musical about a fashion photographer and the mousy bookstore clerk he turns into a beautiful model. It’s actually pretty amazing that this 1957 film turned out as s’wonderful as it did, considering how many changes it went through from start to finish.

The original musical “Funny Face,” with songs by the Gershwin brothers, was on Broadway in the late 1920s and starred Fred Astaire and his sister, Adele. The Arthur Freed unit actually began developing this musical as a film at MGM but ended up selling it to Paramount. Most of the songs and the plot from the original were dropped, Gershwin songs from some of their other shows were added, and new music was written by Roger Edens and Leonard Gershe. (more…)

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by Allan Fish

(France 1950 99m) DVD2 (France only, no English subs)

Aka. The Wanton

What will become of us?

p  Emil Natan, André Paulve  d  Yves Allégret  w  Jacques Sigurd  ph  Jean Bourgoin  ed  Maurice Serein, Suzanne Girardin  art  Alexander Trauner, Auguste Capelier 

Simone Signoret (Dora), Bernard Blier (Robert), Jane Marken (Dora’s mother), Frank Villard (François), Jacques Baumer, (Louis) Jean Ozenne (Eric), Gabriel Gobin (Émile), Mona Dol (Head nurse), Laure Diana (stables customer), Fernand Rauzéna (circus chief),

Let’s start at the very beginning, Julie Andrews once said atop a mountain in that musical assault on anyone’s intelligence.  I never was one for following orders, if I’d been a von Trapp child I’d have delighted in doing more than sticking frogs in Maria’s pockets.  So let’s not start at the very beginning, but at the very end.  You come into the cinema where Manèges is playing sixty seconds before it finishes, and are there to witness a grieving middle-aged woman call out in tears to a man leaving down a hospital staircase, bemoaning “what will become of us?”  His answer is simple, but as you sit down the man next to you is heard to whisper, in the manner of Malcolm Tucker, “NMFP.”  You look at him and think “you heartless bastard.”  He gets up and walks off, like the man in the film.  You settle down to wait for it to start again. (more…)

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