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Monday, May 26, 2008


If FUNNY FACE/'57 is really an M-G-M/Arthur Freed musical made for contractual reasons over at Paramount, this is an M-G-M musical manqué that plopped down over at Columbia. Five of its six leads (Janet Leigh, Betty Garrett, Bob Fosse, Tommy Rall & Kurt Kasznar) even come with expired Metro contracts burning holes in their pockets. The story remains as it was in the 'straight' version from 1942 with Roz Russell, two sisters from Ohio come to Greenwich Village in NYC hoping to find romance & careers. This musical version doesn't touch the one Leonard Bernstein did a few years earlier on B'way with Comden & Green (WONDERFUL TOWN, which also featured Russell), but it’s pretty bright stuff in its own right. Plus, it earns bonus points for a fine goofy seduction number from the young Jack Lemmon and a super challenge dance for Bob Fosse and the great Tommy Rall. Fun to see Dick York of BEWITCHED fame, too.

CONTEST: You won't believe it till you hear it, but one of the Julie Styne/Leo Robin songs in the score was the likely template for the well known theme song for tv's "Green Acres." Strange, but true. Name that tune and win a Write-Up of a NetFlix DVD of your choosing.

SCREWY THOUGHT OF THE DAY: Two years before this, in GIVE A GIRL A BREAK, Kurt Kasznar played a composer based loosely on Julie Styne who wrote the songs for this film.

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