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Author Topic: What Movie Did You Watch This Weekend? The Third.  (Read 8570 times)

Offline Lyle (Mooska)

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Re: What Movie Did You Watch This Weekend? The Third.
« Reply #30 on: March 21, 2018, 11:36:43 AM »
--The Pajama Game

At my usually weekly visit with a couple friends we watched this Doris Day and John Raitt musical. It's the story of a group
of Sleeptite factory workers who manufacture pajamas and who haven't been given a raise like other similar factories and
so a management/worker problem develops headed by the new superintendent, John Raitt, and the factory worker's female
representative in these matters, Doris Day. Of course, Doris and John become enamored of each other to further complicate
the proceedings. The issues presented in the story aren't the point here, though, it's the fact it's a musical comedy and there's
a lot of it along the way.

Though John Raitt starred in many many Broadway musicals, this is the only film where he got to reprise his role in Hollywood.
It's also the only Broadway musical where Doris Day starred in the Hollywood film version. All her other musicals were studio
originals. Several other of the original Broadway cast reprised their roles in the film, including Eddie Foy, Jr., Carol Haney and one
of my favorite character actors, Reta Shaw. You may remember her as the cook in Mary Poppins or as Aunt Hagatha on Bewitched,
among dozens of other roles.

As for Carol Haney, due to an ankle injury at one point when she was appearing in the Broadway version her understudy had to go on and
take her place, doing the wonderful Bob Fosse choreography (he also did the film) and singing up a storm with Steam Heat and Hernando's
Hideaway. The understudy: Shirley MacLaine! Director/producer Hal B. Wallis was an audience member at one of MacLaine's performances,
and signed her as a contract player for Paramount Pictures! Carol Haney got to reprise her role in the film, though, and it's the only film she
appeared in with a speaking part. All her other film appearances she was strictly a dancer.

The one thing that modern audiences have trouble accepting is that the factory workers are wanting to strike for a mere 7½ cents an hour.
"7½ Cents" was the name of the novel by Richard Bissell that the film is based on. But, as I read online just now, "One of the main problems
in the factory is that the workers want a 7-1/2 cent raise and are willing to go on strike to get it. Nowadays this doesn't seem like much, but
the average mill/garment worker in 1953 (when the play was written) made on average about $1.25 an hour, or about $50 a week. The raise
would add $3.00 to each paycheck, so the 7-1/2 cents would be about a 16% increase."

The "ballad" song of the musical is titled "Hey, There."  It's first sung by John Raitt in his office and he sings it into a recording device. When he
plays it back to listen to it, he sings a duet with himself. This was also done on stage and is an interesting element from this musical. The song
has a possessive meaning for me personally. A recording of the song done by Rosemary Clooney was the #1 Song on the Billboard charts on the
day I was born! (I also got to hear Rosemary Clooney sing it in person at the Hollywood bowl in the early 1990's.

This musical is one of two by the team of Richard Adler and Jerry Ross. Their next one was Damn Yankees, another huge hit. Unfortunately
after that, Jerry Ross was lost to a heart attack at the age of 29 and one wonders what musicals might have followed if the tragic incident
had not happened.

This film is one of those musicals made in Hollywood in the 1950's that is just joyous, bouncy, colorful and full of good will, made when everyone
took these things for granted. Decades later it feels even more wonderful.

The Broadway version won Best Musical and the revival in 2006 won Best Musical Revival. A clever thing in the Broadway versions is that instead
of a routine curtain call, the curtain call is a fashion show of pajamas! There's a similar fashion show inserted near the end of the film. I don't know
if they did it this way in the stage versions, but when John Raitt and Doris Day appear, John is just wearing the bottom of one pair and Doris is just
wearing the top! Thus signifying they've gotten together I would guess.


Offline Sara B

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Re: What Movie Did You Watch This Weekend? The Third.
« Reply #31 on: March 21, 2018, 12:15:34 PM »
Loved The Pajama Game and the music!
“When we grow older still we’ll speak about those two young men as if they were two strangers..... And we’ll want to call it envy, because to call it regret would break our hearts.”

Call Me by Your Name, André Aciman.

Offline Jeff Wrangler

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Re: What Movie Did You Watch This Weekend? The Third.
« Reply #32 on: March 21, 2018, 12:19:52 PM »
--The Pajama Game

At the end of last month, we had our quarterly staff event at work. The theme was "Pajama Party." Guess which movie was playing on the screen in the staff auditorium?  ;D

Quote
of my favorite character actors, Reta Shaw. You may remember her as the cook in Mary Poppins or as Aunt Hagatha on Bewitched, among dozens of other roles.

And the cook/housekeeper for Hope Lange in The Ghost and Mrs. Muir.  :D

She was another of those jewels Hollywood could not have done without,

Offline brian

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Re: What Movie Did You Watch This Weekend? The Third.
« Reply #33 on: March 21, 2018, 02:38:18 PM »
I was in the chorus for Pajama Game in 1993 for our Musical Society. I remember complaining about the acrobatics in the picnic scene as, at 49, I was probably the oldest in the chorus. Just looked at the photos and see I wore a gold cowboy suit in one scene. I must have enjoyed that  :D

Offline Lyle (Mooska)

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Re: What Movie Did You Watch This Weekend? The Third.
« Reply #34 on: March 21, 2018, 04:31:49 PM »
Loved The Pajama Game and the music!

Oh, good, glad to hear that Sara!

Offline Lyle (Mooska)

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Re: What Movie Did You Watch This Weekend? The Third.
« Reply #35 on: March 21, 2018, 04:41:36 PM »
At the end of last month, we had our quarterly staff event at work. The theme was "Pajama Party." Guess which movie was playing on the screen in the staff auditorium?  ;D

Did you have to wear pajamas?

And the cook/housekeeper for Hope Lange in The Ghost and Mrs. Muir.  :D
She was another of those jewels Hollywood could not have done without,

Yes, Muir took place in Maine and tat's where she was born!

I've always been unsure how you pronounce her name. Does anyone know if you pronounce it
like Rita, or is it retta, like in Greta?

I always thought she'd be perfect to play Carry Nation in a film.  A musical.

Offline Lyle (Mooska)

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Re: What Movie Did You Watch This Weekend? The Third.
« Reply #36 on: March 21, 2018, 04:45:26 PM »
I was in the chorus for Pajama Game in 1993 for our Musical Society. I remember complaining about the acrobatics in the picnic scene as, at 49, I was probably the oldest in the chorus. Just looked at the photos and see I wore a gold cowboy suit in one scene. I must have enjoyed that  :D

I want to see the gold cowboy duds!

This must've been your once a year day!

Brian, "everyone's entitled to be wild,
Be a child, be a goof, raise the roof...
Once a year!"


Offline Sara B

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Re: What Movie Did You Watch This Weekend? The Third.
« Reply #37 on: March 21, 2018, 05:07:10 PM »
And now you’re sending me to bed with 'once a year day' on my ran. Thanks for that  :D

Brain (obvs not functioning well!)
« Last Edit: March 22, 2018, 10:51:49 AM by Sara B »
“When we grow older still we’ll speak about those two young men as if they were two strangers..... And we’ll want to call it envy, because to call it regret would break our hearts.”

Call Me by Your Name, André Aciman.

Offline Lyle (Mooska)

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Re: What Movie Did You Watch This Weekend? The Third.
« Reply #38 on: March 22, 2018, 10:03:58 AM »

    :laugh:

Offline Jeff Wrangler

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Re: What Movie Did You Watch This Weekend? The Third.
« Reply #39 on: March 22, 2018, 11:40:25 AM »
Reta Shaw:

I've always been unsure how you pronounce her name. Does anyone know if you pronounce it
like Rita, or is it retta, like in Greta?

That's a good question. I haven't been able to find out, but I always assumed it was a "long e," like in "Reba" (as in McEntire).  I can't say why, except for certain rules of pronunciation I was taught in grammar school; if the consonant, the "t," was double, then the vowel, the "e," would be short. Possibly that doesn't apply to names.

Garbo was Swedish, so possibly English rules don't apply. That's certainly the case with my German surname.

Sometime if you watch Dinner At Eight, if you listen very carefully, you can catch the Ed Loomis character (husband of Cousin Hattie) complain about having to miss a "Greeta Garbo" movie.

Offline Jeff Wrangler

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Re: What Movie Did You Watch This Weekend? The Third.
« Reply #40 on: March 23, 2018, 08:00:29 AM »
"I am big! It's the pictures that got small!"

 ;D

Sunset Boulevard on TCM last night,

A movie I can watch just about any time.  :)

Incidentally, when William Holden and Nancy Malone are walking through the backlot, and Holden suggests they return to the office by way of Washington Square, that actually is the Washington Square set from The Heiress (1949).

Offline Lyle (Mooska)

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Re: What Movie Did You Watch This Weekend? The Third.
« Reply #41 on: March 23, 2018, 11:22:17 AM »
^^^

Yes, Sunset Blvd. is one of the greats!  Too bad it was up against All About Eve that year! And no Oscar for Gloria Swanson. Or Bette Davis or Anne Baxter for that matter. Or even Eleanor Parker who was excellent in the prison film Caged. What a line-up in the Best Actress category!

Just goes to show you how stupid pitting films together for awards is when some years there's a slew of great choices and then the next year there's so little, but someone gets one anyway.

I also really like the Sunset Blvd. musical. I've seen it several times and in several theatres, with Patti Lupone, Glenn Close and Petula Clark, among others. I, also, even had tickets to see it with Faye Dunaway, before that situation developed. I have several recordings, all with the above actresses and also with people like Diahann Carroll, Betty Buckley. Elaine Page and a German version mit Helen Schneider.

I'd love to see it made into a film, but you never know how those things would turn out. Plus, Andrew Lloyd Weber has always been pretty stuck on Glenn Close for the role and of each and every person I mentioned above, she is the lesser singer.

When it first came out in the early 90's I thought it would be great if it could've been Doris Day.  She'd been out of the business awhile and it would kind of parallel the story of Norma Desmond, at least time-wise. But that ship's sailed. Who has any idea who'd be a good choice for a movie version of the musical now?

Some who I might posit for the choice are probably too old, though current audiences usually think Norma Desmond is ancient. In the film she is only 50.  (In fact, there's a line in a song in the musical sung by Joe Gillis, that originally said, "There's nothing wrong with being 50, unless you're acting 20."  And audiences would howl in laughter when it was sung. They figured out the reason was that audiences didn't think 50 was that old and they obviously thought she was much older than that. So instead of changing her age, they changed the lyric to: "There's nothing wrong with being your age, unless you're acting 20." Then people could think her age is whatever they wanted to think it was.

As an aside, when I saw a screening of the Best Picture winning film MARTY many years ago, there was a scene where Marty's mother and a neighbor lady are sitting in chairs and knitting and they have a conversation about all their troubles, mostly physical ones, and it makes them seem like they're very decrepit old ladies. Then Marty's mother says to her friend, "Well, that's what happens when you turn fifty."  Again, the audience erupted in laughter. In the early 50's people's  perception of being fifty was obviously different than it's become now.

Anyway, If they got a musical version underway I'd like to see one of the classic stars in it, like Shirley MacLaine or Liza Minnelli or maybe Barbra Streisand if she did not direct it herself. Maybe all of those ladies are too old now. Glenn Close just is too obvious to me and frankly, she's been doing it off and on for 25 years and the idea of her in it seems tired now. Some have suggested Meryl Streep and that idea seems too obvious. Also, though people "say" she can sing, I don't really care for her voice when she does. Cher? Not sure. She'd be great in a MAME revival. How about Ru Paul?

Let's throw out some names for Joe Gillis, too; some choices might be Jake Gyllenhaal, Matt Bomer, Channing Tatum, Harry Connick Jr., Ryan Gosling...Justin Timberlake?...Nathan Lane, heh!

Some people don't think the musical as a film wouldn't be so good, because several of Joe Gillis's songs are exposition related, in the manner of William Holden's voice-over exposition in the film. On stage, the character still sings the songs in front of the audience, though, while we witness Norma's scenes. But, in my opinion, in a film version no one says the songs have to be sung onscreen. They don't have to be. Who knows if it'll ever happen.

A few years ago they were going to produce it as one of those Theatre Live! presentations currently popular among theatre aficionados, like the recent FOLLIES production I saw. That didn't happen, either.

Offline Lyle (Mooska)

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Re: What Movie Did You Watch This Weekend? The Third.
« Reply #42 on: March 23, 2018, 11:25:10 AM »

--Eye in the Sky

This is a relatively recent film starring Helen Mirren, among others, about moral dilemmas in the age of drone warfare. It's a taught thriller and had me on the edge of my seat. The film is akin to having a near world-wide moral discussion about doing something while a clock is ticking down. I recommend it.



 

Offline Flyboy

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Re: What Movie Did You Watch This Weekend? The Third.
« Reply #43 on: March 25, 2018, 12:04:33 PM »
Only thing I know about Sunset Boulevard is the song With One Look, or whatever the title was then......Streisand recorded it way back when, LOVED her recording......I also LOVED Glenn Close's performance of the song at some event, an awards show, maybe a Royal performance in the UK? Can't remember, but I do love that song......never saw the Broadway show..........YET!! LOL....it could happen....... :o :o :o

Offline Jeff Wrangler

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Re: What Movie Did You Watch This Weekend? The Third.
« Reply #44 on: March 25, 2018, 01:39:35 PM »
"I am big! It's the pictures that got small!"

Love the preceding line, too.

"I know you. You're Norma Desmond. You used to be in pictures. You used to be big."

 ;D