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 Posted:   Jan 5, 2013 - 5:38 PM   
 By:   dan the man   (Member)

Glad i got the LES MISERABLES THREAD going, since you folks are saying some imformative stuff. So why don't we have more theatre talk? I will be in the Background here , like ED SUILLIVAN will pitch in with some ideas along the way and if you would like take it deeper from there. This month THIS[MOVIE NETWORK] will show the very rare 1980 film HAPPY BIRTHDAY GEMINI, the film died at the boxoffice, like alot of plays that were brought to the screen,. Folks would you like to offer why you think this happens often?

 
 
 Posted:   Jan 5, 2013 - 8:00 PM   
 By:   Christopher Kinsinger   (Member)

My guess is that it requires special handling to keep a film based upon a stage play from seeming "too stagey". I recall that Fred Zinnemann worked hard to "open up" A Man For All Seasons, taking as many scenes outdoors as possible.
Injecting the "cinematic" into a stage play requires a talented director who understands the special needs of such a property.
Robert Wise shot many, many scenes in The Sound Of Music outdoors, involving wonderful scenery, to bring his stage musical into cinematic life.
These are merely my opinions, but I have backed them up with a few facts.

 
 Posted:   Jan 5, 2013 - 8:39 PM   
 By:   PhiladelphiaSon   (Member)

I think it has more to do with some properties are fine if they are "stagey", and others are not. I have zero issue with DIAL M FOR MURDER, which pretty much never leaves the apartment, but despise the studio-bound MY FAIR LADY. which is screaming for a breath of fresh air, to me. Still MFL was a hit; but the title was so famous, it really couldn't fail. Not sure what makes the difference? I don't think it really has anything to do with its source being a play. Some films succeed (many inexplicably), and others do not. There are just as many flops based on books and original screenplays, as those based on Broadway shows. As a former avid theater-goer, since the 1950s, there are very few films that I find the equal of their stage counterparts. These days, I don't care much for either.

 
 
 Posted:   Jan 5, 2013 - 10:40 PM   
 By:   Christopher Kinsinger   (Member)

PhiladelphiaSon, you give me much to consider.
For example, Sidney Lumet's 12 Angry Men never leaves the courthouse, and spends most of the time in the jury room.
However, Lumet's camerawork, editing and overall direction take this stage play successfully into the cinema. He understood how to make that transition.

 
 
 Posted:   Jan 6, 2013 - 4:01 PM   
 By:   dan the man   (Member)

Then there was MY DINER WITH ANDRE-81- another example how a film can work in one setting, it worked so well with me i didn't want it too end.Just dawn on me, does anyone know if this was a play once?

 
 Posted:   Jan 6, 2013 - 7:47 PM   
 By:   PhiladelphiaSon   (Member)

Not a play.

 
 
 Posted:   Jan 6, 2013 - 8:33 PM   
 By:   Christopher Kinsinger   (Member)

Deathtrap, a stage play written by Ira Levin, became a film starring Michael Caine, Christopher Reeve & Dyan Cannon.
Once more, director Sidney Lumet brought the play into the cinema quite well.
Lumet had a singular talent for these properties.

 
 
 Posted:   Jan 6, 2013 - 8:42 PM   
 By:   neotrinity   (Member)



Considering his extensive expertise (behind and in front of the stage) someone who's professional pedigree hails from the theatre as PhillyJay does lends his perspective a mite more meat than one normally encounters.

As for AMFAS, eye'm not entirely convinced Mr. Zinnemann's translation of Robert Bolt's play was entirely successful vis-a-vis an overall re-conceptualization - let alone achieved realization - of the property. Like MFL, it was a pristine property that was pretty much failure-proof.

As to that - while there's no quibbling he brought forth some memorable moments - there were others (like the climactic Interrogation scene above) that we remember silently screaming at the static presentation of Mr. Scofield's passionate self-defense. Which was especially surprising considering film was the director's forte of expression.

Someone like Mike Nichols, however - a peerless theatre director who's one of the rare examples who transcended his origins and was able to translate them into consummate cinema terms - would've been able to combine the best of both mediums in a more fluid fashion.

Nothing's written in authoritative stone, however, so none of this is meant as a judgment, merely an offered observation ...


 
 
 Posted:   Jan 6, 2013 - 8:53 PM   
 By:   dan the man   (Member)

I thought 1776 -72 - worked well on film.-However in the same year there was MAN OF LA MANCHA-72- which died at the box office and was attacked by many critics and viewers alike.Sans such critical comments both movies had wonderful music.

 
 
 Posted:   Jan 6, 2013 - 8:56 PM   
 By:   Christopher Kinsinger   (Member)

AHHH, neo, my dear friend!
I am so glad you are here.
And, I have that funny feeling that you are about to usher us into the world of
Who's Afraid Of Virginia Woolf?!

Go for it, neo.

I am waiting with baited breath.

 
 
 Posted:   Jan 6, 2013 - 9:00 PM   
 By:   Christopher Kinsinger   (Member)

If I am recalling correctly, 1776 is the only Broadway play that was made into a film, keeping the entire cast intact.
Jack Warner insisted upon that.
If I'm wrong, please correct me.
1776 is a huge favorite of mine.

 
 
 Posted:   Jan 6, 2013 - 9:16 PM   
 By:   neotrinity   (Member)

frown

This was such utterly EXCRUCIATING torture to sit through because the damning dullness of he evidence on-screen substantiated the general suspicion into absolute certainty they hadn't the faintest idea what, why and how the stage version worked (even tho Dale Wasserman did do the screenplay).

The only thing Epic about it is how embarrassing it is for virtually all concerned.



Anyone whoever had the unforgettable treat (as we did) seeing Richard Kiley in the role he originated on Broadway



- one of the THE unmistakably towering musical performances of all time - knows the film was creatively and artistically DO non-Arrival. roll eyes

smile wink

 
 Posted:   Jan 6, 2013 - 10:29 PM   
 By:   PhiladelphiaSon   (Member)

If I am recalling correctly, 1776 is the only Broadway play that was made into a film, keeping the entire cast intact.
Jack Warner insisted upon that.
If I'm wrong, please correct me.
1776 is a huge favorite of mine.


My good friend Betty Buckley is not in the film, and it suffers because of it. On stage, her fire and incredible skills as both actress and singer convinced you she was just what Jefferson needed. On film, the lackluster Blythe Danner leaves you wondering what it was he missed! For me, the film hits a brick wall when she appears. Oddly, her number is the one song that I find infinitely better orchestrated on the OCR. Otherwise, I prefer the film's orchestrations.

 
 
 Posted:   Jan 6, 2013 - 10:35 PM   
 By:   Christopher Kinsinger   (Member)

Thanks to you all...
I am being EDUCATED!

 
 
 Posted:   Jan 6, 2013 - 11:59 PM   
 By:   dan the man   (Member)

Ok FOLKS- got a question for you theatre lovers. DO YOU THINK CATS would be successful if they did a big film version of it?

 
 Posted:   Jan 7, 2013 - 9:35 AM   
 By:   PhiladelphiaSon   (Member)

I have no idea what the appeal of CATS is. For me, it had one thing going for it, Betty Buckley (again) stopping the show. Then it had another friend of mine, Laurie Beechman doing the same thing. Otherwise, it had nothing, imo. Still, people love it. I just don't know why? By the way, when Buckley was hired for the show, that's all she was told by ALW. "I want you to stop the show." That's what she did.

 
 Posted:   Jan 7, 2013 - 9:36 AM   
 By:   PhiladelphiaSon   (Member)

I have no idea what the appeal of CATS is. For me, it had one thing going for it, Betty Buckley (again) stopping the show. Then it had another friend of mine, Laurie Beechman doing the same thing. Otherwise, it had nothing, imo. Still, people love it. I just don't know why? By the way, when Buckley was hired for the show, that's all she was told by ALW. "I want you to stop the show." That's what she did. She is now in London, getting ready to stop the show in the London premiere of Jerry Herman's DEAR WORLD.

 
 
 Posted:   Jan 7, 2013 - 10:30 AM   
 By:   neotrinity   (Member)

[ “Hers is the finest voice in musical theatre today. Betty Buckley ’s renditions are definitive, moving and letter-perfect.”]

Entertainment Weekly



ABSOLUTMUNDO, PhillyJay. The singular major oversight in Jack L. Warner's otherwise generally immaculate cast transference was the monumental lack of Mme. Buckley's magnificent voice and presence (which thankfully is still preserved on the original cast album).



Y'know, when one hears that oft-tedious and underwhelming



refrain of a 'musical treasure',

SHE immediately comes to authoritative

- to say nothing and everything of Authentic - mind.



She's easily equal to her illustrious predecessors in the magic musical pantheon of wondrous women tho,



in some consummate ways, she's in a class all by her admiring self.



[ Und, sey, PJ - is there anyone youse DON'T know?!? big grin ]

smile wink

 
 Posted:   Jan 7, 2013 - 8:02 PM   
 By:   PhiladelphiaSon   (Member)

I don't know lots of people!

 
 
 Posted:   Jan 7, 2013 - 8:11 PM   
 By:   neotrinity   (Member)

Nifty shot thar, amigo ... so didja do double-duty or were you just in front of the audience this tyme?

(and did you and Ms. Buckley do a show together once? How'dja meet?)

Inquiring 5,013 year young Immortals wanna know ...

 
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