Posts

Showing posts from January, 2014

The Girls In The Band - Movie Review

By Monica Sullivan

For music lovers who don’t know any better, girl bands tend to be a supplement to a study of the real bands, conducted and staffed by men.  “The Girls In The Band” is an illuminating film about real bands conducted and staffed by women.  Once upon a time, Ina Ray Hutton was one of those band leaders.  She was not a musician but she knew how to assemble and organize a good band, and she could dance, which added to her group’s appeal.

During the forties, when many male musicians were serving in the military overseas, great girl bands were welcomed and appreciated onstage.  Offstage, they faced the same problems as the men, suspicion and all the assorted pitfalls of one night engagements.  Some chose to remain on their touring buses when they weren’t performing: it was easier than dealing with racial bigotry, and endless hassles with hotels and restaurants.  After the war, a number of gifted female musicians chose to leave their bands and move into teaching.  The wome…

The Slipper And The Rose - Movie Review

By Monica Sullivan

Not too many people know about "The Slipper and the Rose" and that's a shame.  To be sure, there's a surfeit of "Cinderella" movies on video shelves competing for our attention, but this version has always been among my favorites.  It was originally released at 146m., an uncomfortable length for children, and reissued in 1980 at 127m.  The late 1970's were not a particularly receptive time for musicals, unless they reinvented the genre, like "Saturday Night Fever", "Grease", "Rock'n'Roll High School", "All That Jazz", "The Blues Brothers" or "Fame."  "The Slipper and the Rose" was definitely a musical out of its time.

There's much to appreciate in Bryan Forbes' valentine to the classic fairy tale, though.  For one thing, there's Richard Chamberlain as Prince Edward.  Then in the swashbuckling phase of his long career, Chamberlain is clearly havin…