Our fine four-fendered friend

Mar 14, 2010 20:36

For my sixth graders' music class, I just previewed Chitty Chitty Bang Bang (chosen as much visual gags as much as the music). It'd been years since I'd seen it, and there's a whole lot that maturity (and subtitles!) let me appreciate for the first time.

In particular, it struck me that as romantic duets go, this is awfully fun:

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It's got humor, ( Read more... )

in my world everyone bursts into song

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Comments 30

antennapedia March 15 2010, 02:49:27 UTC
Aaaaaah, one of my guilty pleasures, this movie. Dick van Dyke is a rubber man-- amazing physical comedy.

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snickfic March 15 2010, 03:29:31 UTC
He absolutely is, here and in Mary Poppins as well. It took several watches as a child over a number of years to convince me that Bert and Mr. Dawes Sr. were played by the same person.

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bobthemole March 15 2010, 03:32:29 UTC
I've never seen CCBB before and now it's on my netflix queue. Thanks for the rec!

(Now I'm seeing Spike humming Truly Scrumptious to Dawn.)

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snickfic March 15 2010, 03:35:46 UTC
Hee! Hey, there's a still_grrr plotbunny for ya! (Except, I don't know if CCBB won any Oscars.)

And you are most welcome for the rec. Be forewarned; it's, uh, fairly wacky.

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bobthemole March 15 2010, 03:56:41 UTC
Except, I don't know if CCBB won any Oscars.

I already checked! Sadly, it didn't - it was actually panned by many critics. I guess musical films were going out of fashion at that point.

It's distressing how many plot bunnies I have nibbling at my feet when I have NEGATIVE TIME to spend on them! Woe.

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snickfic March 15 2010, 03:58:09 UTC
Negative time? That's quite the accomplishment, right there. *g*

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penny_lane_42 March 15 2010, 13:15:53 UTC
True story: one summer when my family drove down to Florida (13 hours! Yay!), we borrowed my cousins' TV that could be plugged into the cigarette lighter and my sister and I watched this movie all the way there and then all the way back. So neither of my parents have ever seen it, but they sure do know all the songs!

The Child Catcher was petrifying. Truly, truly scary. But it's such a generally happy movie, with bright colors, and fun songs. I like it.

I looooove musicals. There's a reason my journal has a tag called "unironic musical love." I think The Music Man has the best lyrics of any musicals--there's so much sly humor and subtlety, and everything's so complex! My favorite is West Side Story because Bernstein is one of my favorite composers ever, and the dancing is incredible. Tony and Maria are kind of sops (and WHOA BAD CASTING), but Anita and Bernado and Riff are totally awesome. AND DID I MENTION THE DANCING? ;)

But yes. There's a whole corner of my brain dedicated to every word of The Sound of Music and Les ( ... )

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snickfic March 15 2010, 23:25:12 UTC
I think I'm going to have the title song stuck in my head for the next month (occasionally interspersed with "Hushabye Mountain"). It's actually not my favorite by a long shot, but I wanted something with plenty of visual interest and nothing too difficult in the way of accents, although I'd completely forgotten about Grandpa and the "Vulgarian" accent.

The Music Man got nicked for its complexity, but I love it like whoa; watching CCBB has got me jonesing for musicals in general.

I've only seen West Side Story once, and was underwhelmed. I'm not sure why; maybe it's my same old problem with the Romeo and Juliet storyline. I'd actually considering it for my sixth graders, though, since I'm pretty sure the gang stuff would interest my boys (alas), the tragic romance would interest my girls, and the Latin American characters would appeal to both. I can't remember how much potentially objectionable stuff it has in it, though ( ... )

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penny_lane_42 March 16 2010, 00:01:53 UTC
Oh, CCBB isn't near my favorite either, but I think it was a good one for you to choose. Did you students seem to enjoy it?

You should try WSS again, and don't watch it for the story because, like I said, Tony and Maria? Not so great. But the side characters are fantastic (I wanted to be Rita Moreno when I was younger) and the music is absolutely astounding (I have an obsession with Bernstein--well, with both Bernsteins, actually, even if they're not related--and he's one of my favorite conductors as well; I refuse to listen to Copland unless he's the one conducting). Plus: seriously. The greatest. Dancing. Ever.

[eta] And I meant to ask! Seven Brides for Seven Brothers? Seen it? Russ Tamblyn's in West Side Story, too. (I had such a crush on him when I was little!)

Objectionable stuff...not-very-graphic violence, a scene where a woman gets attacked (again, not graphic, just a bit unsettling) and some suggestive lyrics in a few songs. But the suggestive stuff would probably fly way over their heads (I'm thinking "Officer ( ... )

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snickfic March 16 2010, 01:02:45 UTC
I mean to try WSS again. I'll let you know. :)

I did see Seven Brides for Seven Brothers, and it was one of those in which the songs didn't seem to have enough to do with the plot to suit me. Possibly it's another one I need to try again.

I looked up Russ Tamblyn and realized that all this time I'd been confusing him with James McArthur, who was Fritz in Swiss Family Robinson and David Balfour in Kidnapped. At any rate, yes, he was quite the cutie in SBfSB.

I... may be listening to the Newsies soundtrack as we speak, to prep for next week's edition. *g*

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eowyn_315 March 22 2010, 03:04:31 UTC
Heee!! I am a huge musical dork, but I've never seen CCBB. I tend to favor the more contemporary musicals, though. Andrew Lloyd Webber owns me.

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snickfic March 22 2010, 03:08:34 UTC
It's fun. It's by no means my favorite, but it has it moments, most of them involving either Dick Van Dyke's physical comedy or just sheer silliness relating to the fictional Germanic country of Vulgaria.

I only know ALW through Phantom, but I do really like the music of that one.

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eowyn_315 March 22 2010, 03:28:57 UTC
Phantom is probably his best one (and definitely the one I'm least embarrassed to admit liking), because it's epic and all that, but I kind of love his sillier stuff - I was just listening to Starlight Express recently and thinking, "Wow, this really is a children's musical, isn't it?" and feeling a little silly for making my parents go see it with me when I was sixteen.

But the entire show is on roller skates and there are protective Plexiglas barriers between the stage and the first row of seats so the cast doesn't crash into the audience. How is that not awesome??

ALW has a knack for writing absolutely gorgeous music and then teaming up with the cheesiest lyricists he can find, lol.

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snickfic March 22 2010, 03:41:05 UTC
Alas. And the actual written lines are worse... I got to know Phantom by singing parts of it in high school, so I had this whole complex psychological horror plot worked around the songs by the time I saw the movie, and was severely disappointed. There was no there there.

(The housemate is a rabid fan of the novel, and tells me that the musical is vastly inferior to the novel, as well as the usual, public domain translation of the novel being vastly inferior and actually shorter and less complex than the original French. She reports there's a much better translation by a guy named Lowell Bair, which I've been meaning to read.)

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