Review

  • Short of taking "King Kong" and renaming it "The Understated Tale of a Tiny Primate Who Was Shy Around Women and Was Scared of Heights", this 1967 televisual feast may be the greatest misnomer on entertainment history.

    Whatever Nancy Sinatra can be said to be doing in the course of one hour, 'Moving' of any description is not amongst her feats. Throughout she remains icy cool - her trademark persona - with that petulant little pout occasionally breaking into a half hearted smile. She remains rigidly still while dozens of dancers churn furiously around her in a most unsuccessful simulation of activity. On the whole, she has the wooden personality of a stewardess on a bargain airline and makes Nicole Kidman look like Bette Midler.

    Which is not to deny the voice, which, even entrapped in these late sixties pastiches, is something to behold. The woman could sing. Even when wandering through the deep and meaningful set pieces - a whole lot of store dummies posing in evening gear on a wintry night leaving Nancy all alone for instance - cannot rob that voice of its power.

    But the camp element is what really makes "Movin' With Nancy", not the least a clearly disinterested Dean Martin popping up as Nan's "Fairy God-Uncle." The producers were no doubt congratulating themselves on their monumental restraint in not giving the role to Paul Lynde or Rock Hudson. "I just sang a sad song and now I'm depressed" whines Nancy to Dino, who obviously couldn't care less. Still he duets with her, a happy little ditty which apparently does the trick and cheers her up, though you'd never know it from the facial expression.

    Then we have Nancy as a supermodel doing great work for Sammy Davis Jr. She is the most rigid model in history, with all the animation of Marlene Dietrich in one of her comeback tours. She moves her shoulders from side to side and wears a big hat, which sends Sammy into paroxysms.

    You may be tempted to dismiss "Movin' With Nancy" after a few minutes as dated camp, but stick with it. Certainly don't miss the grand finale when she jumps into a balloon, flies away and pretty much tells us that she's sick of the sight of us.