G | | Biography, Comedy, Drama
A musical biography of Gertrude Lawrence, who led a hustling and bustling life on the stage.
Daniel Massey plays Noël Coward, his own godfather. Massey made his film debut as a young boy, playing Noel Coward's son in the wartime drama, In Which We Serve (1942).
Unfortunately, my darling, you can't take a whole audience home to bed without being accused of immorality on rather a grand scale.
In the number "Burlington Bertie" the banana skin thrown onstage by Gertie disappears.
The only credits seen at the beginning of the film are those for a fictional black-and-white short subject about Gertrude Lawrence. The film's real credits all appear at the end. However, the Twentieth-Century Fox logo is shown only in black-and-white, and with tinny 1940's-style sound recording, as part of that fictional newsreel. We never see the logo in color and stereophonic sound, although Twentieth-Century Fox released "Star!"
When business didn't meet expectations, the studio suggested some shortening, and Robert Wise offered about 20 minutes of cuts that were literally scissored out of the prints while the film played to initial reserved seat audiences. The studio also tried revamping the ads to appeal to a younger audience, even including a shot of Julie posing with a motorcycle that was just an on-location joke and not a scene in the film. Another idea was to make up a couple print ads that tried to make the movie look like a soap opera, adding "Loves Of A..." to the title. The "Loves Of A Star!" ads were only tested briefly in a few papers, and never used widely. This prompted a politely shocked letter from Robert Wise to the studio, who sheepishly admitted it was a desperate attempt that failed. That title was never put on the actual film. In the spring of 1969, the studio withdrew the film from release entirely and decided on a drastic edit and total new identity. After removing many of the musical numbers and preparing new ads that deliberately made the picture look like The Sound of Music (1965), a two-hour version was released under the title "Those Were the Happy Times". At his own request, The credit "A Robert Wise Film" is not present on this version. The short version did no business.
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