Four socialite old friends unexpectedly clash, and switch partners during a party and attempt to make each other jealous.Four socialite old friends unexpectedly clash, and switch partners during a party and attempt to make each other jealous.Four socialite old friends unexpectedly clash, and switch partners during a party and attempt to make each other jealous.
The Man Who Knew Too Much
A musical comedy by a director who knew nothing about either genre. Should be a requirement in every film school curriculum, subject: The Dangers of Film School, or Sometimes They Who Remember the Past Are Even More Doomed to Repeat It Than Those Who Don't. This could be called Bogdanovich's "1941." I wonder if Spielberg looks at Bogdanovich's career and shivers in fear, wondering where he'd be if he'd followed "1941" with "Hook" and "Amistad" instead of "Raiders" and "ET"? Probably where PB is, writing books and making excuses. Where would Bogdanovich be if he'd just dug into directing instead of cinematic scholarship? No career has ever gotten off to such a rousing start then died so completely. With this picture. Could he have been so enamored of Orson Welles that he was compelled to share his fate, be the modern Orson Welles? There really is nothing particularly wrong with "ALLL", but there's nothing especially right about it either. It's like Hill House: a collection of small wrong angles that add up to a massive distortion of the whole. You can start with the fact that except for Madeline Kahn none of the cast was much of a singer or dancer, and as has been repeatedly pointed out, his recording them live only made things worse. And though Maddy is the sole laughable and listenable thing in the picture, she only serves to emphasize everyone else's lack of these qualities. My God, the woman even blows cigarette smoke out humorously--like a belch. Even more than with "What's Up Doc" PB showed he knew the letter of the law without having the slightest grasp of the spirit. I add this as an afterthought: this misguided missile may finally have been the last nail in the coffin of that (by then) long moribund tradition known as The Classic Hollywood Musical, especially of the wretched practice begun with "Camelot" of having non-singing actors sing, or try to. "Paint Your Wagon" was worse, but this was the final curtain. My wife opined that PB was trying to kill off the musical the way "Blazing Saddles" killed the Western. I've never been able to dispute her, then or since.
- Aug 7, 2011
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