9 April 2002 | moonspinner55
Kids and critics turned up their noses, but film-buffs should get a kick out of it!
This musical version of "The Blue Bird" is highly reminiscent of those awful, English-dubbed "Pippi Longstocking" movies from Sweden, where everyone is manic, grinning, out of step and out of tune. The same clueless qualities are on display here, only this picture was directed by George "My Fair Lady" Cukor and co-stars Elizabeth Taylor, Ava Gardner, Cicely Tyson and Jane Fonda! Filmed in Russia (with the assistance of a Russian crew and Russian rubles), it's a remake of the Shirley Temple chestnut from 1940, adapted from the play by Maurice Maeterlinck, and literally defies explanation. Amateurish--and yet fascinatingly so--the movie is heavier than bricks and is never seamless; it feels patched together by a child's hands. I remember watching this on HBO many years ago several times, always in stunned, mind-numbing shock. Taylor (in four roles!) goofs around a little and she's fun to watch, Fonda has a pithy few seconds as Night, and Robert Morley is energetic without camping it up as Father Time; everyone else is out to sea. Forgettable, needless songs by Irwin Kostal and Andrei Petrov. Connoisseurs of bad cinema should feast on this for ages. Hey, terrible flicks can be fun, too. ** from ****