Matchmaker Dolly Levi travels to Yonkers to find a partner for "half-a-millionaire" Horace Vandergelder, convincing his niece, his niece's intended, and his two clerks to travel to New York City along the way.
The life of Fanny Brice, famed comedienne and entertainer of the early 1900s. We see her rise to fame as a Ziegfield girl, subsequent career and her personal life, particularly her relationship with Nick Arnstein.
Daisy Gamble, an unusual woman who hears phones before they ring, and does wonders with her flowers, wants to quit smoking to please her fiancé, Warren. She goes to a doctor of hypnosis to do it. But once she's under, her doctor finds out that she can regress into past lives and different personalities, and he finds himself falling in love with one of them. Written by
On A Clear Day came at the end of the Movie Musical Cycle that started strong from MY FAIR LADY. Once the market became supersaturated with musicals (Half A Sixpence, Dr. Doolittle), the beauty of the movie musical wore off.
On A Clear Day started life as the next go-round for Richard Rodgers. After he retired working with Oscar Hammerstein, he partnered with Alan Lerner and they started to write this musical. Rodgers backed out of the project but the show made it to Broadway with Barbara Harris in the lead. It was respectfully received but never did blockbuster business. In fact, if it weren't for the song "What Did I Have?" it would almost be forgotten.
Enter Vincente Minelli and Ms. Streisand. Together, they took the idea and ran with it until it became a big, bright, lovely movie. The old songs (the title song and "What Did I Have") are rendered priceless by Barbra who sings them as emotional tour-de-forces. The new songs (a cute duet "Go To Sleep" and "Love With All The Trimmings") are wonderful. In fact, the latter was filmed a la Tom Jones. In short, everything about the film worked.
Originally it was three hours long and intended as a road show production (tickets ordered in advance; two shows a day). Paramount went for the fast buck and they trimmed it to under two hours. Yes, what is left is priceless and wonderful but I wish they would release the Director's Cut of this musical. If what we see today is still excellent, I can't help but wonder about what they took out.
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