‘Totally Fashionable Millie’ Foolish Enjoyable 1967
|“Totally Fashionable Millie,” a ’20s musical with the ’60s greatest singing film star!|
That Totally Fashionable
Millie, a overvalued piece of fluff, was an enormous hit in 1967 was reasonably superb. Millie wasn’t from successful Broadway
musical, as usually was the case within the Sixties. Maybe audiences who wished
one thing extra mainstream than Bonnie and
Clyde and different ’67 gritty movies flocked to Millie.
|Julie Andrews is Millie, right here earlier than she will get her fashionable makeover.|
Producer Ross Hunter couldn’t get the rights to Julie
Andrews’ outdated Broadway hit The Boyfriend.
So Hunter employed expertise to prepare dinner up Totally
Fashionable Millie. Satirically, healthful
Millie was Julie’s final hit film till
a dozen years later, with husband Blake Edwards’ racy 10.
Totally Fashionable Millie stars a various trio of main
girls: Julie Andrews, on the peak of her movie stardom; Carol Channing, the
toast of Broadway within the megahit Howdy,
Dolly; and Mary Tyler Moore, who simply completed her run as the proper TV
spouse on The Dick Van Dyke Present.
|Mary Tyler Moore is Miss Dorothy, the newest boarder on the ladies’s resort.
She turns into besties with Julie Andrews’ Millie in “Totally Fashionable Millie.”
Although Julie Andrews and Mary Tyler Moore are greater than a
tad previous the age of enjoying ingénues, the main girls are each interesting,
particularly Julie within the title position. Julie is high-spirited and enjoyable, in
nice voice and a sport dancer. Moore performs the position of Miss Dorothy, the
pampered princess, who arrives on the girls’ resort. Mary could appear stilted in
the position, however apparently she wished to softly spoof the candy younger factor position.
There are some enjoyable numbers, like Julie’s opening title quantity that reveals her
transformation from goody woman to flaming flapper. The faucet dance scene with
Julie and Mary, to make the creaky resort elevator run, is charming.
|Bea Lillie as Mrs. Meers, who runs a ladies’s resort & white slavery ring.
She’s flanked by henchman Pat Morita & Jack Soo, who would discover fame within the ’70s.
In one other galaxy, there’s Carol Channing because the outrageous ex-showgirl,
now-rich Muzzie Van Hossmere. Despite the fact that Carol’s solely in a handful of scenes, with
two numbers, her outrageous persona is at full tilt and the Academy noticed match to
give her a Greatest Supporting Actress Nomination for 1967. Whereas I’ve all the time had a
low tolerance for Carol Channing’s charms, her “Jazz Child” is an excessive
camp basic. It’s as if Child Jane Hudson made her comeback and was a smash.
|I half anticipated to listen to Carol Channing caterwaul “I’ve Written a Letter to Daddy!”
However she sings “Jazzy Child” and prances all around the set. Have to be seen to be believed!
there’s British icon Beatrice Lillie, who performs the comedian villain Mrs. Meers.
She’s dryly amusing, because the henchwoman who runs a white slavery ring in addition to
the ladies’s resort.
John Gavin spoofs his square-jawed appears to be like good-naturedly as Trevor
Graydon. The tall, darkish, and good-looking star actually fills the invoice right here after which
some! Gavin has gotten a lot criticism as performing picket in Millie. Properly, Gavin wasn’t the world’s most relaxed actor, however I’m
stunned that individuals don’t get that his hero is meant to be intentionally
stiff, like Mr. Peterman on Seinfeld.
|John Gavin’s a very good sport because the square-jawed hero in “Totally Fashionable Millie.”|
James Fox is the shock right here as Jimmy Smith, who longs for
Millie. I’ve solely seen Fox in intense dramatic roles like The Servant, King Rat and
Efficiency. Think about my shock when
I noticed he’s not solely dashing and lovable, however a most nice singer and
dancer, as well. Okay, so his singing was dubbed by Jimmy Abbott, who additionally
supplied the voice for Richard Beymer in West
Aspect Story. However Fox appears to be like like he’s having nice enjoyable. He actually captures
the high-spirited male ingénues of the early a part of the twentieth century present biz.
|James Fox is a complete charmer as Jimmy, the free spirit in “Totally Fashionable Millie.”|
The movie merrily mixes enjoyable track and dance types, and film
conventions from the period. However at two and half hours lengthy, there’s a lot
padding that would have been lower. Apparently, Ross Hunter could be thanked for
this. The producer preferred to suppose huge, whereas director George Roy Hill thought this
was a lightweight musical comedy. Therefore, the superfluous numbers and Hunter’s insistence
on an overture and intermission made Millie
a “street present” occasion as an alternative of a two hour movie.
|In “Totally Fashionable Millie,” our heroine mulls over her attraction to each
John Gavin’s dashing boss or James Fox’s darling Jimmy.
As an example, Andrews’ Millie singing the “Trinkt Le Chaim”
quantity at a pal’s Jewish marriage ceremony—which has nothing to do with the remainder of
the movie. As candy as “The Tapioca” could also be, introducing Jimmy’s character and
Mrs. Meers’ antics, goes on a lot too lengthy. The later Harold Lloyd-type bodily
comedy scene with Andrews and Fox, whereas sport, can also be prolonged.
|Bea Lillie because the comedian villain Mrs. Meers. That is about how severe 1967’s “Totally Fashionable Millie” will get.|
Some viewers can be delicate and object to the subplot of
a white slavery ring run by Chinese language villains as rightly racist—who weren’t even
performed by Chinese language actors, so as to add insult to damage. I took it as cartoonish camp
and spoofing outdated film serial tropes. Additionally, Julie’s Millie offers up targets of
independence to be an old style spouse to wealthy Jimmy! Nevertheless, I doubt
high-spirited and outspoken Millie would stay demure for lengthy.
|As Miss Dorothy, Mary Tyler Moore when she first sees John Gavin’s Trevor,
in “Totally Fashionable Millie.”
George Roy Hill, who liked interval motion pictures, directed Totally Fashionable Millie. He introduced a
lot of analysis, talent, and elegance in his imaginative and prescient of this earlier period, a lot as he
did with 1973’s The Sting. Not like the
movie’s producer, the director considered this film has mild, intelligent enjoyable—which
comes off nicely. Hill had simply directed Julie in a commercially profitable epic,
Hawaii, in order that they labored nicely collectively,
and it reveals.
|Julie Andrews has nice enjoyable as “Totally Fashionable Millie,” comically vamping right here.|
The combo of outdated and new songs mix collectively easily;
costumes by stylish Jean Louis are glossy and at occasions comical, as with
Channing’s glitzy glamour. The brand new songs are by Jimmy Van Heusen and Sammy
Cahn, plus “Jimmy” by Jay Thompson. Elmer Bernstein was bemused to have received an
Oscar for his non-musical rating—it was shoehorned in between all of the songs,
plus meddling producer Ross Hunter had arranger Andre Previn goose up Bernstein’s
extra era-appropriate rating.
|Carol Channing toasts the celebrities to a contented ending in “Totally Fashionable Millie.”|
Given the background goings on, I’d say that Millie made a splash was nearly a fluke,
on condition that movie-goers tastes would shortly change. The following 12 months, Julie
Andrews’ Star! and 1970’s Darling Lili would bury her profession as a
prime movie main woman. In comparison with these latter two behemoths, Totally Fashionable Millie is the mannequin of
simplicity in leisure. Simply keep in mind Millie
was a film remodeled 55 years in the past, in regards to the Roaring Twenties!
Right here’s my take a look at director George Roy Hill’s different interval
comedy-drama, The Sting: https://ricksrealreel.blogspot.com/2021/08/redford-newmans-star-power-sting-1973.html
|Carol Channing as Muzzie actually acts like she’s been shot out of a cannon in “Totally Fashionable Millie!”|