Showing posts with label Julie Andrews. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Julie Andrews. Show all posts

Thursday, July 21, 2022

Thoroughly Modern Millie (1967)



Directed by George Roy Hill, Thoroughly Modern Millie (1967) stars Julie Andrews as the eponymous Millie. As a young woman living in New York City, Millie has big dreams. She sheds her out-of-date style for the new 1920s flapper look and sets her sights on a job so she can ultimately marry her boss and live a life of luxury and stability. Millie is staying at Mrs. Meers' (Beatrice Lillie) boardinghouse where the elevator requires its riders to tap dance for it to function and where a series of new tenants have mysteriously disappeared. Mrs. Meers is secretly running a sex trafficking ring with the help of a pair of Chinatown henchmen (Jack Soo and Pat Morita) who disguise themselves as launderers. She targets women who come to the city as orphans. Free of familial connections and with no one to miss them if they're gone, they're the perfect targets for Mrs. Meers to drug and sequester. Her new target is Miss Dorothy Brown (Mary Tyler Moore), a wide-eyed and naive young woman whom Millie quickly takes under her wing. Millie becomes the object of affection for paperclip salesman Jimmy (James Fox) but is adamant she will marry her boss Trevor Graydon (John Gavin) who really just has his sights on Dorothy. A series of events unfold including a wild party hosted by widowed millionaire Muzzy Van Hossmere (Carol Channing) and many attempts by Mrs. Meers to drug Dorothy. Will this quartet of love birds finally catch on to Mrs. Meers' machinations and save Dorothy before it's too late?

Thoroughly Modern Millie (1967) is a fun and lively musical that has a grand ole time with song, dance, costumes, color palettes and 1920s style and culture. It doesn't take itself too seriously which adds to the light and frothy feel. This was the first musical for director George Roy Hill (best known for his later films Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid and The Sting). He's quoted as saying "I wanted it to be a soufflé. I knew it had to stay afloat by its own mindless nonsense." And he definitely succeeded at that. The movie was produced by Ross Hunter who had made numerous big budget films for Universal Pictures including All That Heaven Allows (1955), Imitation of Life (1959), Pillow Talk (1959) and Flower Drum Song (1961). Hunter originally wanted to adapt the 1920s themed musical The Boy Friend but wasn't able to secure the rights so he decided to pursue the 1956 musical Thoroughly Modern Millie instead.

While the movie is not meant to be a wholly accurate portrayal of 1920s life, I was impressed on how many key cultural elements were shown that were indicative of the era. These include automobiles, aviation, (a reference to) automats, dance parties, '20s colloquialisms ("banana oil", "by jingo", etc), vaudeville and most notably "buildering" (the fad of climbing buildings that Harold Lloyd depicted in his 1923 silent comedy Safety Last!) There are references to silent films including various title cards which appear as thoughts for Millie when she breaks the third wall to deliver a quip to the audience. 

My favorite visual element of the film is the changing color pallette. The set design and fashion appear in muted colors of white, black, grey and beige with a pop of a singular color. This statement color becomes the visual focal point of those scenes. We see green, yellow, orange, pink, red, black, blue, gold then purple and eventually there are more references to previous colors.

Even though the lighter elements dominate, Thoroughly Modern Millie is ultimately a problematic movie. A sex trafficking musical that features really harmful Asian stereotypes is not going to sit well with contemporary audiences. And it's not like these themes are minor ones that could easily be edited out of the musical. They're really ingrained into the overall story. 

Thoroughly Modern Millie (1967) was a critical darling and a box office hit. Julie Andrews is at the top of her game and both Carol Channing and Mary Tyler Moore really shine in this musical. The film was nominated for seven academy awards including Best Actress in a Supporting Role for Carol Channing and Best Costume Design for Jean Louis. Elmer Bernstein earned the only win for the film with a Best Original Score Oscar. A sequel called The Jazz Babies was planned but never came to fruition.





The Roadshow Edition of Thoroughly Modern Millie (1967) complete with full overture, intermission and exit music is available on blu-ray from Kino Lorber. The movie has been fully restored in 4K by Universal Pictures. It really benefits from this restoration especially since color is such an important element in the movie. The Blu-ray disc also includes English subtitles, audio commentary by film historian Lee Gambin and art historian Ian McNally and various theatrical trailers. 


Thank you to Kino Lorber for sending me a copy to review!


Friday, April 17, 2015

Sound of Music (1965) Red Carpet Event at the 2015 TCM Classic Film Festival


On March 26th, 2015 TCM held a special 50th Anniversary screening of The Sound of Music (1965) complete with a red carpet event and an interview with stars Julie Andrews and Christopher Plummer. While I didn't attend the screening I did get to sit in the bleachers for an excellent view of the red carpet event.



I was 12th in line for the bleacher seats which held around 80 people or so. These are the best seats in the house if you want to gaze at the stars.

A view of the red carpet from the bleacher seats
Walking the red carpet were Spotlight Passholders, VIP media, TCM staffers, TCMFF special guests and presenters, Julie Andrews, Christopher Plummer and more.

Alan Hait on the red carpet
Bloggers Kristina of Speakeasy and Karen of Shadows and Satin on the red carpet
It was great to see familiar faces like Alan Hait, Kristina, Karen Burroughs Hannsbery and Lou Lumenick on the red carpet!

Eddie Muller

TCM's Sean Cameron served as our MC calling out the various guests and doing short interviews.



This woman, I believe her name was Dawn, works for TCM. She handles the talent. Sean Cameron asked her when Doris Day would be coming to TCMFF. She replied that she was going to Doris Day's birthday party the following week and she'd try to convince her to come. I couldn't help but be incredibly jealous of this woman! I'd love to go to Doris Day's birthday party.

Diane Baker


TCM's Charlie Tabesh

Keith Carradine

Robert Morse


TCM's Genevieve McGillicuddy


Leonard Maltin


Julie Andrews is somewhere under the umbrella
Can you see her?


Greg Proops

Shirley Jones



Annie V. Coates

Marty Ingels. Yes he is holding his crotch.

Errol Flynn's grandson and daughter: Sean Rio and Rory Flynn



Ben Mankiewicz poses for the crowd.

Norman Lloyd


I love this candid I got of Barry Pearl


Grease lightning! Michael Tucci, Barry Pearl, Jamie Donnelly and Kelly Ward


Christine Ebersole

Illeana Douglas

Here comes Peter Fonda!
There goes Peter Fonda!

Red Carpet Selfie
I hope you enjoyed my photos!

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