Friday, March 1, 2024

‘Totally Trendy Millie’ Foolish Enjoyable 1967

“Totally Trendy Millie,” a ’20s musical with the ’60s greatest singing film star!

 

That Totally Trendy
Millie
, a hyped up piece of fluff, was an enormous hit in 1967 was slightly superb. Millie wasn’t from a success Broadway
musical, as usually was the case within the Nineteen 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’ previous Broadway hit The Boyfriend.
So Hunter employed expertise to cook dinner up Totally
Trendy Millie
.  Sarcastically, healthful
Millie was Julie’s final hit film till
a dozen years later, with husband Blake Edwards’ racy 10.

Totally Trendy Millie stars a various trio of main
girls: Julie Andrews, on the top 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 right 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 Trendy 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 function. Julie is high-spirited and enjoyable, in
nice voice and a sport dancer. Moore performs the function of Miss Dorothy, the
pampered princess, who arrives on the girls’ resort. Mary could seem stilted in
the function, however apparently she wished to softly spoof the candy younger factor function.
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. Though 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 Finest 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 traditional. 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 everywhere in the set. Should be seen to be believed!

Lastly,
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 seems 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. Nicely, 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 an excellent sport because the square-jawed hero in “Totally Trendy 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 isn’t solely dashing and cute, however a most nice singer and
dancer, in addition. Okay, so his singing was dubbed by Jimmy Abbott, who additionally
offered the voice for Richard Beymer in West
Facet Story
. However Fox seems 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 Trendy 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 might have been reduce. Apparently, Ross Hunter will be thanked for
this. The producer favored to assume huge, whereas director George Roy Hill thought this
was a light-weight musical comedy. Therefore, the superfluous numbers and Hunter’s insistence
on an overture and intermission made Millie
a “highway present” occasion as a substitute of a two hour movie.

In “Totally Trendy Millie,” our heroine mulls over her attraction to each 
John Gavin’s dashing boss or James Fox’s darling Jimmy.


For 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 Trendy Millie” will get.


Some viewers will probably 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 previous 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 Trendy Millie.”


George Roy Hill, who liked interval motion pictures, directed Totally Trendy Millie. He introduced a
lot of analysis, talent, and magnificence 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 gentle, 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 Trendy Millie,” comically vamping right here.


The combo of previous and new songs mix collectively easily;
costumes by stylish Jean Louis are smooth and at instances 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 celebs to a cheerful ending in “Totally Trendy Millie.”


Given the background goings on, I’d say that Millie made a splash was nearly a fluke,
provided that movie-goers tastes would rapidly change. The following yr, Julie
Andrews’ Star! and 1970’s Darling Lili would bury her profession as a
high movie main girl. In comparison with these latter two behemoths, Totally Trendy Millie is the mannequin of
simplicity in leisure. Simply bear in mind Millie
was a film remodeled 55 years in the past, concerning 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 Trendy Millie!”


 

 

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