Tag Archives: Judith Crist

Nr 463: The First Nudie Musical (1976)

16 Jan

The First Nudie Musical (movie)
Screenplay, Music & Lyrics: Bruce Kimmel

Gotta sing, Gotta dance
While I’m Taking of my pants

The son of an almost famous studio owner is forced to make porno films to keep the bankrupt studio from being made into a shopping center. The films have titels like Teenage Sexmutants and Stewardesses in Cages. But lately these films have started to flop. In an attempt to get back on the high ground he decides to make a new kind of porno, a musical comedy porno. He makes a bet with the debtors who wish to take ownership of the studio, that if they finance the musical and he can’t complete it within two weeks, they can foreclose.
Ribald humor, bawdy songs and plenty of skin abounds in this sophomoric satire that while unabashedly trashy, has developed a bit of a cult following.

I found the films soundtrack album in a record store in Sweden when I was a teenager and I found it deliciously smutty. I loved going around town and with a loud voice sing the songs in the hope that I would shock people. But it was the seventies so people, at least in Sweden, weren’t that easily shocked about sexual stuff. I was a bit disappointed, I mean there I was singing about Dancing Dildos, cunnilingus and Orgasms and people just thought it cute or absolutely normal… Ah, the seventies…
I loved the songs then and I still do. But I didn’t actually get a chance to see the film itself until it came out on DVD in the early noughties. I have just revisited it so it would be fresh in my mind for this blog and I can tell you that it still holds up pretty well. Some of the physical comedy feels a little forced and dated, but the dialogue is still funny and had me laughing out loud quite a few times and some of the show numbers are pure delights. It’s pretty crude and has a low-budget feel with a ”musical-within-a-movie” theme, but with satirical sexual humor and if you like that kind of thing (and I do), it’s definitely worth seeking out!
They’ve added a very funny hour long retrospective documentary as a bonus on the DVD.

The budget for the picture was $125 000. It got picked up by Paramount Pictures for distribution. But when the studio saw the finished product they thought it dragged a bit in the middle and they asked Bruce to shoot some new scenes. So he came up with the Dancing Dildos number. The studio asked ”Are there nude girls in the number?” ”Yes”, he answered and they gave him $75 000 just to shoot that scene!

There are som great future stars in this movie:
Cindy Williams who already had a nice little movie career going on, got her big break through on tv the same year the film premiered in the tv-series Laverne & Shirley. She played Shirley for 8 seasons. Laverne & Shirley was a spin-off of the sitcom Happy Days (1974-84).
Future director Ron Howard was the star of Happy Days and he did a cameo in this movie.
Cindy and Ron also played girlfriend and boyfriend in the George Lucas film American Graffiti (1973).
Diana Canova went on to play Corinne Tate in the sitcom Soap (Lödder in Sweden).
And director, actor, author, composer and lyric writer Bruce Kimmel has starred in and directed a lot of films and tv-series. He has also written plays and musicals (among them The Brain from Planet X, which you can find on this blogg, it’s nr 200). From 1988 to 1993, Kimmel co-owned the specialty label, Bay Cities, releasing over 100 albums that included American classical music, cast albums, and soundtracks. In 1993, Kimmel became a full time record producer with his own division at Varese Sarabande, producing many cast albums (Broadway and off-Broadway), Broadway singers, and musical theater concept albums, first for the Varese Sarabande, and then for a company he founded, Fynsworth Alley. His current label Kritzerland has issued close to 400 albums including cast albums, singers, and a series of reissues of limited edition soundtracks.

The film actually got some great reviews and became a minor hit. The first week of its wide release, it was the fourth highest-grossing picture in the country, behind Star Wars, You Light Up My Life, and The Spy Who Loved Me.

The actual first nudie musical is considered to be the 1963 nudie-cutie Goldilocks and the Three Bares (1963)

Chockful of youthful talent, well spiced by outrageousness and sparked by invention. The three stars are simply irresistible. Cindy Williams is enchanting, Kimmel is the ultimate appealing schnook. Fresh and funny and funky. Made for about 1 percent of the budget of New York, New York, but a hundred times funnier and more perceptive. It’s the Star Wars of nudie musicals.
– Judith Crist, New York Post

More vitality, imagination, zany comedy and stellar performances than most movies. It’s one of the most memorable movies of this year. A raunchy delight. Cindy Williams is a marvel! Kimmel is a joy to watch!
– Joseph Gelmiş, Newsday

A Mel Brooksian salute to porno chic.
– Bruce Williamson, Playboy

Silly, sophomoric, at times downright inept, this little low-budget venture picked up by Paramount is more often than not hilarious, offering good, tonic laughter to those not offended by nudity and blunt language.
– Kevin Thomas, Los Angeles Times

Basically a one-joke idea that wears thin despite an air of amiability.
– Leonard Maltin’s Film Guide (two stars out of four)

A few clever bits are downed in a larger sea of silliness, forced gags and predictable cliche.
– Arthur D Murphy, Variety

C’mon Honey
The Red Band Trailer
Audition scene
A ”naked” tv-review of the movie from 1976

Dag 245: Ernest In Love

7 Aug

Ernest In Love (1960), Off-Broadway, 103 föreställningar
Musik: Lee Pockriss
Sångtexter & libretto: Anne Crosswell, baserad på Oscar Wildes pjäs The Importance of Being Earnest från 1895.

Jack Worthing har uppfunnit en omöjlig yngre bror, Ernest, för att få en ursäkt att med jämna mellanrum lämna sin egendom på landet och bege sig in till storstaden, där han är känd som Ernest Worthing.
Jack (som Ernest) förälskar sig i den unga Gwendolen Fairfax och friar till henne – och hon svarar glatt ja. Gwendolen har nämligen ända sen barndomen drömt om att gifta sig med en man vid namn Ernest.
Samtidigt så har Jacks skrupelfria vän Algernon fått höra historien om den påhittade brodern och beger sig till Jacks egendom under sken av att vara den yngre brodern. Där träffar han Mr Worthings vackra skyddsling Cecily Cardew, som även hon när en dröm om att gifta sig med en man vid namn Ernest.
När både damerna och vännerna råkar sammanstråla på Jacks gods blir det tydligt att det är både för många och för få Ernest-ar inblandade i det hela. Det hela blir inte bättre av att den ena kvinnans mycket bestämda mor anländer för att uttrycka sin motvilja mot hela affären.

Det här var en underbar liten, för mig, okänd musikal.
Och den är något av det härligaste och charmigaste jag hört på många, många dagar.
Jag har hittat en ny favvis!
Musiken påminner mycket om musiken till musikalen Robert and Elisabeth (se Dag 218) och det menar jag som en komplimang för jag älskar den musikalen.
Bra sångtexter och helt fantastiskt härliga, om så lite gammaldags (men det är väl därför jag gillar den), melodier.
Ett litet fynd. den kommer att spelas många, många gånger! Det kan jag garantera.

Come Raise Your Cup, The Hat, A Handbag Is Not A Proper Mother, The Muffin Song, My Eternal Devotion, Ernest In Love

Musikalen började sitt liv som en en-timmes tv-musikal som gick på CBS 1957.
Responsen var så positiv att upphovsmakarna bestämde sig för att förvandla den till en helaftonsmusikal som fick sin premiär den 4:a maj 1960. Trots positiva recensioner så gick föreställningen bara 103 gånger innan den försvann.
Efter sin spelperiod 1960 så dröjde det enda tills 2010 innan showen åter syntes i New York. Återigen så var det off-Broadway som gällde och det passar nog denna lilla show bäst. Det var Irish Repertory Theatre som satte upp den. Passande för Oscar Wilde var ju Irländare till födseln.

Musikalen har också spelats i Japan. Det skedde 2005 och det var Takarazuka Revue, en musikteatergrupp med bara kvinnliga skådespelare, som satte upp den.

Även Österrikarna har haft en chans att se den, detta skedde 2007 på Neue Studiobühne Wien

Everything has been done in the most impeccable taste…Lee Pockriss’s music is deft and droll. Ann Croswell’s book and lyrics are clever…the whole performance radiates sly good nature.
– Brooks Atkinson, The New York Times

charming…a fresh and likable musical show… excellently played.
– Richard Watts, Jr., The New York Post

It has all the charm and pleasure of a spring bouquet.
– Judith Crist , New York Herald Tribune

Press om revivaln 2010:
Does Oscar Wilde’s best play really need music? Of course not. But Anne Croswell (who wrote the book and lyrics) and Lee Pockriss (who wrote the music) managed between them to put a fresh and personal spin on Earnest: They shifted the emphasis from Wilde’s epigrams to his pretty-young-things-in-love plot, thereby turning a masterpiece of diamond-hard verbal ingenuity into a romantic soufflé lightly sauced with wit.
No, it’s not Wilde, but if you can keep from breaking out in a cheek-to-cheek grin when Jack Worthing launches into a neat little soft shoe in the first scene, you’re just a sour old crock.
– Terry Teachout, Wall Street Journal

You Can’t Make Love från Neue Studiobühne Wien, dialog på tyska och sång på engelska
Muffin Song på japanska från Takarazuka Revue
Ernest in Love Promo #1 från Quinnipiac University
Ernest in Love Promo #2

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