Funny Girl’s legacy and value is as a recreation of Streisand’s one-for-the-ages turn in the stage version, now preserved as long as we can watch movies.” — Matthew Kennedy, author of Roadshow! The Fall of Film Musicals in the 1960s

The Digital Bits and History, Legacy & Showmanship are pleased to present this retrospective commemorating the golden anniversary of the release of Funny Girl, the motion picture adaptation of the stage musical featuring Barbra Streisand’s Academy Award-winning performance as comedienne Fanny Brice.

Produced by Ray Stark (Annie, The Way We Were) and directed by William Wyler (The Best Years of Our Lives, Ben-Hur), the award-winning film also starred Omar Sharif (Lawrence of Arabia, Doctor Zhivago) and Kay Medford (BUtterfield 8, Ensign Pulver). The Library of Congress in 2016 selected Funny Girl for preservation in the National Film Registry. [Read on here...]

“It’s clear in retrospect that Camelot began the extinction process of old school Broadway musicals extravagantly transferred to the screen.” — Matthew Kennedy, author of Roadshow! The Fall of Film Musicals in the 1960s

The Digital Bits and History, Legacy & Showmanship are pleased to present this retrospective commemorating the golden anniversary of the release of Camelot, the Oscar-winning cinematic interpretation of the King Arthur legend and the Lerner and Loewe stage musical which starred Richard Harris (Cromwell, Unforgiven) as King Arthur and Vanessa Redgrave (Blow-up, Julia) as Guenevere.

Camelot — directed by Joshua Logan (South Pacific, Paint Your Wagon) and which featured Franco Nero, David Hemmings and Lionel Jeffries in supporting roles — opened 50 years ago this past autumn. For the occasion, The Bits features an historical reference listing of the film’s major-market roadshow engagements and a Q&A with film historian Matthew Kennedy, who discusses the film’s virtues, shortcomings and legacy. [Read on here...]

[Editor’s Note: This article was originally scheduled to appear a year ago for the film’s 50th anniversary. The article was delayed so that it could be published to coincide with the delayed but now available Blu-ray Disc release.]

My Fair Lady is probably the greatest popular smart musical ever made. The melodies soar, the characters endear and engage, and the wit of so much pointed commentary on social class, gender, money, and surface appearances never lapses into self-conscious cleverness.” — film historian and author Matthew Kennedy  [Read on here...]

“I knew we had a good picture, but I had no idea that it would become such a staggering hit.” — producer-director Robert Wise

“Considering the degree to which most people pride themselves being cynical, I’m still surprised that a movie this heartfelt was so thoroughly embraced by so many people and continues to be. Perhaps folks aren’t as hard-edged as they pretend to be.” — film historian and author Barry Monush  [Read more here...]

Tuesday, 11 February 2014 12:01

Sweet Charity: The Roadshow Engagements

“The Musical with a Heart of Gold”

The Digital Bits is pleased to present this retrospective commemorating the 45th anniversary of the release of Sweet Charity, starring Shirley MacLaine as Charity Hope Valentine and highlighted by numerous musical numbers, including “Rich Man’s Frug,” “The Rhythm of Life,” and “I’m a Brass Band.”

Though not yet released on Blu-ray Disc (Universal…what are you waiting for?), The Bits celebrates the musical’s 45th anniversary with a detailed listing of the film’s original, major-market roadshow engagements in the United States and Canada as well as an interview with a trio of roadshow history authorities.  [Read on here…]

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