America, Heck Yeah


Well, I was hardly to know a week ago, as I swiftly watched and wrote up WHERE DO WE GO FROM HERE? (1945) for Forgotten By Fox, that the US’s fundamental relationship to its armed forces would have changed by the time of publication, was I? But I’ve never been fond of flagwaving so I don’t find anything embarrassing in the piece, even though you might not be in the mood…

Still, when I say this pageant/farce is scripted by the Marx Bros’ Morrie Ryskind and has songs by Kurt Weill and Ira Gershwin, you might be… intrigued? And you can play two of the musical numbers, over at The Notebook.

5 Responses to “America, Heck Yeah”

  1. dbenson Says:

    Fondly remember the movie “Lady in the Dark” for its ending. Psychoanalysis not only enables career woman Ginger Rogers to realize what she really wants is to be tamed by a manly jerk, but she tosses off instant diagnoses of a couple of other characters. This may have been in Moss Hart’s original libretto. He was an eager disciple of psychoanalysis himself.

    That would make a nice double feature with “Carefree”, where a friend hires psychiatrist Fred Astaire to make Ginger fall in love with the friend. Fred succeeds via hypnosis, but regrets it. Ginger’s malleable mind is finally set right via slapstick.

  2. Lady in the Dark underwent considerable rejigging in Hollywood, to Weill’s chagrin. A shame, because I think I’d rather have an intact Lady than a more-or-less complete Where-Here.

  3. dbenson Says:

    All musicals get rejiggered, almost always losing multiple songs and acquiring strange and sloppy revisions to the story. “Lady’s” dream sequences were essentially mini-operas on stage, and got slashed down to standard production numbers. There was a 1997 London production; the cast album of that is evidently the closest you can get to Weill’s complete score. It’s a download on Apple Music, or you can get a new or used CD on Amazon.

  4. Lovely!

    I guess stage musicals are typically longer than movies, outside of the roadshow era, and the opening out, addition of credits etc, all tends to make them longer, so cuts become “necessary,” but it still seems weird that Hollywood has always bought successful properties only to tamper with them radically.

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