This is a posh view of London – all Harley Street surgeries, helicopter rides over the Thames, posh hotels. Garland’s numbers are interestingly staged: “By Myself”, “Hello Bluebird”, “It never was you” and that title song. That long opening scene is good, when the singing star arrives at the surgery late at night, ostensibly to have her vocal chords checked, with Jenny initally nervous and then belligerent as Doctor Dirk refuses to let her see her son - who is away at boarding school, dragged up to sing Gilbert & Sullivan ! As she sings "By Myself" (a totally different reading from the throwaway Astaire one in THE BANDWAGON, with the intensity ramped up; the audience applaud as the star rushes off to continue her discussion with her manager about getting her son - the people love her but she remains obsessed in her own "lonely stage" - the film's original title.
|A lull in that complex scene ?|
My mother, a Garland fan, and I went to see this at the time, while its no A STAR IS BORN, its still a satisfying view and a nice companion piece to the Cukor classic. (Judy looks just right here - by 1967 when she was supposed to be in VALLEY OF THE DOLLS she was looking painfully emaciated, as she was until her death in 1969).