Dedications: My four late friends Rory, Stan, Bryan, Jeff - shine on you crazy diamonds, they would have blogged too. Then theres Garry from Brisbane, Franco in Milan, Mike now in S.F. / my '60s-'80s gang: Ned & Joseph in Ireland; in England: Frank, Des, Guy, Clive, Joe & Joe, Ian, Ivan, Nick, David, Les, Stewart, the 3 Michaels / Catriona, Sally, Monica, Jean, Ella, Anne, Candie / and now: Daryl in N.Y., Jerry, John, Colin, Martin and Donal.

Sunday, 9 April 2017

Mahogany, 1975

I thought I would enjoy this one a lot more, but really, its just rather dull, dull, dull - not quite a '70s Trash Classic then, just forgettable really. It starts with a rather outre Seventies fashion show, but then the plot takes over.

Tracy (Diana Ross) an aspiring designer from the slums of Chicago puts herself through fashion school in the hopes of becoming one of the world's top designers. Her ambition leads her to Rome spurring a choice between the man she loves or her newfound success.
It's a guilty pleasure that you know is bad, but you just can't help enjoying it. Casting Diana Ross as a fashion model was truly inspiring since it gives her an opportunity to look sensational throughout. This she does with little effort. Billy Dee Williams is fine as her idealistic boyfriend intent on changing the world rather than his clothes, but the most fun is provided by Anthony Perkins whose performance could be subtitled "Norman Bates's Greatest Hits." As the neurotic and gay photographer, he chews the scenery like never before, and gives a sensational performance.

Well, yes, that about covers it, but it could have been delirious fun and it isn't. Nina Foch and Marisa Mell are also on hand, but are wasted, as is Jean-Pierre Aumont. Miss Ross glides effortlessly through it all on a rather one-note performance, though its a stretch to imagine her as a novice designer slumming it in Chicago .... but things look up once we hit Rome and all that decadence. It just could have been a lot more fun and taken off into a zany satire on fashion, but as ploddingly directed by Tamla honcho Berry Gordy (who fired Tony Richardson) it isn't. File it next to to those other Seventies glossy items like LIPSTICK, or THE EYES OF LAURA MARS or the brilliant AMERICAN GIGOLO in 1980, but that had the vision of Paul Schrader .... MAHOGANY now comes across like those vanity projects of Streisand or Beyonce.
Ross, who had a hit with LADY SINGS THE BLUES in 1972 (but was nothing like Billie Holiday in a glossy travesty of her life) had another hit here - I refused to see her THE WIZ though ...

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