Tuesday, January 22, 2019

Oscaritis

The nominations are out.  Let's look at the big awards.

Best Picture:
“Black Panther”
“BlacKkKlansman”
“Bohemian Rhapsody”
“The Favourite”
“Green Book”
“Roma”
“A Star Is Born”
“Vice”

Eight choices, and every one predictable.  The Favourite, Green Book and Roma (a rare foreign language film) deserve to be here.  The rest are just okay or not particularly good.  I get the feeling I'm going to think this for most of the nominations.

Lead Actor:
Christian Bale, “Vice”
Bradley Cooper, “A Star Is Born”
Willem Dafoe, “At Eternity’s Gate”
Rami Malek, “Bohemian Rhapsody”
Viggo Mortensen, “Green Book”

Bale did an impressive impersonation, but gee, the movie is just a big joke.  Sort of funny, but not important in any way (or accurate).  It's hard not to believe its nominations are based on political considerations.  Cooper is on a worse bandwagon than Bale, but no surprise. The big surprise is Willem Dafoe--he usually gets nominated once a generation, but this is his second in a row, in a film that no one saw.  He's fine in it, but are they trying to make up for him not winning last year when he should have?  Malek, like Bale, nominated for a great impersonation.  Mortensen is another recent Academy favorite, and probably deserves this more than the others.
 
Lead Actress:
Yalitza Aparicio, “Roma”
Glenn Close, “The Wife”
Olivia Colman, “The Favourite”
Lady Gaga, “A Star Is Born”
Melissa McCarthy, “Can You Ever Forgive Me?”

Aparicio was great, and it's rare to see someone nominated for a non-English role (she speaks two languages in the film--does she speak English as well?) Glenn Close a big Academy favorite who's never won--don't know if she'll win for this, but her nomination, if perhaps not deserved, is no surprise.  Nice to see Olivia Colman get in.  Not so nice to see Lady Gaga make it.  Melissa McCarthy did a decent job in her movie, but this shows if you want a nomination, do a drama rather than a comedy.

Supporting Actor:
Mahershala Ali, “Green Book”
Adam Driver, “BlacKkKlansman”
Sam Elliott, “A Star Is Born”
Richard E. Grant, “Can You Ever Forgive Me?”
Sam Rockwell, “Vice”

Two recent winners, Ali and Rockwell. Ali was pretty good, though I don't know what Rockwell, usually a fine actor, was doing--his George W. Bush was ill-conceived in the script, so maybe there wasn't much he could do with it.  Adam Driver didn't do much in his movie, though I guess he was better than the lead.  Sam Elliott played himself in an embarrassing role that should have been cut from the movie.  Richard E. Grant gives the best performance far and away, so I hope his award wasn't the nomination.

Supporting Actress:
Amy Adams, “Vice”
Marina de Tavira, “Roma”
Regina King, “If Beale Street Could Talk”
Emma Stone, “The Favourite”
Rachel Weisz, “The Favourite”

Once again, I don't get all this love for Vice.  Interesting to see Roma getting so many nominations.  I heard so much about King's performance that I was disappointed when I finally saw it.  Good to see both Stone and Weisz here, though it likely means they'll cancel each other out.
 
Director:
Spike Lee, “BlacKkKlansman”
Pawel Pawlikowski, “Cold War”
Yorgos Lanthimos, “The Favourite”
Alfonso Cuarón, “Roma”
Adam McKay, “Vice”

Spike Lee is back with this nomination, though I think he came close to ruining a decent script.  (If he or anyone from Vice wins, can we expect them to confuse the Oscars with a political lecture series?)  A true shock with Pawlikowski.  He did a good job, but where's Green Book or A Star Is Born.  Lanthimos no surprise, nor Cuaron, though they do make it a notable international list.  And enough with this Vice nonsense.
 
Animated Feature:
“Incredibles 2,” Brad Bird
“Isle of Dogs,” Wes Anderson
“Mirai,” Mamoru Hosoda
“Ralph Breaks the Internet,” Rich Moore, Phil Johnston
“Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse,” Bob Persichetti, Peter Ramsey, Rodney Rothman

Once again, no surprises, though no title here was amazing--often this category is better than Best Picture.

Adapted Screenplay:
“The Ballad of Buster Scruggs,” Joel Coen , Ethan Coen
“BlacKkKlansman,” Charlie Wachtel, David Rabinowitz, Kevin Willmott, Spike Lee
“Can You Ever Forgive Me?,” Nicole Holofcener and Jeff Whitty
“If Beale Street Could Talk,” Barry Jenkins
“A Star Is Born,” Eric Roth, Bradley Cooper, Will Fetters

Buster Scruggs was seen mostly on TV, not in theatres, but it's Academy eligible.  No surprises with the rest, though none of them are especially great.
 
Original Screenplay:
“The Favourite,” Deborah Davis, Tony McNamara
“First Reformed,” Paul Schrader
“Green Book,” Nick Vallelonga, Brian Currie, Peter Farrelly
“Roma,” Alfonso Cuarón
“Vice,” Adam McKay

The only surprise is First Reformed.  What's most shocking, perhaps, is this is its nomination--not Ethan Hawke or Schrader for director.  Believe it or not, Schrader's first Oscar nod.

Best Documentary Feature:
“Free Solo,” Jimmy Chin, Elizabeth Chai Vasarhelyi
“Hale County This Morning, This Evening,” RaMell Ross
“Minding the Gap,” Bing Liu
“Of Fathers and Sons,” Talal Derki
“RBG,” Betsy West, Julie Cohen

In a big year for docs, the biggest of them all--the one on Mr. Rogers--doesn't make it.  Neither does Three Identical Strangers.  But RBG sure did.
 
Best Foreign Language Film:
“Capernaum” (Lebanon)
“Cold War” (Poland)
“Never Look Away” (Germany)
“Roma” (Mexico)
“Shoplifters” (Japan)

A pretty good list, with no surprises.  But it's odd that Roma is here and also everywhere else.  How can it not win this category if it's the only one good enough to be considered for Best Picture?

Monday, January 21, 2019

Lively

Out here on the West Coast, new episodes of Saturday Night Live are broadcast twice.  First at 8:30, which is 11:30 EST, so we can watch it live, and then again in a rebroadcast at 11:30 in its normal slot*.

Over the weekend, I was watching the live version and they did a sketch about a game show**, "Millennial Millions."  It featured Millennial contestants trying to get money to pay off students loans, etc., before the Baby Boomers take it first.

Early on, Aidy Bryant comes out and sings a song about Baby Boomers.  However, in a flat out technical mistake, she was given a chyron that was meant to be used later.  So I decided to watch the second showing just to see if they would (and could) remove it.  Sure enough, in the rebroadcast it was gone.

So now wonder how many changes do they regularly make?  It's known that they do a full dress rehearsal in front of a live audience before they go on the air.  I've often wondered if something completely fails in the regular show if they use a previous performance because it worked better.

I don't think I'll ever know.  I don't really want to watch the show twice for comparison.  I often don't want to watch it once.

*Actually, SNL starts at 11:29 for some reason.  I guess Lorne Michaels has a lot of clout at NBC.

**They go to the game show well far too often.

Sunday, January 20, 2019

Out Of State

Nancy Pelosi has said during the shutdown President Trump should not make his State Of The Union address for security reasons.  While it's a transparent ploy, it's nevertheless a good idea.

All the Constitution requires is the President "give to the Congress information of the State of the Union, and recommend to their Consideration such measures as he shall judge necessary and expedient."

Already this clause is outdated.  It was written in a time before television, telephones, telegraphs, or any kind of instantaneous information.  It made sense to require the President to keep the Congress abreast of the latest at least annually.  It wasn't easy for everyone to get together and share things.

It's still required by law.  But there's no requirement for a speech.  The President can just send a report on paper (or pixels, I suppose).  The speech has become completely politicized.  The President isn't informing Congress, he's playing to the cameras.  Meanwhile, the Dems and Repubs applaud or stay silent to make it clear where they stand.

Let's end the modern tradition of a big speech. It's an annoying event best missed.  It would be wonderful it we wouldn't have to miss it because it didn't happen.

Saturday, January 19, 2019

Finally

There aren't that many more episodes left of The Big Bang Theory. And after about 270 episodes, they just did something I don't recall them ever doing before.

The episode, "The Confirmation Polarization," aired two days ago.  The characters were discussing how experimenters sometimes win Nobel Prizes over the theoreticians behind their work.

The specific example was Penzias and Wilson, who discovered cosmic background radiation.  They didn't even know what they had.  In fact, they thought their equipment was faulty until someone explained to them the significance of the data.

In other words, they won a Nobel Prize in physics for unwittingly helping to establish the Big Bang theory.

I haven't watch every episode ever on the show, and I don't remember everything the characters have ever said, but I think this was the first time they mentioned the Big Bang theory.  I wonder if the realized they better do it soon before the show was off the air.

Friday, January 18, 2019

SH

I was so busy with the annual film wrap-up that I forgot to mention Susanna Hoffs, the face and voice of The Bangles, turned 60 yesterday.










Thursday, January 17, 2019

Film Year in Review--2018

It's time for our eagerly awaited annual film wrap-up (a little later than usual, but I've been unusually busy).

2018 was not a great year for film. I had a tough time putting together a top ten--most of the finalists wouldn't have made it in a really good year. I should note there were some major movies I didn't check out. I'm not a professional critic, I have to buy tickets, and I just wasn't going to pay to see Venom. I should also note I saw several films starring or created by friends, but I won't be discussing those since I don't think I can be objective.

Before we start, a few ground rules. I discuss only feature films released or made widely available in U. S. theatres in 2018. No shorts, no TV, though the latter distinction is getting tougher to uphold. A number of major titles last year were released in theatres but soon after made available on streaming services such as Netflix. So I split the difference--if I saw a film first in a theatre (such as, say, Roma), it'd be in contention, but if I saw it first on TV (such as, say, The Ballad Of Buster Scruggs) it wouldn't.

I will give out some awards, note some trends, tell you which films were good, bad and ugly, and then list my top ten. You can rush to the bottom right now to see the list, but really, the best stuff is along the way.

Feel free to leave a comment, whether you agree or not. In fact, comments tend to be better when you don't agree.

2018 AWARDS

Performances Of The Year: There wasn't a single performance that stood out above all, so here are some that I enjoyed. Anne Hathaway in Ocean's 8, Elsie Fisher in Eighth Grade, Richard E. Grant in Can You Ever Forgive Me?, Awkwafina in Crazy Rich Asians, Yalitza Aparicio in Roma

Star Of The Year: Emily Blunt, who was the lead in two very different films, A Quiet Place and Mary Poppins Return.  Runner-up: Michael B. Jordan, who was the antagonist in Black Panther and the lead in Creed II.

Most Bizarre Performance: Nicolas Cage in Mandy. (Maybe we should just name the award after him.)


 
Best Sequel: Paddington 2 (I actually didn't see Paddington, but the sequel worked fine on its own)

Worst Sequel: Equalizer 2--and the first one wasn't exactly anything to write home about.

Most Disappointing Sequel: Halloween--they actually had me believing they were going to do it right for a change.  Runner-up: The Incredibles 2--it was okay, but just couldn't compare to the original.

Best Reboot: Ocean's 8 wasn't half bad, and I haven't liked any of the Ocean films since the first one (i.e., the first remake).

Worst Reboot: The Predator

Most Pointless Reboot: Mary Poppins Returns. You could call it a sequel, but it essentially tells the same story. Trouble is we've already got the original.

Worst Prequel: The First Purge. We don't need to know about past purges--or present purges or future purges.

Best PrequelBumblebee.  Not that it's any good--I mean in comparison to the other Transformers movies.

Put It Out Of Its Misery Award: A Star Is Born. Aren't we done with this yet?  Even if you liked it (and I sure didn't), this is the fourth version, and the first was kind of a remake of What Price Hollywood?

Best Half MovieThe King. It's a musical journey across America exploring the life and meaning of Elvis Presley. Unfortunately, it spends a fair amount of time comparing Elvis's story to American history, which is pretty dumb, but, happily, easy enough to ignore.

Best Opening Shot: Roma. Soapy water washes over a tiled floor. We don't know where we are, or what's happening, but we'd like to find out.



Runner-up: Searching. A rolling green hill. Feels like we've seen it before. Oh yeah, it's the default screen on Windows XP.

Best Line: From Game Night. Max and Annie, going into their house with grocery bags, are trying to convince creepy, suspicious neighbor Max they're not having a game night.

Gary: Three bags of Tostitos Scoops, I noticed.
Max.  There was a special on these tonight.  Three for one.
Gary: Three for one?
Max:  Yep.

Gary:  How can that be profitable for Frito-Lay?

Best Bad Line: "You sent me to whore school!" Red Sparrow

Most Tired Plot Device: Black male being shot by a white cop. It turned up in a movie about every other month.

Most Generic Title: The Wife

Best Plot Twist: Borders. It's not so much a plot twist as an explanation of what's going on, and it makes perfect sense.

Worst Plot TwistTully. You may figure it out, you may not, but either way, I don't think you'll like it.

Most Ridiculous Plot: Avengers: Infinity War. The bad guy, Thanos, plots to kill half of all life in the galaxy. His reason? There are too many beings and it's destroying the ecology.  I don't care if he is mad--even he knows the galaxy is a pretty big place.

Movie That Was Better Than It Had Any Right To Be: Alpha. Looked kind of dumb, but wasn't bad.

Best Musical Moment: We're well into Cold War, set in the post-WWII years. So far, we've only heard Eastern European folk music, cool jazz and a bit of Chopin. Now our leading lady is at a club and they put on "Rock Around The Clock." This may not exactly be the point of the scene, but it sure reminds you what a thunderbolt rock and roll was when it first appeared.
 


Best Original Song: Mackenzie Davis and Carrie Coon surprise us with a pretty good number in Iggy Gets The F Across Town:



Babette's Feast Award For Best Food Porn: Ramen Heads

Taylor Kitsch Award For The Actor Whom Producers Mistook For A Star: Claire Foy. She may win Emmys, but the audience wasn't there for Unsane, First Man or The Girl In The Spider's Web.

Jason Statham Award For Actor Who Appears In One Bad Film After Another But Still Manages To Be Appealing: Dwayne Johnson was in two lousy films, Rampage and Skyscraper, but we still like him.

You Me And Dupree Award For The Film That While Nominally A Hollywood Comedy Is Actually A Surrealist Masterpiece Where Plot Points Are Introduced And Dropped For No Reason, Dialogue Is Unrelated To The Action, And Characters Do Things That Bear No Resemblance To How Humans Act: I Feel Pretty

House Of Sand And Fog Award For Miserable People Doing Miserable Things That Ends Up In Misery:
Hereditary

Rogue One Award For Unneeded Patches:
Solo: A Star Wars Story, explains so many things--how he got his name, how he got his ship, how he met Chewie, how he met Lando, what the Kessel Run is--and every explanation made Han Solo just a little less interesting.

Quirkiest Characters: 
Boundaries. It's a story about an old man who deals drugs, his grown daughter who can't help but take in stray animals, and her son who draws people he knows in pornographic situations. Screenwriters like to give their characters quirks, but if it feels forced, they just end up being annoying.

Weirdest Concept: The Green Fog. Guy Maddin retells Vertigo by piecing together bits from old TV shows and movies set in San Francisco.

Best Scottish High School Zombie Musical: Anna And The Apocalypse.

Most Misleading Title: If Beale Street Could Talk--we don't get anywhere near Beale Street, and it sure doesn't talk. Runner-Up: Roma--would you have guessed it's set in Mexico?

Film Most Clearly Done For A Paycheck: 
A tough call, but I'll go with Bruce Willis sleepwalking through a remake of Death Wish.


TRENDS AND OBSERVATIONS

Running Numbers:
Zero, Ready Player One, First Man, The First Purge, First Reformed, Second Act, Three Identical Strangers, The Nutcracker And The Four Realms, 6 Dynamic Laws For Success, 7 Days In Entebbe, Eighth Grade, Ocean's 8, Mile 22, Fifty Shades Freed, mid90s, 1945

We The Animals: 
Black Panther, Isle Of Dogs, Beast, American Animal, Ant-Man And The Wasp, We The Animals, Bumblebee, The Mule, Fantastic Beasts, Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse, Superfly, Show Dogs, Pandas, Peter Rabbit, Thoroughbreds, Dog Days, A Cool Fish, The Seagull, Pick Of The Litter

What's In A Name:
Colette, Mandy, Tully, Becks, Uncle Drew, Blaze, Diane, Hal, White Boy Rick, Jonathan, Lean On Pete, McQueen, King Cohen, Whitney, Winchester, Itzhak, Christopher Robin, Proud Mary, Madeline's Madeline, The Great Buster, Juliet Naked, Carter & June, Stan & Ollie, Holmes & Watson, Mary Queen Of Scots, Peter Rabbit, The Meg

Where It's At: 
Chappaquiddick, Beirut, Soller Point, In Echo Park, Roma, Los Angeles Overnight, Welcome To Marwen, Little Italy, If Beale Street Could Talk, Hotel Transylvania 3, Mountain, Scorched Earth

Color My World: Black Panther, Red Sparrow, The White Orchid, The Green Fog, Little Pink House, Green Book, BlacKkKlansman

Book 'Em: Book Club, Green Book, The Bookstore

Game Night: Tag, Puzzle, Truth Or Dare, Game Night
 
Swinging For The Fences: There were a number of films that didn't work--Hereditary, Sorry To Bother You, Mandy--but at least they were trying something different.

John C. Reilly Needs A Partner: He starred in Stan & Ollie, Holmes & Watson and The Sisters Brothers. He also did the voice in Ralph Breaks The Internet, and though the title doesn't give it away, he sure needs Vanellope.

Job Of The Year: Domestic servant--Mary Poppins Returns, Tully, The Favourite, Roma

Life Imitates Art: In the end credits of The Death Of Stalin, we see photos of the characters being defaced or removed as they're being written out of history. Meanwhile, one of the leads, Jeffrey Tambor, was being written out of his Emmy-winning lead role in Transparent due to allegations of sexual harassment.

What's Up Doc:  Documentaries were hot in 2018.  In the doc world, a $10 million gross is the equivalent of a blockbuster, and four films, with varied content, managed it--RBG, Won't You Be My Neighbor?, Three Identical Strangers and Free Solo.

Not Bloody Likely: Just how much blood does a human body contain? Based on films like Sicario: Day Of The Soldado, Mandy and Revenge, I'd guess about ten gallons, considering how much you can lose and still be walking around.

Actually, A Women Wrote That: Colette, The Wife, Can You Ever Forgive Me?, Be Natural

Old White Guys Make The Best CriminalsThe Mule, The Old Man And The Gun, Widows

Make Your Point With Miniatures: Hereditary, Vice, Welcome To Marwen

Crazy Rich Asians: Burning, The Great Buddha+, Ghostbox Cowboy, Crazy Rich Asians

Taking The Rap For Someone ElseFlowers, Thoroughbreds, If Beale Street Could Talk

Good-Looking Women Trying To Look Bad: Nicole Kidman in Destroyer, Margot Robbie in Mary Queen Of Scots (at least when she has pox), Eva Melander in Border

Sobbin' Steve: Steve Carell, a talented comic actor, stars in two films where he'd rather make us cry, Welcome To Marwen and Beautiful Boy.

Odd Creatures Dropping In To Battle An Unready MilitaryRampage, Bumblebee, The Predator

All There In Black And White: A bunch of art films were shot in black and white: Cold War, 1945, The Party, Roma. Yeah, I know, the filmmakers thought it was essential, but at this point, black and white is just an affectation.


RANKINGS

GOOD

Paddington 2, Thoroughbreds, Flower, Isle Of Dogs, Ready Player One, The Green Fog, Avengers: Infinity War, The Rider, Solo: A Star Wars Story, Always At The Carlyle, Won't You Be My Neighbor?, 6 Dynamic Laws For Success, The King, Three Identical Strangers, Revenge, Blindspotting, McQueen, King Cohen, Mission: Impossible--Fallout, Juliet Naked, Crazy Rich Asians, Alpha, Hal, A Simple Favor, Love Gilda, Bad Times At The El Royale, The Great Buster, Border, The Favourite, Be Natural, Anna And The Apocalypse, Cold War, Stan & Ollie
 
OKAY
 
12 Strong, Scorched Earth, Becks, Black Panther, Ramen Heads, The White Orchid, A Quiet Place, Los Angeles Overnight, You Were Never Really Here, Chappaquiddick, Lowlife, Beirut, The Endless, Lean On Pete, Adventures In Public School, Ghost Stories, Beast, Measure Of A Man, First Reformed, Filmworker, Iggy Gets The F Across Town, Puzzle, Boom For Real: The Late Teenage Years Of Jean-Michel Basquiat, Mountain, Soller Point, That Summer, The Gospel According To Andre, Funeral Day, Ocean's 8, Hearts Beat Loud, The Texture Of Falling, The Incredibles 2, Damsel, Leave No Trace, Hover, Don't Worry He Won't Get Far On Foot, Heels, Scotty And The Secret History Of Hollywood, BlacKkKlansman, Support The Girls, Searching, We The Animals, Lost Fare, Diane, White Boy Rick, Conny Plank: The Potential Of Noise, Knuckleball, Bohemian Rhapsody, In Echo Park, Colette, Can You Ever Forgive Me?, The Clovehitch Killer, Ralph Breaks The Internet, At Eternity's Gate, The Price Of Everything, Ghostbox Cowboy, Mirai, The Great Buddha+, Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse, Getting Grace, Mary Poppins Returns, Vice, If Beale Street Could Talk, Destroyer
 
NOT OKAY
 
The Commuter, Den Of Thieves, Maze Runner: The Death Cure, Early Man, Annihilation, Game Night, The Party, Red Sparrow, Death Wish, Love Simon, Blockers, Tully, Deadpool 2, Upgrade, Hotel Artemis, Tag, Action Point, Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom, Hereditary, Boundaries, Rampage, Sicario: Day Of The Soldado, The First Purge, Sorry To Bother You, Skyscraper, Equalizer 2, The Darkest Minds, The Spy Who Dumped Me, Christopher Robin, 1945, The Wife, Madeline's Madeline, Mile 22, The Bookshop, Uncle Drew, Peppermint, The Predator, Life Of The Party, The Sisters Brothers, The Old Man & The Gun, Mandy, A Star Is Born, Night School, First Man, Halloween, Widows, Creed II, Bumblebee, The Mule, Aquaman, Second Act, Welcome To Marwen, Burning, Mary Queen Of Scots
 
TOP TEN (in alphabetical order)
 
American Animals

There are so many caper films, but very few capture how sickening it would feel to be part of one.

Ant-Man And The Wasp

There are too many superhero films, but when they're light on their feet they can be fun.

The Death Of Stalin

Soviet history as farce, which, if you ignore the tragedy, it is.

Eighth Grade

Some people saw hope, but I thought it was the saddest film of the year, and all too accurate.

Free Solo

It's crazy to climb a mountain with no gear, and this film makes you feel it.

Green Book

This movie has become surprisingly controversial--surprising since it's a good old-fashioned crowd-pleaser.

mid90s

I didn't come of age in the mid-90s, I didn't skateboard, I didn't hang around with disreputable kids (much), but I know what it's like to be young and hang out.

Never Goin' Back

A stupid little comedy about a couple of young, white trash gals.  The critics didn't think much of it, and the movie flopped (bet you haven't heard of it), but what can I say, I liked it.

Roma

Even if this weren't based on the director's story, it sure captures what life is like--the big things and the small.

Shoplifters

A film that asks the question what really is a family?

Wednesday, January 16, 2019

CC

Carol Channing has died.  She's known, almost exclusively, as the star of Helly, Dolly!  But she had a career before that, of course.

Tall and striking, she first appeared on Broadway in the early 1940s.  By the late 40s she was getting great notices for her work in the musical revue Lend An Ear.  In late 1949 she became a star, originating the role of Lorelei Lee in Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, introducing the song "Diamonds Are A Girl's Best Friend."



She tried her hand at movies and TV, but never really made it there--her personality seemed to need the theatre for the audience to take her all in.

She has become so associated with Hello, Dolly! that it's easy to forget she wasn't the first choice for the lead.  In the planning stages, the musical, based on Thornton Wilder's The Matchmaker, hardly seemed like a blockbuster in the making.  Composer Jerry Herman was not yet a big name, and a number of top directors weren't interested in taking on the show.  The brassy lead role of Dolly was offered to Ethel Merman--it almost seemed to be written for her--but she turned it down (though she'd later play it).  Mary Martin also said no.

It'd been a long time since Channing had created a hit, but she got the role.  And it fit like a glove--when Dolly comes back to old haunts and says she won't go away again, it's a lot like what Channing was doing.

The show needed a lot of fixing out of town.  Producer David Merrick even called in other songwriters for new material.  But somehow it all came together--Herman's songs and Gower Champion's staging perfectly showed off Channing, and they had a huge, award-winning hit.  And Channing had a career.  She would go on to tour in productions of Dolly, on and off, for decades to come, performing the role almost 5000 times.  She didn't miss a performance, because there was no show without her.

She never got to recreate her Broadway roles for the movies.  Marilyn Monroe played Lorelei Lee and Barbra Streisand played Dolly.  But it didn't matter.  Channing did something you don't see much any more. She became internationally famous for starring in a Broadway show.  And her indelible Dolly will love on, no matter how many others play the role.


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