I now blog over at The Eyre Guide! This blog is an archive of my past posts.

Monday, March 28, 2016

Movie Musical Challenge: Kiss Me Kate

Posted by Charlene // Tags: , ,
In Movie Musical Challenge, I'm watching 20 films I picked as great films or films I wanted to watch.  This post is about the 1953 film Kiss Me Kate starring Kathryn Grayson, Howard Keel and Ann Miller.

I like Kiss Me Kate.  I saw the stage version for the first time a couple years ago, and in that version I was a little iffy on the romance because it seemed like Fred and Lilli got back together when they maybe hadn't really worked out the issues in their marriage.  But with this film, it seemed better somehow.  More believable that they realized they divorced over something little, and it did help that Fred still seemed to be in love with Lilli.  I'm not sure if the film did it better, or if I wanted them to get back together more.  Anyways, I enjoyed their dynamic very much - especially their antagonism.  They had chemistry even when they were attacking each other. LOL  The image they picked for this poster really highlights how messed up their relationship is though...

The music is Cole Porter, and I love me some Cole Porter.  "Why Can't You Behave,"  "I Hate Men," and my very favorite "So In Love" were highlights in this film, with the staging and dancing of "Why Can't You Behave" being the visual highlight.  Ann Miller is such a vivacious dancer.  Even the gangsters who annoyed me a bit when I saw the show live, came off as more silly and fun in this film.  The approach to the story with this movie was much more entertaining for me, I guess.

This film also re-teamed Grayson and Keel after their roles in Showboat from a couple years earlier, and I love them as a team.  I think Kathryn Grayson distinguishes herself much more in this though - she was perfect as the young, innocent ingenue in Showboat, but she was also fantastic as the cynical, shrewish Lilli/Kate in this.  I was wondering how I would feel about her singing too, because it's such a pure soprano, that I found it hard to imagine it imbued with the hate or anger that Kate sings with.  But she did it!

It's interesting to note that Bob Fosse is one of Bianca's beaus in this film, and he got to choreograph his own two minute dance with Carol Haney.  When I saw his name in the opening credits, I was trying to figure out which character he was playing, but when he started that dance, I knew it was him.  It was fantastic.

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