A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum

A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum

Director: Richard Lester Cast: Zero Mostel, Phil Silvers, Buster Keaton
4.6 13

DVD (Wide Screen / Stereo / Dolby 5.1)

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A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum

Stephen Sondheim's first solo Broadway musical was turned into a lively cinematic romp by director Richard Lester, which suffers from perhaps an occasional overabundance of Lester-isms. The quick cuts and sight gags that worked so well on It's Trad, Dad, A Hard Day's Night, and Help! are a little distracting at times from the jokey script, which has fun with all manner of conceits about the ancient world and the timeless nature of human foibles. On the other hand, Lester himself has always maintained that he didn't have a free hand with this movie, having run into interference from producer Melvin Frank. The DVD offered a chance to go into the back-story of the movie, but the producers have, alas, failed to take advantage of the opportunity. A commentary track by Sondheim or Lester, or any of the other surviving participants would have been a stroke of genius, as well as an invaluable service, and would have resulted in a DVD that would still be a bargain at double the price. As it is, the DVD is simply a less expensive improvement on the laserdisc edition without any extras, which is still worth owning. The film looks very good, and occasionally radiant (in comparison to television presentations from the 1970s). The shots alternate between the beautiful and the above average -- for example, the gorgeous scenes between Michael Crawford and Annette Andre at 24 minutes in, during "I'm Lovely," are surrounded by sequences that look simply sharp and clean; the close-up of Zero Mostel when he is hit on the head with a flower pot is beautiful, but the wide shots in the same scene are just so-so visually; and the shots inside the house of Lycus are stunning. The 98-minute movie is broken into 28 chapters that delineate the key scenes and the musical numbers, and a trailer has been included as well. It's as much fun as the movie can be, which is considerable, but it could have (and ought to have been) a lot more.

Product Details

Release Date: 04/18/2000
UPC: 0027616809124
Original Release: 1966
Rating: NR
Source: Mgm (Video & Dvd)
Region Code: 1
Presentation: [Wide Screen]
Sound: [Dolby Digital, stereo]
Time: 1:37:00

Special Features

Collectible booklet; Original theatrical trailer

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Zero Mostel Pseudolus
Phil Silvers Lycus
Buster Keaton Erronius
Jack Gilford Hysterium
Michael Crawford Hero
Annette Andre Philia
Patricia Jessell Domina
Michael Hordern Senex
Leon Greene Miles Gloriosus
Inga Neilsen Gymnasia
Myrna White Vibrata
Lucienne Bridou Panacea
Helen Funai Tintinabula
Jennifer Baker Geminae
Susan Baker Geminae
Frank Elliott Actor
Bill Kerr Actor
Jack May Actor
Roy Kinnear Instructor
Alfie Bass Gatekeeper
John Bluthal Actor
Pamela Brown Priestess
Beatrix Lehmann Domina's Mother
Frank Thornton Roman soldier
Peter Butterworth Actor
John Bennett Actor
Andrew Faulds Actor
Ron Brody Actor
Jon Pertwee Actor
Ingrid Pitt Actor

Technical Credits
Richard Lester Director
Syd Cain Art Director
Trevor Crole-Rees Makeup
Melvin Frank Producer,Screenwriter
Leslie Hammond Sound/Sound Designer
Gerry Humphreys Sound/Sound Designer
George Martin Choreography
Ethel Martin Choreography
Michael Pertwee Screenwriter
Cliff John Richardson Special Effects
José Lopez Rodero Asst. Director
Nicolas Roeg Cinematographer
Jose Maria Sanchez Makeup
John Victor Smith Editor
Stephen Sondheim Score Composer
Tony Walton Costumes/Costume Designer,Production Designer

Scene Index

Scene Selections
0. Scene Selections
1. Title/Intro/Credits [3:18]
2. Pseudolus the Slave [2:40]
3. Message to My Love [1:56]
4. Impervious [1:44]
5. Fair Trade [1:45]
6. Perfect Woman [6:57]
7. "There She Is!" [2:09]
8. I'm Lovely [5:03]
9. Erotic Pottery [1:05]
10. An Honest Virgin [2:54]
11. Everybody Ought To Have A Maid [5:53]
12. Gaggle of Geese [4:04]
13. Claiming the Maiden [2:39]
14. Trading Places [3:31]
15. Bring Me My Bride [8:16]
16. Roman Pleasures [3:37]
17. Madame Returns [2:49]
18. Flying Exit [3:42]
19. Anybody's Body [4:10]
20. "Monstrous Fate" [2:13]
21. Passion Potion [:49]
22. Fire Pyre [5:25]
23. Alive! [1:19]
24. Gladiator Training [4:20]
25. Hero the Hero [1:29]
26. Chariot Chase [6:13]
27. A Comedy Tonight [4:29]
28. End Credits [2:07]

Customer Reviews

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A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum 4.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 13 reviews.
catbmkw More than 1 year ago
Great cast, fun nonsense. Highly recommend this.
RodS More than 1 year ago
Completely ridiculous!
Guest More than 1 year ago
This film is a dlightful mix of "Fellini Satyricon" and "The Three Stooges"
Guest More than 1 year ago
Guest More than 1 year ago
One of the funniest movies ever made with some of the bast actors, lines and scenes. They don't make them like this anymore. My whole family and I know the all the lines and every scene. It's a bit bawdy for the kids but very tame by today's standards.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This movie is a charming story that leaves you laughing at every twist and turn of its intricate and quicikly building plot. Great for those who know a little about Roman culture, but perfectly understandable to those who don't. It actually follows a similar plot line to an ancient Roman play, with caracters such as the young (but stupid) master, beautiful young lady, and the tricky slave to get them together. Both slapstick and refined comedy.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I t was a great Comedy!
j_free More than 1 year ago
This is an awesome piece of work! Will keep you laughing for a week!
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