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New Faces
     

New Faces

Director: Harry Horner

Cast: Ronny Graham, Eartha Kitt, Robert Clary

 

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Producer Leonard Sillman's 1952 edition of his popular Broadway revue New Faces was filmed just as it was staged, save for a wraparound fictional romantic story. The newly grafted plotline involves the efforts of director Ronny Graham to stave off an angry creditor long enough to open his show. We occasionally cut away to the backstage intrigues, but never long

Overview

Producer Leonard Sillman's 1952 edition of his popular Broadway revue New Faces was filmed just as it was staged, save for a wraparound fictional romantic story. The newly grafted plotline involves the efforts of director Ronny Graham to stave off an angry creditor long enough to open his show. We occasionally cut away to the backstage intrigues, but never long enough to take anything away from Sillman's talented cast of newcomers. The cast includes Eartha Kitt, singing such standards-to-be as "C'est Ci Bon" and "Monotonous"; Robert Clary, doing a medley of his hit "I'm in Love With Miss Logan"; Alice Ghostley, belting forth a brace of satirical torch songs; Paul Lynde (heavier than we're used to seeing him), offering his "safari" monologue and later participating in a screamingly funny Death of a Salesman takeoff; and Ronny Graham, performing an extended lampoon of either Tennessee Williams or Truman Capote (we aren't too sure; judge for yourself). Carol Lawrence also makes her first film appearance herein. The Broadway production's biggest song hit, "Love Is a Simple Thing," is sung and danced to the oversaturation point. Among the many writers was a young fellow by the name of Melvin Brooks (that's how he's billed). Its production flaws and budget shortcomings notwithstanding, the widescreen, full-color New Faces offers a rare opportunity for a 1990s audience to see what a '50s-style musical revue really looked like to the opening-night crowd.

Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Craig Butler
More valuable as a record of a good 1950s Broadway revue than as a piece of cinema, the incredible staginess (both in terms of filming and material) of New Faces will be too much for many viewers. Those willing to accept this significant hindrance, however, will find this an enjoyable time capsule. Clearly, theater fans (especially those with an appreciation for old musicals) will get the most out of New Faces, and most of these people will be willing to overlook the datedness of much of the material (as well as what will strike some modern viewers as an occasional lapse of taste) for the chance to experience it pretty much as presented on-stage. (Ironically, the few attempts to "cinematize" the material -- the ridiculous backstage plot, the annoying reaction shots of Robert Clary in "Boston Beguine" -- detract from rather than add to one's enjoyment.) In general, the songs come off much better than the sketches (although the Arthur Miller/kitchen sink drama takeoff is quite good), with "Boston Beguine," "Santa Baby," and "Monotonous" getting special points in the composition and lyrics department. Eartha Kitt is totally delectable in the latter two numbers (and in everything else she does), Alice Ghostley takes the top-notch "Boston Beguine" material and really runs with it, and Clary is charming throughout. While some of the production numbers fall a little flat, "Lizzie Borden" provides plenty of laughs and "Time for Tea" is haunting and lovely. There's no getting around the fact that New Faces is static and stagebound, but on its own terms, it's quite appealing.

Product Details

Release Date:
07/09/2015
UPC:
0644827105229
Original Release:
1954
Source:
Nostalgia Family
Sales rank:
28,486

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