Cool, sophisticated Tolen (Ray Brooks) has a monopoly on womanizing - with a long like of conquests to prove it - while the naïve, awkward Colin (Michael Crawford) desperately wants a piece... See full summary »
Set in post-nuclear-holocaust England, where a handful of bizarre characters struggle on with their lives in the ruins, amongst endless heaps of ash, piles of broken crockery and brick, ... See full summary »
In May 1943, two American soldiers, Joe and Frank, of Italian descent are searching the North African desert for a German general called Von Kassler, when they are captured by Von Kassler ... See full summary »
In a French village, Manou is an Italian logger, virile, with a broad laugh. He can't say no to women's sexual invitations, and jealous villagers blame him for recent fires and a flood. He ... See full summary »
An astronaut goes into space with a chimpanzee. When they return to Earth after their orbit, it is discovered that the chimp has the brains of the astronaut, and the astronaut has the brains of the chimp. Complications ensue.
Pseudolus (Zero Mostel) is the laziest slave in Rome, and has one wish, to purchase his freedom. When his master and mistress leave for the day, he finds out that the young master has fallen in love with a virgin in the house of Marcus Lycus (Phil Silvers), a slave dealer specializing in beautiful women. Pseudolus concocts a deal in which he will be freed if he can procure the girl for young Hero (Michael Crawford). Of course, it can't be that simple as everything begins to go wrong.Written by
John Vogel <email@example.com>
The original Broadway production of "A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum" opened at the Alvin Theater on May 1, 1962, ran for nine hundred sixty-four performances and won the 1963 Tony Awards for the Best Musical and Best Book. See more »
In the middle of "Everybody Ought to Have a Maid," Pseudolus mouths the words, "giving out," but it's Senex's voice we hear. See more »
[Speaking of the girl Hero says he loves]
A common courtesan in the house of Lycus?
Is that disgraceful?
There's no way to make it sound like an achievement!
See more »
One fresco depicts a Roman orgy, but one character raises the MPAA (Motion Picture Association of America) seal in protest. In the 1960s the MPAA developed a film rating system to judge whether a film's content was too offensive/adult for audiences. See more »
I saw this film when I was a young girl (seven or so) and I adored it. When I was about fourteen, I finally got to see the stage production. When I saw the film again, I realized there were some bad choices made. I think the film has many excellent points and some bad points:
-For starters, you couldn't have asked for a better cast. I don't just mean Zero Mostel and Jack Gilford (though both are incredible) but casting Buster Keaton was inspired.
-Very accurate portrayal of ancient Rome (up to a point, of course). The only reason I bring it up is because when I took Latin in high school, we studied ancient Rome and I like the research that went into that for the film.
-The chase scene at the end. That's what I remember laughing at the most as a child.
-Cutting so many songs, specifically "Free" and Hysterium's number (I must say, Jack Gilford was highly underused in this film).
-The direction of most remaining musical numbers and some scenes.
-Changing the character of Dominia. I don't mind it too much (she does get some good lines in there) but I liked having another strong female character aside from Philia.
Now I have nothing against Richard Lester. In fact, I enjoyed his work in A Hard Day's Night and Help! and I think when it comes to those types of films, he does well. I'm just not completely sure if he was right for this film. He treated the songs like music videos, kind of forgetting that in this case, the songs are being used to tell a story, not just for entertainment. We recently watched parts of the film in my Musical Theater History class, and that was one of the point brought up. He tended toward the fast pace/quick edit direction, which I think worked for "Comedy Tonight", but not much else (especially not "Everybody Ought to Have a Maid"). While I disliked some of his direction on "Lovely", I did like that he repeated (more or less) the same direction in the reprise of the song.
I will say, though, when he's good in the film, he's really good. I can't deny there are parts in the film that are incredibly funny, most notably the chariot chase. I am a bit torn about the film. In the long run, I will probably always love the film and watch it when I get the chance, despite its shortcomings. Still, I wouldn't mind a remake of it. And I think we can safely say this isn't the worst film version of a Sondheim show (A Little Night Music anyone?).
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