13 August 2008

Can - Can

1960 – United States
Director – Walter Lang
CBS/FOX Video, 1988, VHS
Run Time - 2 hours, 11 min.

OK, this is a fuckin musical, I fuckin hate music. But it does star Frank Sinatra, my favorite male vocalist and no less than Shirley MacLaine, possibly the most attractive woman ever to grace the screen.
Dance numbers are what I expects but okay, I’m willing to tolerate cute period costumed women for the fact that it’s got Sinatras voice, and MacLaine who is as usual, devastating, here as Sinatras lover and the owner of a semi-taboo Parisian dance club.

For performing the tawdry Can-Can at her club, MacLaine is hauled to court, and her lawyer Sinatra defends her against a conservative and ridiculously dressed French judge who falls for her charm.
At the club Shirley does a dance number in which she is, disturbingly, beat up (a dummy) for which the crowd cheers heartily. The conservative judge turns up at the show and Shirley plays passive aggressive brush off.
When she brushes him off, Shirley is arrested and a Sinatra must defend his lady-love in court. Success warms her heart even more to the crooner, but his waffling fear of commitment drives her into the eager arms of the hell-bent-for-marriage judge.
Nevertheless, despite his asinine fear of marriage to the most attractive woman in the world, he crumbles with helpless despair and sings a sad song. Ahhh.

At the engagement party, Frank cooks up a rather heartless scheme to drunkenly embarrass MacLaine out of her “above-her-class” wedding, and somehow succeeds. She breaks off the wedding in flight, and now my guess is that she’s going to want revenge on Sinatra and will drive forward with steely composure until she once again melts under the warmth of his brusquely charming leathery grin.

Anyway, at this point there’s an Adam and Eve ballet number which features Maclaine in sparkly tights which is, WOW.
The judge, thinking he has discovered the secret of Sinatras attractive insolence returns to woo MacLaine, but even his best efforts prove no match for supreme Sinatrification and predictability.

It took two sittings, but sometimes you’ve gotta really suffer before you smile.

1 comment:

Dan said...

I have this film as well. Normally I don't like Musicals but loved this one. Shirley McClaine Is great in Can Can