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October 21, 1977 - Image 9

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
Michigan Daily, 1977-10-21

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

'Oh, God!'lReiner 's
(Continued from Page 5)
others. He's been chosen not because of any special traits, but because he is
Everyperson, and God's message is, or course, for Everyperson.
Oh, God! refuses (thank the Lord) to be stuck in the quicksandish senti-
mentality-in which "Everyperson" films~sometimes find themselves. To be
sure, the film is not terribly original; Frank Capra's It's A Wonderful Life
and George Seaton's Miracle on 34th Street come immediately to mind as
forefunners, if not forefathers, of Oh, God!, just as it's easy to see John Den-
ver as Jimmy Stewart and Burns as Edmund Gwenn.
But like t1ge aforementioned films, Oh, God! displays the sure hand of its
director, the ubiquitous and multi-talented genius, Carl Reiner. Reiner of
course, created and produced (and often times co-starred) in the original
Dick Van Dyke Show, perhaps the best situation comedy ever to hit the air-
waves; a show which has not lost a bit of its humor, though it has been in the
syndication grinding mill for more than a decade.
Reiner's ability to handle humor and human comedy is not restricted to
the often times vast wasteland of television. The vitingly funny and touching
The Comic and Where's Poppa are marvelous examples of the director's wit,
intelligence, and insightful understanding of the human condition.
Oh, God! represents a sacrifice of much of Reiner's bite, in favor of a
warmth that, however simplistic, still manages to reach its audience, make
them laugh, and sometimes even move them. The inevitable gags about the
Almighty placed in ridiculous situations (how does one swear in God at a
trial? Answer: ". . . so help me, Me.") sometimes work, and several times
don't. But each gag catapults the film forward to its logical conclusion.
And what about our two stars? Well, George Burns plays God as if He
were George Burns which is just fine; he says his lines with perfect aplomb,
The problem with his co-star is that for the first third of the film, one expects
him to break out into a chorus of Rocky Mountain High or some such tune -
he looks that uncombortable with the role. But after a while, Denver warms
up and eases into the role.
The fact that a movie like this works at all in these cynical times is a
tribute to not only cast and director, but to that much maligned Pie-in-the-
sky known as Hollywood. With all its pseudo-piousness, the film's ability to
k1t~t i I+tl i X1 n n o sr.i i.r (1,.« . .-.-..,.77 a _ .t

The Michigan Daily-Friday, October 21, 1977-Page 9
Quintet not quite right

...

(Continued from Page5)
Sondheim composition 'Send in the
Clowns, meriting comments from the
audience such as "Beautiful." After
a period of P.D.Q. Bach jokes, Shear-
ing played Greensleeves, the only
real disappointment of the evening,
as the song does not lend itself to an
improvised version.
The second half continued in the
same vein as the first. The best selec-
tions in the second half were Aquar-
ius, which was almost a solo by
Jones, and Shearing's last song,
What Kind of Fool Am I? in which he
included an improvised fugue (with

an explanation to the audience as to
just what a fugue was). The second
half had the same difficulties as the
first, in that after a few songs, we
really could not distinguish between
the different selections. The excel-
lent performances by all members of
the quintet saved it from being
boring and tedious, but they were
unable to create the right atmos-
phere for proper appreciation.
Overall, the musicality of the
Shearing Quiintet was flawless. They
performed each piece smoothly,
without ny errors.

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