Friday, June 7, 1974
THE MCHIGAN DAILY
Pick of the week:
Lenny Bruce and
Cinema Guild, Arch. Aud.
Fri., 7, 8:45, 10:30
Neither of the two items of-
fered in this miniature potpourri
were actually meant to be com-
mercially released as films, but
that doesn't make watching
them any less exciting.
The main feature provides a
rare chance to view one of the
classic modern American come-
dians, the incomparable Lenny
Bruce, in action.
Bruce assembled this quasi-
documentary recording of his
nightclub act as part of a de-
fense for one of his many ob-
scenity arrests. Great cinema
it is not, but those who enjoy
Bruce's humor will no doubt
find it a memorable picture.
Riding the bottom half of the
double bill is a kinescope of
the famous (infamous?) "Check-
ers" speech, starring our old
friend Richard Nixon.
Viewers today may well find
this first use of television as
a medium of political defense
highly amusing. Frankly, I do
not see the humor at all.
The Movies, Briarwood
Lee Marvin again asserts him-
self as a master performer,
playing Harry Spikes in this sir-
prisingly amusing western -
"surprisingly" amusing because
it happens to be nothing more
than the story of three young
kids, tired of the chores of
home, who run away and get
hooked up with the fiercest and
meanest bank robber in the
Still, Spike's wisdom and mel-
low nature draws the three lads
to him; somehow, he has a
deep-down loneliness which lets
him he their idol.
The nictre was shot in Snain,
with director Richard Fleischer
doing a fine job of tying and
keeping the movie together.
Black films of recent years
have been dominated by the
black Superman - or woman.
One need only look at Shaft,
or Superfly and other films of
this ilk to understand. There
has been, frankly, a lack of good
One exception, however, was
Sounder. Another exception is
Claudine, the story of a woman,
living in Harlem with six father-
less children, trying to provide
for them, and at the same time
to make a life of her own.
Dianne Carroll plays Claudine,
and her performance is one of
merit. She is a little too glam-
orous for the part, however.
James Earl Jones plays t h e
garbage man who fallsin love
with her, and his portrayal rates
as high as anything he has ever
Together they try to make a
life for themselves in a hostile
world. The results are often
funny, and very real.
John Berry's direction is plea-
sant without being overly senti-
mental: His handling of the sab-
ject is accurate, but at the same
time not brutal.
Cinema II, Aud. A
Fri., 7:30, 9:15, 11
The orieinal title of this bril-
liant 166 black comedy w a s
Morgan: A Sitable Case for
Tre-tm'nt. Thankfslly the short-
ened title doesn't chance a sin-
gle frame of Kael Reisz's snap-
py direction and cutting - we
still have intact the incredible
story of a mental case posing
as a soohisticated English paint-
er, trying to win back the dis-
carded love of his ex-wife be-
fore it's too late and he goes
comnietely over the edge.
The best thing about Morgan
has to be the ending, even if
the Czech-born Reisz (who later
went on to make The Loves of
Isadora) did steal it from an
old Ltiis Bunuel movie.
I Married A Witch
Cinema Guild, Arch. Aud.
Sat., 7:30, 9:30
Rene Clair directed this light-
hearted piece of 1942 fantasy
that provided the inspiration for
Elizabeth Montgomery's long-
running Bewitched television
Frederic March and Veronica
Lake head up the cast as pub-
lic ifficial and witch, respective-
ly. Susan Hayward and Robert
Benchley also appear,
The Movies, Briarwood
To give credit where credit
is due, Zardoz had potential.
Too bad it didn't live up to it.
At least there's good stuff on
TV this weekend.
You wouldn't believe a plot
synopsis,. so the vivisection will
begin with the technical side of
this pile of celluloid. The cam-
era work is great, the editing
unobtrusive, the costumes and
sets delightful, and the special
effects range from adequate to
Unfortunately, no combination
of these could have salvaged
Nor can unfavorable criticism
be brushed aside with the- alibi
that this flick is science fiction:
the foundations of science fic-
tion - imaginative speculation,
alien-ness, removal in space
and/or time - are nowhere to
For a filmmaker who has
been called visionary, Boor-
man's visions seem limited to
two: one of barbarian feudal-
ism and one of technocratic
feudalism. Space limits me to
just one comment on Boorman's
perception of a society where
women are whole and strong:
paranoia strikes deep,
Save your money.
When we last saw director
Richard Lester some five years
ago, he was quickly fading out
of the film scene with a series
of British pseudo - sr-realistic
movies after experiencing a
brief success as the direct:u of
the Beatles' pictures. He had
stepped out of this a r e a of
strength - comedy -- and the
lackluster nature of his films
Then last year the f o r in e r
Philadelphia TV writer who left
in the early '50s for tnglard
and the Goon S h o w managed
to drum up financial support
from producer Ilya Salkind and
some Panamanian interests for
another Richard Lester comedy.
The product, The Three Mus-
keteers, is hilarious.
Lester hasn't ironed out all of
the problems that plagued im
in his Hard Day's Night era -
Musketeers is plagued by some
slow pacing in a few places.
But his subtle, witty touches are
Michael York stars as D'Ar-
tagnan, the apprentice Muske-
teer, and turns in a fine per-
formance. Simon Ward, taquel
Welch, and Geraldine Chaplin
round out the cast (and by the
way Raquel can act).
What's Up, Doc?
Peter Bogdanovich takes no
chances when it comes to mak-
ing a comedy. The ingredients
for his slap-happy and slightly
hysterical What's Up Doc? in-
clude filming a partial remake
of Howard Hawe's screwball
Bringing Up Baby (1938), en-
listing the penmanship talents
of not only Buck Henry (who
did the screenplay for Mike Ni-
chols's smash The Graduate)
but David Newman and Robert
Benton as well (they wrote
Arthur Penn's cenebrated Bon-
nie and Clyde), and finally, as-
sembling a cast with spectacu-
lar stars like Barbra Striesand,
Ryan ONeal, Madeline Kahn,
and Kenneth Mars.
Having realized what appears
to be the ultimate in comedy
production, Bogdanovich t h e n
hired every out-of-work Holly-
wood stuntman he could find to
make his dream come true.
The result is sheer paysical
chaos from start to finish. 1
guarantee the laughs because
nobody makes good smash-'em-
up comedies anymore, an d
young Bogdanovich seems to
compensate for this gap all by
himself during the coarse of one
What's Up Doc? may not be
very funny, but it at least
brings meaning to the w a r d
zany again. Many feel Striesand
and O'Neal are mere pupp'ts
and hinder the film. Believe
me - nothing could hinder
What's Up, Doc?"
The Movies, Briarwood
Just what we all needed to
get through the summer -an-
other dull, predictable, and to-
t a lly absurd police - bad
guys melodrama. Breaking
windshields, fish fights, pulp.
novel - quality dialogue, a n d
wailing sirens abound in t h is
latest in a string of complete-
ly forgettable nothings froin
Clint Eastwood and J c ff
Bridges head up the cast, but
who really cares? After all,
how watchable can a police film
be when the plot calls for the
bank robbers to use a cannon
to break into the vaults?
'Regards to Broadway' sparkles
By MICHELE BECKER
It was old home week at the Power Center
last night. The old gang got back together for
another fun frolic over the stage. And it really
looked like they were having a good time.
A combination of 13 people, among them
past directors, choreographers, and lead per-
formers from MUSKET, Ann Arbor Civic The-
atre, and U Players, performed Regards to
Broadway, a revue of American musical theater.
The show is being presented through Satur-
day as a benefit for the John Reid Klein Scho-
larship in the Performing Arts. Co-producer
Mardy Medders said the money will go to a
person seriously dedicated to a combination of
performing arts such as theater and music.
Musical director Bradley Bloom, another old
timer, and his orchestra gave the revue a pretty
positive start. I was particularly impressed with
the string section. But Makram Joubram (direc-
tor, choreographer, performer) really brighten-
ed the stage with a smile on his face and taps
on his shoes as he became George M. Cohan in
"Yankee Doodle Dandy."
Willis Patterson, director of the Michigan
Men's Glee Club, mellowed the audience with
the richness of his voice in "Old Man River."
All the voices in the show were not as rich as
Patterson's, but where some lacked in vocal
quality, they compensated for it in character
Regards to Broadway consisted of five sec-'
tions: Operetta to Swing, featuring Cohan,
Kern, Herbert, Romberg, Berlin and Youmans;
Gershwin-Porter Songbook which of course fea-
tured Gershwin and Porter; Rodgers-Hart-
Hammerstein Love Waltz; Bernstein-Sondheim
Cocktail Party; and Swing to Rock, songs by
Loesser, Kander, Loewe, Harnick, Styne, Her-
man, Coleman, Schmidt-Jones, Schwartz and
McDermmot. Admitably a lot of Broadway
musical stage was drawn upon.
I was totally captivated by the male chorus.
They were really fine dancers and very per-
sonable performers. It was a disappointment
they were used relatively little. They became
a refreshing change after some of the ballad-y
numbers some of which became rather boring.
I found the Rodgers-Hart-Hammerstein
Love Waltz section particularly tiresome. It
lacked character, dragged, and became quite
All the humorous numbers, i.e. "My Heart
Belongs to Daddy," featuring Irene Connors
and the men's chorus, were lots of fun and well
received. Much more comedy should of been
interspersed to fill in some of the gaps the
ballads created. Many of the ballads were beau-'
tifully sung; it just gets kind of boring hearing
one after another.
Most of the segments should have had more
thematic purpose or a better flow to them. I
felt the Bernstein-Sondheim Cocktail Party was
the most successful. Besides utilizing more
humor in this section, it flowed much more
smoothly. I also appreciated the fact they used
"Wonderful Town" for their Bernstein musical.
It brought back nostalgic memories of my Soph
Show days. And I also must be fair and admit
I'm a Sondheim fan. The combination of all
these elements made this section really fine.
Points like the strong, full voice of Judy
Manos singing "The Ladies Who Lunch" and
"Cabaret" and the life and spirit of Robert
Chapel on stage, kept the show moving along.
I thought the show possessed some dull mo-
ments, but not dull enough to destroy a basical-
ly enjoyable show.
It must also be mentioned that the pro-
duction had little to work with. The clothes
were all borrowed or personally owned. The set
consisted of a couple of mirrored flats, also
borrowed. The lighting design by Curt Oster-
mann was for the most part simple, but effec-
tive. It seemed that lots of energy and en-
thusiasm made Regards to Broadway possible.
Everyone involved seemed to have a good
time. The entire show only lasted about an
hour and a half, and the audience has a pretty
good time. There was a standing ovation in the
Power Center last night, and if that's a meas-
ure of how much an audience enjoys a per-
formance, it was certainly enjoyed. And after
all, scholarships are pretty nice things and it's
a good way to do a good deed, so give my
Regards to Broadway at the Power Center this