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On the 3rd day of Oscar, TCM gave to me...

Posted by Wesley Morris  February 3, 2008 09:00 AM

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I've been watching TMC's annual 31 Days of Oscar all weekend, and now I'm at "Brigadoon" (1954). It's like a CBS show about two modern American bachelors who wind up in a Scottish town stuck in the 18th century. Gene Kelly has a high time chasing Cyd Charisse. Van Johnson runs from her sister (Virginia Bosler). Owen Wilson and Vince Vaughn would probably be in the remake (actually, "Wedding Crashers" pretty much is that remake).

Anyway, this a Vincente Minnelli picture, so naturally it belongs in a museum, despite the Lerner and Lowe plot, which for 1954 actually flirts with subversion (Lowe just wrote the music, actually). Anyway, the dialogue isn't bad, either: "When I look at'cha, I feel wee tadpoles jumping in me spine!," says Bosler, in one of the sillier examples. The musical numbers are absurdly fantastic -- obviously. Minnelli framed shots for the massive movie canvas. This movie's enchantment would be seriously diminished on an iThing, especially the hunt for Harry Beaton. It's all long and medium-long shots. Depth and scope are the real stars. Every scene with Kelly, Charisse, and her terrible accent floating across the village's hills and fields is like watching two people run around a painting. When I die, I want to go to the MGM sound stage in the sky.

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