"Fanny" Review - Broadway musicalWalter Slezak, one of the leading actors of the original production in 1955, received a Tony – the only award which this performance was awarded with. Critics spoke of the high quality of the original play on Broadway, calling it "a genuine and full of regrets and emotional empathy", all of its component parts were designed surprisingly precisely, from the melodious music to the acting of members. As a result, on the basis of these definitions, we can conclude that the musical was released solidly, nothing to reproach here, and it is entirely within the quality that is expected from the average Broadway’s musical. Based on it, the film was released in 1961, which has already lost the excessive bitterness that was in a musical, and was a mix of drama and comedy.
By the way, the musical is based on a series of similar works in the cycle and this is the only musical format among all. Film of 1931 (Marius) is a drama, followed by 1933’s Fanny and 1936’s Cesar – the cycle of three, consistently telling the story through acquaintance with various characters. The subsequent film of 1961 – is not a musical, but filmed in the form of a conventional narration. Apart from them (1931–1936’s were filmed in Italy), in 1934 one of German’s production went in run, drama, and in 1938 – the US comedy. Interesting coincidence: German film called "Big whale", and the name of the director of the 1938’s film was Whale. Subsequently, the rights were purchased on the adaptation by the founder of the Warner Brothers company, and he released it not in the form of a musical, because by the end of 1930's musicals have lost their popularity in the movies. Audrey Hepburn even wanted to star in the film, but then she declined due to a workload (eventually, actress of very high visual similarity to Audrey, appeared in a film adaptation of 1961 – Leslie Caron (now she is 84), born in a family of actors of Broadway). Film of 1961 was the most successful in the chain of productions – considering both musical and other genres, received 5 Oscars, 4 Golden Globes, and other 2 more awards (despite the rather modest box office of USD 4.5 million). The strong influence of the musical is felt in the film – music, without lyrics, remained in its accompaniment. The plot and everything else here does not ascribe, as musical itself was based on earlier works & it is their adaptation (on already mentioned movies of 1931 – 1936).
The most notable achievement of 1954’s musical was, perhaps, acting, because stage design and costumes were quite average. Producers have made the right bet on all the actors, where the most remarkable among them was Florence Henderson (depicting Fanny), who is now 81. Her acting career began in 1954 with a small TV episode, till the current time she starred in 65 different roles; in the films she played in the period of 1970 – 2013, playing 13 roles; on stage she made her debut in 1949, acting until 1989 (40 years!), appearing in 13 different musicals. Quite productive, but not a famous actress, performing her job simply as a job, without a soul and a spark.
Last Update:April, 06th 2016