The 1977 film is an adaptation of a successful Broadway musical written by Stephen Sondheim and it stars Elizabeth Taylor, Diana Rigg, Lesley-Ann Down, Len Cariou, Hermione Gingold and others. Harold Prince directed the film.
And, watching it on DVD this week, it was obvious he was the problem.
Prince directed on Broadway to much acclaim. Not on film. His other film is "Something For Everyone" and it's never even been on VCR, let alone DVD.
The film is awful.
The whole thing repeatedly falls apart.
It looks bad. The costumes are awful. The framing of the camera is all wrong.
Nothing Prince should have been responsible for is worth praise.
The singing is annoying and either recorded poorly or too many people are hitting sharps when they should be hitting a normal note.
There's one scene where a woman's combing her hair and a man is singing about her. She makes comments during it.
It's the only moment that has even a little life.
It also appears to have inspired Barbra Streisand in "Yentl." Only she pulls it off with flair and style. (But then, she's a film director.)
If I wasn't planning to write about it, I would have turned it off after 10 minutes. It is awful. It looks awful. And what's really bad is a lot of money was obviously spent -- all wasted.
Going out with C.I.'s "Iraq snapshot:"