From the play of the same name.
Two guys lost in Scotland find a mysterious town that (it turns out) only appears once a year. Amazingly, the town is full of people who can sing and dance, so it’s possible to perform many musical numbers during the one day it’s there…
After many years of following his Libran inclinations and going back and forth between liking this movie and hating it, Mr. Otter has finally weighted the scales on the side of absolute loathing and detestation.
OK, it’s true, the plot is lame and doesn’t really work when you think about it…but no lamer than HMS Pinafore, for God’s sake, and audiences have loved that one for over 120 years.
And it has Gene Kelly. Sigh. This is a real problem chez otter, since we love musicals and Kelly has been in so many of them…a great dancer, seriously built, can sing reasonably well…but we are totally repelled every time he pulls his hat over his ears and does that ‘hyuck hyuck ain’t I funny’ routine…he comes awfully close to it in this, but steers away at the last second.
And the costumes. Oh my god, are they awful.
Take Scottish themes and run them through a 50s-pointy-bra-pastel-color-wierd-Jetson-designs blender and this movie is the result…it has to be seen to be believed.
But…even though they cut some songs for the movie, the songs are good; the dance numbers are wonderful; the bad guy (he’s not a bad boy, just misguided) is a honey, and the last scene, in the bar, where his fiancee is yammering at him and he drifts in and out, is excellent. Van Johnson is wonderful as the world-weary cynical drunk, and Cyd Charisse is very very easy on the eye, even in that incredibly silly dress with the laughable collar.
And you know, when he’s not being a total moron, even Mr. Kelly shows some bits of talent and acting ability in this one.
So. Sorry, Mr. Otter, love me, love Brigadoon. I’ll expect to see you in front of the TV next year when the longing for pseudo-Scottish silliness overtakes me.