The day WWII ends, Jimmy, a selfish and smooth-talking musician, meets Francine, a lounge singer. From that moment on, their relationship grows into love as they struggle with their careers and aim for the top.Written by
Steve Richer <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Liza Minnelli and Martin Scorsese have said that virtually all of the dialogue in the film was improvised. This created later difficulty during editing, as Scorsese and the editors struggled to create a streamlined narrative. See more »
During the VJ dance sequence when Jimmy (DeNiro) is initially trying to pick up Francine (Minnelli), the cherry in her drink disappears (when she eats it in one shot) but then reappears in her drink only to disappear in subsequent shots. See more »
Originally released at 153 minutes, then cut to 136 minutes and finally re-released in 1981 in a 164-minutes special edition with restored material, including the complete musical number "Happy Endings," which was seen in a much shorter version in the originally released version of the film. See more »
I have not seen any of Martin Scorsese or Robert De Niro's other, grittier films, but I definitly enjoyed their work in this under-rated 1977 musical drama. Scorsese certainly came up with a brilliant idea - Contrasting the glitz and glamour of the 1940s and 1950s movie musicals and jazz nightclubs with a harsly realistic story about a can't-live-with, can't-live-without relationship between a charming but abusive jazz saxophonist and a vulnerable but strong singer - and in many ways it pays off. De Niro gave a great performance; he can go from likeable to dispicable in a breath. Really fascinating to watch, and I can certainly see why so many people consider him brillian. Liza Minnelli, as his wife, is also great. Of course, her singing is incredible - in standards like "The Man I Love," the delightful "You Brought A New Kind Of Love To Me," which in true Hollywood fashion she launches into out of nowhere and performs so well (Backed up by De Niro on sax) that they both land a job at a club, and "You Are My Lucky Star" and new songs written for the film by Kander and Ebb like "But the 'World GOes Round" and, of course, the title tune - and her acting is also subtle, shaded, and sympathetic. Not to mention how fetching (And eerily like her mother, Judy Garland) she looks in Theordora Van Runkle's period costumes. She is just as good as, and perhaps even better at times, than she was in her more famous performance in "Cabaret." SHe and De Niro really should have been Oscar-nominated for their powerful performances here, and Scorsese really should've gotten a nod as well. But the film flopped, so the Academy didn't notice. Which is really too bad, because this movie definitly deserves another look, especially in its restored version which includes a fantastic production number cut from the original print, "Happy Endings," performed by Minnelli and Larry Kert, Tony in the original Broadway production of "West Side Story," that does a great job of reiterating the movie's themes. True, the film is a little too long and slow at times, and there's more than a little unneccessary footage that didn't really need to be there, but all in all it's a very interesting, under-rated gem. It certainly has gotten me interested in Scorsese and De Niro's other films...
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