A singer goes to a small town for a performance before he is drafted
|Release Date||:||April 4, 1963|
|Genres||:||Drama, Comedy, Music|
|Production Company||:||Kohlmar-Sidney Productions, Columbia Pictures|
|Production Countries||:||United States of America|
|Writers||:||Irving Brecher, Michael Stewart|
|Casts||:||Janet Leigh, Dick Van Dyke, Ann-Margret, Maureen Stapleton, Bobby Rydell, Jesse Pearson, Paul Lynde, Mary LaRoche, Michael Evans, Robert Paige, Gregory Morton, Ed Sullivan, Trudi Ames, Bryan Russell, Milton Frome, Frank Sully, Frank Albertson, Lee Aaker|
|Plot Keywords||:||small town, ohio, musical, song, singer, secretary, rock and roll star|
It's not the amiable performance of Dick Van Dyke, emerging as a star.
It's not the fresh-from-the-shower Janet Leigh as Rosie.
It's not the pretty good Broadway score.
It's not the always-funny Paul Lynde, leering and lavender, an unlikely mouthpiece for the eternal frustrations of fatherhood. (Kids! I don't know what's wrong with these kids today!)
It's certainly not the hokey and unconvincing and undangerous Elvis/Conway Twitty rock'n'roller who looks like he just came from a gig at the used car lot.
And it's not the silly subplots involving Russians and amphetamines and Ed Sullivan (although nice to see the wooden, totemic variety show host reanimated again.)
It is, of course, Ann-Margaret, impossibly young and beautiful.
But let's be more specific. It is not her sinfully delicious performance generally.
It is this: Ann-Margaret, alone before a backdrop, singing the theme at the very beginning and end of the movie. It is Ann Margaret fired up with sensual energy and burning through a song that is not inherently sexy.
Oh, Lord: righteous.
I was 13. I saw the movie, but *experienced* Ann-Margaret's opening and closing.
I've never recovered.