Category Archives: The Evening Pause

Julie and Dick at Covent Garden

An evening pause: In a previous post, I described how I have always felt that Julie Andrews’ incredible screen presence was only rarely taken full advantage of during her career. In Mary Poppins — one the films that did showcase her wonderfully, Andrews’ co-star was Dick van Dyke, an amazing talent in his own right. For that film, Andrews and van Dyke had a chemistry that was riveting. In an earlier movie era, the studios would have taken advantage of that chemistry and cast them together again and again, much as Spencer Tracy and Katherine Hepburn were repeatedly cast together throughout the 1940s and 1950s. Unfortunately, by the 1960s the studio system was dead and such casting was impossible, and Andrews and van Dyke have never again appeared on the big screen together.

However, in 1974 they did do a television variety show special together, Julie and Dick in Covent Garden. One particular skit from that show not only demonstrated vividly the chemistry between Andrews and van Dyke and how we had lost something precious by not having them appear together in many films, the skit’s story itself illustrated in a most ironic manner these lost opportunities of life. Enjoy.

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Lonesome Polecat from 7 Brides for 7 Brothers

An evening pause: This haunting song from the movie Seven Brides for Seven Brothers is notable not only because of the beauty of the music and dancing, but because the entire number is shot as one take, no cuts. Everyone, from the actors with their axes to the crew moving the camera on its dolly and crane, had to be right on cue for everything to work. Note also that this version uses the original voices. In the movie the voice of the lead singer, Matt Mattox, was dubbed.

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Bob Hope singing “Buttons and Bows”

An evening pause: Remembered mostly today for his dedication to entertaining our American troops overseas as well as his comedy movies with Bing Crosby, Bob Hope was more than this. He had one of the quickest wits of any comic in history combined with a manner that was gentle but honest. It is a shame that few comics today can put this combination together, going instead for a kind of Don Rickles-type insult humor instead. Here is Hope (with his co-star Jane Russell) in the movie The Paleface, showing that he could sing as well. The second-half of the clip shows a not-too-interesting skit with Roy Rogers and (again) Jane Russell with all three singing the same song:

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