Original Cast Album: Company

1970

Documentary

141
Rotten Tomatoes Critics - Certified Fresh 83%
Rotten Tomatoes Audience - Upright 94%
IMDb Rating 8.1 10 537

Synopsis


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Movie Reviews

Reviewed by boblipton 9 / 10 / 10

It's The Little Things You Do Together

D.A. Pennebaker got roped into this as the first of a projected series of TV shows showing the recording process. After they wrapped and sold it to Chrysler, Pennebaker called up the guy's office to ask what the next one would be. He was now running MGM. That's show biz for you. What we have left of the projected series is this one 58-minute piece, in which we get to witness Sondheim and his collaborators gathered in a recording studio to make one for the permanent record. It's from the period when Sondheim was erasing the line between recitiative and and lyrical songs, with Beth Howland singing the impossible patter song "I'm Not Getting Married Today", and that magnificent broad Elaine Stritch leading in "The Little Things"..... and blowing take after take, according to the professionals, of "The Ladies Who Lunch"..... despite the fact that I think the first take on film is the best emotionally. What I don't understand is how bad the songs sound on on the movie. Certainly my cd of the show seem much better.

Reviewed by Sylviastel 8 / 10 / 10

Elaine Rules!

This documentary is done after the Broadway premiere of the original production of the musical, "Company," by Stephen Sondheim and directed by Harold Prince. Anyway if you've listened to the soundtrack or have seen a stage production, you will find this behind the scenes at the recording studio where they belt out the numbers from the production to be quite interesting. You can't help but love and admire Elaine Stritch who is a Broadway veteran and legend. She may not have the best voice but her "Ladies That Lunch" is memorable and a battle at the studio. You can't help but like Elaine, Stephen, Harold or Hal, and even Howard Furth who wrote the book. They and the other cast members which included Beth Howland (before TV's Alice as Vera) and her partner/husband Charles Kimbrough (long before TV's Murphy Brown as Jim Dial) along with other cast members like veteran stage actress Donna McKechnie. They all do a fabulous job in displaying why people pay to see them perform when it was more affordable as it is now. Sometimes, a good musical doesn't have to wow you as much or have special effects. Sometimes, reality can make a pretty good show.

Reviewed by cherold 8 / 10 / 10

Fascinating

This was apparently the pilot for a documentary series on cast recordings, and it's a shame it didn't come to fruition, because it's really quite good. I was not familiar with Sondheim beyond a handful of songs that you just hear everywhere (like Send in the Clowns) and even though this is just a few songs from the musical, it was a revelation, particularly Barcelona and Ladies Who Lunch. I'm sure the full production was excellent, but these talented people singing these brilliant songs into their microphones was wonderful as well. The most fascinating part is the final section, in which Elaine Stritch gives a powerful performance of Lunch that was not, apparently, good enough for the album. It's a great example of the difference between a live performance and a recorded one; as a live performance it was incredible, but it drove her mad. Well worth watching.

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