HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
Newest Reviews
Old Guard, The
Gumnaam
Disappearance at Clifton Hill
Sullivans, The
Piranhas
Love in the Afternoon
Black Water: Abyss
Wild Blue Yonder, The
All Hail the Popcorn King
Muriel, or the Time of Return
Selma
Great Locomotive Chase, The
American Anthem
Lion and the Horse, The
Druids
War of the Wizards
Onward
Doctor Faustus
Spite Marriage
Mask, The
Letter to Jane
Quick Millions
Dream Demon
Max Havelaar
Radioactive
Glastonbury Fayre
All Dogs Go to Heaven
Shoot Out
Da 5 Bloods
Sonatine
Kung Fu Monster
Secret Agent Super Dragon
Saint Frances
Boiling Point
Golden Stallion, The
Dragon Force
Anthropocene: The Human Epoch
Luck of Ginger Coffey, The
Junkers Come Here
Ladius
   
 
Newest Articles
Divine Madness: Female Trouble on Blu-ray
Country Matters: Further Out of Town on Blu-ray
Bat-Damn: Was Joel Schumacher's Batman Really That Bad?
The Beat Goes On: Takeshi Kitano Collection on Blu-ray
Dream Treats: Scorsese Shorts on Blu-ray
It's Only Money: Laughter in Paradise on Blu-ray
A Regular Terpsichore: Dance, Girl, Dance on Blu-ray
Teenage Trauma: Baby Love on Blu-ray
The Happening: Pet Shop Boys It Couldn't Happen Here on Blu-ray
Who Watched The Watchmen?
The Golden Age of Colonic Irrigation: Monty Python Series 4 on Blu-ray
Lady of Pleasure: Lola Montes on Blu-ray
Take You to the Gay Bar: Funeral Parade of Roses on Blu-ray
Hit for Ms: Mark Cousins' Women Make Film on Blu-ray
Look Sinister: The 1000 Eyes of Dr. Mabuse on Blu-ray
Star Wars Triple Threat: The Tricky Third Prequel and Sequel
I Can See for Miles: The Man with the X-Ray Eyes on Blu-ray
Too Much Pressure: The Family Way on Blu-ray
The Alan Key: Alan Klein and What a Crazy World on Blu-ray
A Japanese Ghost Story: Kwaidan on Blu-ray
The Zu Gang: Zu Warriors from the Magic Mountain on Blu-ray
Reality TV: The Year of the Sex Olympics on DVD
The Young and the Damned: They Live By Night on Blu-ray
Mind How You Go: The Best of COI on Blu-ray
Der Kommissar's in Town: Babylon Berlin Series 3 on DVD
   
 
  At Long Last Love Tough At The Top
Year: 1975
Director: Peter Bogdanovich
Stars: Burt Reynolds, Cybill Shepherd, Madeline Kahn, Duilio Del Prete, Eileen Brennan, John Hillerman, Mildred Natwick, Quinn K. Redecker, M. Emmet Walsh, Liam Dunn, Jeffrey Byron, Basil Hoffman
Genre: Musical, ComedyBuy from Amazon
Rating:  2 (from 1 vote)
Review: Theatre performer Kitty O'Kelly (Madeline Kahn) returns home from a night out as now it is the morning and day is about to break. She is very drunk, so inebriated in fact that she can barely muster up much ammunition against her date's barbed comments, and when he announces he's leaving her to it, she stands there dumbfounded. One song later, and she has collapsed on her bed, but meanwhile, the man who could make life so much better for her is being driven back to his mansion: he is Michael Oliver Pritchard III (Burt Reynolds) and he is as drunk as she is. Just as well they bump into each other...

Peter Bogdanovich apparently made a big mistake when he decided, in his drive to bring back the spirit of classic Hollywood to modern Hollywood, to make a musical in the style of those beloved favourites from the thirties, you know the type of thing with Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers dancing and singing their way through some comic misunderstandings surrounded by the best light character actors the industry had to offer. When this was released, all the goodwill he had generated went flying out of the window and At Long Last Love was judged the worst musical ever made, not only by the critics (a trade Bogdanovich used to be in) but by audiences too.

However, in recent times there has been a move towards rehabilitating this film as some who have seen it pipe up and say it was not half as bad as its reputation. In fact, it's actually a bit of fun and a very charming tribute to the Golden Age, they will tell you. Certainly the cast were ready and willing, the art deco design was evocative of the era it celebrated, and the Cole Porter songs, some of which were complete with original, saucy lyrics, were never more than a couple of minutes away. However, I'm here to tell you that the revisionists are sadly wrong, as the main effect of At Long Last Love is of watching people so grimly determined to have fun that they are like someone trying to cheer you up after a funeral.

There's a time and a place for levity, and watching Bogdanovich direct his way into a career downward spiral that he never recovered from was not one of them. Perhaps if he had attempted a measure of poignancy it would not have been quite so bad, or at least it would have given us a respite from the relentlessly jokey, let's do the show right here tone of the film, but when the four main characters do fall in love, then break up and fall in love with one of the other protagonists, they have done so much drinking you could be forgiven for thinking the script had been inspired by an original Charles Bukowski short story. Indeed, by the time it's over you hope they all found themselves being treated at the thirties equivalent of the Betty Ford Clinic.

The main bone of contention back when this first came out was that its director, and producer, and writer, had opted to record the songs live on the set, instead of having the actors do what is normal and mime to a backing track, thereby ensuring that the songs were polished to their best advantage in the studio. This means that apparently nobody noticed that while Madeline Kahn could certainly carry a tune, she was all wrong for the Porter melodies, sounding far too strident, and Burt Reynolds was no singer, getting by with star charisma when his crooning, while not tone deaf, hardly does the songs justice. For the other two, then-unknown and now-unknown Duilio Del Prete is pleasant enough but comes across as if he wanted to show the others up, while the much-maligned Cybill Shepherd (girlfriend of Bogdanovich at the time - you can imagine how well that went down) has force to her voice but little control. Even if you can make it to the end of this without cringing too much, there isn't a proper conclusion, although one was supplied for it elsewhere: that this film was awful.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

This review has been viewed 4200 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 
Review Comments (4)
Posted by:
Andrew Pragasam
Date:
19 Nov 2009
  Ouch. Ryan O'Neal played a filmmaker supposedly based on Peter Bogdanovich in the Drew Barrymore comedy Irreconcilable Differences, which features a satirical nod to At Long Last Love. Cybil Shepherd's musical talents were so bad even that all singing-and-dancing episode of Moonlighting directed by Stanley Donen reduced her to a cameo! Bogdanovich seems to be forging a latterday career as a TV character actor. In recent years he's popped up in The Sopranos, Law & Order and The Simpsons.
       
Posted by:
Graeme Clark
Date:
19 Nov 2009
  Funnily enough, Cybill has recorded a few albums, so someone must like her singing. Apart from Cybill, that is.
       
Posted by:
Andrew Pragasam
Date:
20 Nov 2009
  And she sang the theme tune to her (lousy) sit-com "Cybill"! Alan Ball was one of it's writers. Did you know he based the Annette Bening character in American Beauty on Cybill?
       
Posted by:
Graeme Clark
Date:
20 Nov 2009
  Having seen Cybill's antics on talk shows I can well believe it, she's quite a handful.
       


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which star is the best at shouting?
Arnold Schwarzenegger
Brian Blessed
Tiffany Haddish
Steve Carell
Olivia Colman
Captain Caveman
Sylvester Stallone
Gerard Butler
Samuel L. Jackson
Bipasha Basu
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Darren Jones
Paul Smith
Andrew Pragasam
  Mick Stewart
Enoch Sneed
  Dsfgsdfg Dsgdsgsdg
  Hannah Prosser
   

 

Last Updated: