Nancy Sinatra stars in this swinging Sixties television special, recorded when she was at the height of her pop fame. Nancy performs here with Dean Martin, Sammy Davis Jr, Lee Hazlewood and her almost-as-famous, blue-eyed pop.
Network television was already wrestling with a generation gap and the rowdy cultural upheaval posed by rock when American network NBC aired this 1967 special for Nancy Sinatra, with younger viewers increasingly tuning out the typical videotaped studio productions that typified TV specials. To sidestep those conventions (and, one suspects, to showcase the star's modest performing gifts to best advantage), director Jack Haley Jr. shot Movin' with Nancy
on film in and around Los Angeles, yielding sequences that anticipate the visual experiments that would characterise music videos more than a decade later.
The results are intriguing: for Sinatra's fans, the chance to see her in all her leggy, mini-skirted glory will be irresistible, but amateur pop sociologists will be at least as fascinated by the period details and some unwittingly bizarre undercurrents. For the putative teen viewers of the day, there's the psychedelic montage of "Some Velvet Morning", one of several duets with Sinatra's frequent partner at that time, Lee Hazlewood (a country-tinged, B-team Sonny to her blonde variation on Cher), interweaving the two singers on horseback and making much out of bewildering references to Euripides' Phaedra. For the grown-ups, there are segments teaming her with Dean Martin (awkwardly addressed as her "god-uncle") and Sammy Davis Jr., as well as a reverential sequence in which she caresses oversized posters of her famous father (including a still from his then-current crime feature, Tony Rome, depicting him with a menacing pistol) that raises all sorts of knotty psychiatric issues.
The mix of Rat Pack glitz, flower power, and mainstream pop gets an added kick with Day-Glo fashions cut to Carnaby Street lines, vintage commercials for Royal Crown Cola ("It's a mad, mad, mad, mad cola!"), and pop covers that likewise lock in a sense of temporal dislocation as Nancy gamely tackles "Up, Up and Away" (in a hot air balloon, of course) and "Who Will Buy?" from Oliver!, here goosed with go-go powered dancing. --Sam Sutherland, Amazon.com