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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Little Day Music ..... perhaps ....
Yes, it's true that moving the setting somewhat further south of the original Swedish location invalidates the original title and some premise of the story (from Ingmar Bergman's original Smiles of a Summer Night), but don't let that prevent you from enjoying a film that, taken on its own merits, is a very enjoyable work. Elizabeth Taylor makes a convincingly...
Published on 13 Nov 2007 by D. Macdonald

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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Diana and Liz are just fine in a so-so adaptation
There are many things wrong with the film version. Changing the locale from Sweden to Vienna means all references to the midnight sun and its effects on lovers are gone. Several of
the songs that worked on the stage are also eliminated. But
there is a nice new version of "The Glamorous Life" and "A
Weekend in the Country" is superbly done. Diana Rigg is...
Published on 14 Nov 2007 by Dennis J. Pauly


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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Little Day Music ..... perhaps ...., 13 Nov 2007
By 
D. Macdonald (Johannesburg - South Africa) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Little Night Music [DVD] [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC] (DVD)
Yes, it's true that moving the setting somewhat further south of the original Swedish location invalidates the original title and some premise of the story (from Ingmar Bergman's original Smiles of a Summer Night), but don't let that prevent you from enjoying a film that, taken on its own merits, is a very enjoyable work. Elizabeth Taylor makes a convincingly seductive-though-past-her-prime Desiree, and her singing voice, while not likely to win any operatic awards gives a plaintive longing to Send In the Clowns that I found unforgettable. Dianna Rigg almost steals the show as the scheming, vengeful, but wronged Charlotte. Lesley-Anne Down - (23 at the time) looking a little too over the eighteen years and a lot less virginal than Anne is said to have been - is none the less endearing, with the rest of the cast well chosen. Len Cariou, Laurence Guittard and in a small but affectingly gloomy/profound role Christopher Guard, are notable amongst the men. The costuming and locations are wonderful with great attention to period detail that makes for a visual treat. Musically, I missed the adorable Hermione Gingold's "Liaisons", so familiar from the stage cast recording, but otherwise the musical editing is quite understandable. Much has been said (elsewhere on the web) about the transfer quality of Night Music to DVD. It really is rather good considering that the film archives are said to contain no clear reference print. True, it's film stock origin IS evident, and there ARE signs of wear, with a couple of prolonged and irritating vertical scratches. However I was viewing this on an upscaled signal (1080i) to a 42" HD LCD screen. These details are probably only noticable because of the CLARITY of the transfer. A full digital restoration (remake anyone?) would be welcomed, but with the studio independence this film production and this subsequent dvd release have, that's not likely, not Now/Soon or Later ......
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Diana and Liz are just fine in a so-so adaptation, 14 Nov 2007
By 
Dennis J. Pauly (Evanston, IL USA) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Little Night Music [DVD] [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC] (DVD)
There are many things wrong with the film version. Changing the locale from Sweden to Vienna means all references to the midnight sun and its effects on lovers are gone. Several of
the songs that worked on the stage are also eliminated. But
there is a nice new version of "The Glamorous Life" and "A
Weekend in the Country" is superbly done. Diana Rigg is superb as Charlotte and is quite touching singing "Every Day
a Little Death". Elizabeth Taylor is a perfect Desire Armfeldt, an actress who has seen it all (and done it all).
Her rendition of "Send in the Clowns" will leave you speechless.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Guilty Pleasures, 15 Nov 2007
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This review is from: Little Night Music [DVD] [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC] (DVD)
I SHOULD hate this movie but it's one of my guilty pleasures that I actually love it. The fact that Ms Taylor is a bit awful brings a different perspective to Desiree, now you can understand why she's playing all those provincial towns! Moving the location is a big minus it's true but why not try it and see, you can always hide it under the bed when the Sondheim freaks come round.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Much Better Than Expected, 12 Sep 2013
By 
Roger Rebec "Roger Rebec" (Manchester, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Little Night Music [DVD] [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC] (DVD)
Given the generally poor critical response to the film, I was really surprised that I enjoyed it! I am a huge fan of the stage show and there is no getting away from it that moving the piece from Sweden to Vienna does not help it and some of one's favourite songs are missing.

That said, I knew this was going to be the case and I am reviewing what we have got rather than what we would like to have had. The biggest downside is that we are not looking at a digitally remastered print and there are some scratches visible from time to time. The second is that the third smile of the summer night is somewhat abruptly and confusingly handled.

What there is to enjoy are the fact the extremely witty dialogue is virtually intact, the performances and what is left of the score. Elizabeth Taylor's take on Desiree is less glamorous than usual but it works very well and, as usual, no one can accuse her of not giving everything to the project. Diana Rigg is superb as the Countess and makes the most of the very witty lines whilst making us very aware that this is a very disturbed lady. Hermione Gingold, shorn of her wonderful "Liaisons" number still sparkles with malicious wit and the rest of the cast, several of whom were in the original Broadway production are very good indeed.

Would I recommend this? Yes, I would as a film of the show adapted for the screen. The piece has suffered amputations and changes but the important thing is that it is very enjoyable while you are watching it. If you want a record of the original stage show, however, you will be disappointed
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3.0 out of 5 stars Good in parts, 3 Oct 2008
By 
M. Wilson "MikeW" (scarborough uk) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Little Night Music [DVD] [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC] (DVD)
I wish I'd read the reviews more closely. Vastly disappointed that the the wonderful number "Liaisons" by Gingold was omitted.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Unbelievably bad, 31 Aug 2013
By 
Kona (Emerald City) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Little Night Music [DVD] [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC] (DVD)
This movie is so awful, it's torture to watch. I can see how it would have been charming on Broadway, but everything went wrong when they brought it to the big screen, starting with the cast: Elizabeth Taylor stars as an aging actress in turn-of-the-century Austria. She invites one of her paramours (and his family) for an elegant weekend in the country, and her other lover (and his wife) come, too.

Liz looks silly in too much black eye make-up and her little-girl voice butchers the only memorable song, "Send In the Clowns. Len Cariou has a very good voice, but his face is blank and dull and there's no chemistry with Taylor. Diana Rigg is elegant as always and blows everyone else out of the water.

It's supposed to be a too-too funny sex and morality play with music but none of the characters are likable or sympathetic; I didn't care who ended up with whom, I just wanted it to end. The songs seemed out of place with the silly plot, and the opening and closing device of staging it as a play made me dislike it immediately.
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Little Night Music [DVD] [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC]
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