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3-2: "Love Among the Ruins" 2009.08.23 (recap)


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#571

PRgal

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Posted Aug 29, 2009 @ 11:43 PM

Just because the song wasn't in the original Broadway production doesn't mean that someone's high school production didn't include it. When I was in high school, we changed tons of stuff in productions to suit our own taste.


Technically, you're not supposed to do this (organizations which distribute school and community theatre rights are usually really strict on what you can and cannot do) , but some schools might have had a "special arrangement." You just gotta know the right people.

#572

lucindabelle

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Posted Aug 30, 2009 @ 12:02 AM

It seems unlikely to me (though I haven't researched it) that a Broadway musical sold the rights for school performances when a film was in the works. It's likelier that Sal is misremembering, or it's just a goof.

#573

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Posted Aug 30, 2009 @ 12:14 AM

It seems unlikely to me (though I haven't researched it) that a Broadway musical sold the rights for school performances when a film was in the works. It's likelier that Sal is misremembering, or it's just a goof.


Sal saw it on Broadway. It wasn't a school production. And it's possible that Sal was talking about the role of Kim McAfee in general, not the song A-M performed. They always seem to add songs to movie versions of stage musicals - I think it has to do with the Oscar race - you can't submit songs which have previously been in the production, they must be new. That's why they added "You Must Love Me" to Evita. I think they added a song to the movie version of Chicago, too.

#574

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Posted Aug 30, 2009 @ 12:20 AM

So, Sal saying he saw Susan Watson doing that in the original Broadway production really irked me, because Mad Men is so, so careful about being period-specific and nit-picky.


I also thought that Sal was referring to the role, not to the song--the "that" had to do with Ann-Margret's sex appeal, not the song, IMO.

#575

shegunner

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Posted Aug 30, 2009 @ 6:52 AM

573 replies on this thread as opposed to 75 on the thread for Episode 1. # 2 is definitely a better episode.

Thanks to On Demand I got an episode ahead though. Couldn't resist watching.

#576

acsenray

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Posted Aug 30, 2009 @ 7:00 AM

Technically, you're not supposed to do this (organizations which distribute school and community theatre rights are usually really strict on what you can and cannot do) , but some schools might have had a "special arrangement." You just gotta know the right people.


Not supposed to do what? I haven't actually read a school musical licensing agreement, but I've never seen two productions of a show that are exactly the same. I find it hard to believe that they require schools to perform the exact same show every time when not even the professionals do exactly the same thing every time. It makes sense to me that after the song was added to the movie that the publisher would also add it to its licensing package for school performances.

#577

ixoy

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Posted Aug 30, 2009 @ 7:41 AM

So did anyone else look at the date of the wedding and think "Wow, they're going to miss the first episode ever of 'Doctor Who'?" and wonder if they'll incorporate that major landmark event into the plot..

#578

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Posted Aug 30, 2009 @ 9:42 AM

Not supposed to do what? I haven't actually read a school musical licensing agreement, but I've never seen two productions of a show that are exactly the same. I find it hard to believe that they require schools to perform the exact same show every time when not even the professionals do exactly the same thing every time. It makes sense to me that after the song was added to the movie that the publisher would also add it to its licensing package for school performances.


Of course no two productions are alike. Choreography is different, people's voices are different. But you're also not supposed to change things drastically, add songs, etc. Stage productions of Grease don't generally have "Hopelessly Devoted To You" in it (I have only seen one professional production which did - and they ADVERTISED IT in the poster). If the school licensing agreement allows you to add songs, then of course, you can do that. But that's not always in the contract. And considering that the composers didn't like the song, I really doubt that they'd make it an option to add in.

By the way, does anyone know if the title song was in the TV movie re-make in the 90s?



Anyway, back to our regularly scheduled program.

#579

walrus17

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Posted Aug 30, 2009 @ 10:06 AM

So did anyone else look at the date of the wedding and think "Wow, they're going to miss the first episode ever of 'Doctor Who'?" and wonder if they'll incorporate that major landmark event into the plot..


Was Doctor Who known, or even available, to Americans in the early sixties? I don't recall seeing it until it starting airing on PBS - maybe in the late seventies or early eighties. We had not yet fallen in love with all things British in November 1963.

#580

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Posted Aug 30, 2009 @ 10:48 AM

Hey, boys & girls, let's put on a play! Tams-Witmark licenses performances of Bye Bye Birdie; detailed information available here. Options include the 3 songs from the 1995 TV production. I'll bet you could ask about the song from the movie.

Sal would have been glad to expound further on the Broadway production & compare it to the movie. How the song was just tacked on & Ann-Margret really could sing better than that. How Broadway plays often lost some satirical bite when Hollywood took over. But he knew the meeting was not about discussing theater. The client & all the guys there saw the clip & thought "what a hottie." So he played along.

(I think the Doctor Who reference was not exactly serious. It was just a way of pointing out that 11/22/1963 does not mean the same thing to everybody. As the Snooty British Couple's children settle into their Snooty Private School, they may hear from friends back home about the cool new show on BBC-TV. But they won't be able to catch up for a long time.)

#581

ixoy

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Posted Aug 30, 2009 @ 12:44 PM

Yeah, the 'Doctor Who' thing wasn't too serious but the first episode did air on November 23rd, 1963 and was almost entirely overshadowed by events of the day before. So whilst I know the significance of the date from the JFK-angle, I can't help disassociate it from the start of my favourite show!

#582

Luaugirl

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Posted Aug 30, 2009 @ 2:46 PM

Yes, PRgal, the title song and all the songs in the movie were in the TV version. The actor playing Conrad Birdie was a major improvement over the old version. YUM.

Joan reminds Bbob of Joan Blondell? The only similarity I see is the name and maybe the figure. Blondell was heavier and a comic actress. I see more of red-headed fiery Rhonda Fleming in CH's Joan.

There were more ruins than love in this episode.

#583

MethodActor05

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Posted Aug 30, 2009 @ 5:30 PM

By the way, does anyone know if the title song was in the TV movie re-make in the 90s?


It was, but it wasn't sung by Kim. It was sung by girls in the soda shop.

Bye-Bye Birdie (TV Version)

I gotta say, it's an improvement, but I loved how the reprise gave you the sense that Kim had complete contempt for Conrad now.

I seriously wonder how the creators feel about the fact that the song they hated the most- that they wrote out as crappy as possible because they were pissed about how the stuido was forcing them to do it- is now the song that most people think of when they think of that musical, by sheer virtue of the fact that it's a title song, and most people are familiar with the movie version.

#584

peeayebee

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Posted Aug 30, 2009 @ 6:39 PM

I happened to turn on the TV this morning when that 'Bye Bye Birdie' remake was on (Encore channel). There was just 20 minutes left, but I don't think I would have watched it if I caught it from the beginning.

#585

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Posted Aug 30, 2009 @ 7:26 PM

I seriously wonder how the creators feel about the fact that the song they hated the most- that they wrote out as crappy as possible because they were pissed about how the stuido was forcing them to do it- is now the song that most people think of when they think of that musical, by sheer virtue of the fact that it's a title song, and most people are familiar with the movie version.

I can satisfy your curiosity, because I think I recall what Charles Strouse (the composer) wrote about it in his autobiography. In a word: regret. He knows it's the song everyone thinks of now, and he wishes like hell that he'd been able to write a better one at the time. However, he and Lee Adams didn't write a song "as crappy as possible because they were pissed the studio was forcing them to do it." They just honestly didn't have a clue how to write a better song with that title to open the film. At least not in the time they had. It didn't help that they thought the request was a stupid idea, but they didn't set out to prove how stupid an idea it was. It's just that they couldn't find inspiration in such a stupid idea. Ever since, he's wished that they could have.

Ironically, though, the memorability of the song--the characteristic that accounts for its being the song everyone thinks of when they think of "Bye Bye Birdie"--is directly due to its stupidity and utter crappiness. So, in a sense, mission accomplished.

Edited by Milburn Stone, Aug 30, 2009 @ 7:37 PM.


#586

pigeoninthepark

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Posted Aug 30, 2009 @ 9:40 PM

the song "Bye, Bye, Birdie" that Ann-Margaret sings in the movie was not in the Broadway production, which is true--the filmmakers wanted a title tune, as that was pretty much de rigueur for musical films in those days. (Someone later in the thread mentioned doing the show in high school and was now remembering the song all over again; I fear you're mis-remembering. *g*)


Oh trust me, it was there. You don't forget having to sing the same song on end for weeks at a time. :) This high school production was also put on several decades after the movie came out...

And I'm all for a TWOP remake...although I keep picturing one of the MM guys in the role of Conrad. Aaron Staton perhaps?

#587

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Posted Aug 31, 2009 @ 12:50 PM

I beg to differ. We spent enough time with her last season, watching her go after Don, failing, then going after Roger, to know exactly what "type" she is.


So a woman who is willing to go after rich, married men is obviously of a certain type whose every thought and action you can reliably predict? For a show in which every character is nuanced and has unexpected depths, this seems quite a stretch.

#588

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Posted Aug 31, 2009 @ 11:06 PM

So a woman who is willing to go after rich, married men is obviously of a certain type whose every thought and action you can reliably predict? For a show in which every character is nuanced and has unexpected depths, this seems quite a stretch.


I think it's pretty safe to say that she's the type willing to go after a married man whose daughter is her own age, with no thought of what the consequences of that choice might be. That doesn't point to a lot of depth. But any further analysis is a subject for a different thread.

A man like Roger was expected to have his affairs, but he was expected to do it on the downlow. His wife and children were never to know. A mistress wasn't supposed to expect a man to really leave his wife for her. And in 1962, a mistress who became a wife, had to be prepared to be called a whore and a homewrecker, by all sorts of people, ESPECIALLY the family of the man who ditched his wife to marry her.

While Mona accepts the new marriage with grace and dignity, and included Jane on the guest list, it's understandable that Margaret, less mature and far less concerned with society, can't disguise her feelings about it this new stepmother.

I find it both amusing and sad at the same time, that he blames Margaret's attitude on Mona, for "poisoning her mind," as if he thinks Margaret couldn't possibly have objected to Jane on her own.

Margaret isn't trying to control her father's love life. She is trying to control her own wedding. Margaret's wedding isn't about who Roger's current wife is. Ultimately Mona's solution is the correct etiquette, but Margaret doesn't really care about that. If Roger tries to force Jane on Margaret, he will lose Margaret completely.

#589

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Posted Aug 31, 2009 @ 11:53 PM

I think that if they had wanted us to see Jane as a sincere woman, and Roger and Jane as a couple who sincerely fell in love despite the circumstances, they would have shown us something of their courtship. But all we saw was Jane's machinations and Roger's midlife crisis. And neither has shown any conscience about the consequences of their actions. In fact, they both act like petulant brats, rather than starcrossed lovers who fate dealt a socially unacceptable hand.

#590

A Little Edgy

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Posted Sep 1, 2009 @ 12:38 AM

And in 1962, a mistress who became a wife, had to be prepared to be called a whore and a homewrecker, by all sorts of people, ESPECIALLY the family of the man who ditched his wife to marry her.


I agree with you, mitchellems, except that I don't think this sentiment is limited to 1962. I'm pretty sure that, even in 2009, ex-wives and their children tend to regard mistresses who "stole" their husbands and fathers with a considerable degree of disdain.

#591

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Posted Sep 1, 2009 @ 8:17 AM

But we did see Jane writing a poem for Roger, while he was in the next room. She seemed truly smitten. MW showed us that deliberately. She also looked sincerely upset when Mona came to the office. Jane hadn't met Mona and Margaret, as Joan had, so while she knew they were out there, they weren't real to her. And while Roger's love for Jane may be prompted by a midlife crisis, Jane wouldn't necessarily know that-- she came to the office after Roger's meltdowns and has only seen him as a powerful guy in control.

Inviting Jane to the wedding does not show tolerance or grace, it's just manners. Emily Post would definitely not allow you NOT to invite Jane, if you invite Roger, and since Roger is the host, he must be invited.

Jane didn't even go after Roger until she was fired, but he'd been going after her. She didn't blackmail Roger into proposing or leaving; he did that all on his own.

Jane is shallow, manipulative and a lot of not great things, I agree, but "golddigger" seems too harsh, to me.

#592

possibilities

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Posted Sep 1, 2009 @ 10:46 PM

I thought Jane went to Roger BECAUSE she was fired. I thought she was angling for her job back, kind of going over Don's head. If she couldn't land Don, she'd go for the even bigger guy.

#593

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Posted Sep 1, 2009 @ 11:17 PM

I agree, she went to Roger because she was fired. What I meant was, she wasn't necessarily angling for ANY man before that. She could have flirted with him much earlier if she'd wanted to; she didn't.

#594

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Posted Sep 2, 2009 @ 8:54 PM

Thought you guys might want to know that Bye Bye Birdie is being revived on Broadway, with John Stamos as Albert Peterson (the role Dick van Dyke played in the movie)

#595

braggtastic

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Posted Sep 3, 2009 @ 2:33 PM

And an actual 15 year old as Kim (Ann Margret's role).

#596

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Posted Apr 10, 2010 @ 10:26 AM

Season 3 came out on DVD here in Canada towards the end of March and I have watched them through and am now going through again. What didn't strike me on first watch here, but of course now with the knowledge of what happens towards the end of the season, is the implication of Bye-bye Birdie. Ultimately he has to say Bye-bye to Birdie and his sentiment just might be "Guess I'll always care." He's not saying good-bye to a fling like the teacher or Bobbie or Ms. Menken, where he can forget those feelings (it would seem), he's saying good-bye to someone he loves in a way and has kids with, but it's not such a big good-bye either where he will always feel strongly for Betty. Just a "Guess I'll always care - we'll see" or "I suppose I always care-- isn't that what I'm supposed to do?" or "Guess I'll always care 'cause you gave birth to my children."

#597

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Posted Aug 23, 2011 @ 12:16 PM

I never saw the movie Bye Bye Birdie, but watching Anne Margaret sing (ouch!) in front of what looks like a blue screen, I kept wondering if the "real movie" had some scenery behind it because it just looked so odd to me seeing her sing/act like that.

Its funny hearing about products with their original name that was changed into what we know about the products now. Patio? Where in the world did that come from?

Roger is seeming very obsolete.

They never said what the conflict was with MSG, but given all that Don said about what handling the advertising meant, I'm surprised the Brits said no. I wonder what the real issue is. Maybe just short term profit and get out leaving a shell behind?

#598

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Posted Aug 23, 2011 @ 2:46 PM

I never saw the movie Bye Bye Birdie, but watching Anne Margaret sing (ouch!) in front of what looks like a blue screen, I kept wondering if the "real movie" had some scenery behind it because it just looked so odd to me seeing her sing/act like that.


I saw BBB when it came out at a drive-in movie theater. I was 5. I remember being quite obsessed with it and wanting to be Ann-Margret. My sisters and I acted out the movie and songs, though I can barely remember them now. (As opposed to Gypsy--we played that soundtrack for years and knew every lyric.)

Anyway, re: the blue screen etc. I can tell you that the movie seemed so modern at the time! Just the name, Ann-Margaret. I'm sure she wasn't the first actress with an eponymous name, but there weren't many of them. I remember she wore these cropped shirts and stretchy pants--so daring. It was such a wrench to see the clip on MM after all these years and see how cheesy it looked. Not to mention the fact that I never noticed how bad Ann-Margaret's voice was (I believe she was trained as a dancer, not a singer).

Sorry, just had to take that walk down memory lane.

#599

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Posted Aug 23, 2011 @ 8:07 PM

You're in good company, BBDi. I first saw BBB on TV as a young adolescent and was quite taken with it. When I watched it again years later as an adult -- yowch! Not really that good. According to wikipedia:

Van Dyke hated the making of the film, complaining to his wife, "They're turning it into the Ann-Margret show!"[citation needed] Susan Watson, who created the role of Kim in the stage version, later said, "Anyone who likes the film clearly didn't see the show."[23]

One thing I found particularly odd in this episode was the actress they cast for the commercial. She had a rather hard edge to her, not at all like the "kittenish" qualities of Ann-Margret. I thought the actress they interviewed earlier (the one who was asked to do the twist again) would have been a better fit (can't find a picture of her online).

#600

Tom Bomb

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Posted Dec 21, 2011 @ 4:29 PM

We don't have to worry about spoilers anymore, so removing the North American Aviation look.

Just watched again and trying to sort out the meanings of the episode title. Good call on Bye bye Birdy, meaning Don to Birdie. He is emotionally detached from her and his eye is roving again.

Love, among the ruins of Don's marriage appears in the form of Suzanne at the end. He surreptitiously makes physical his felt connection to her, through the grass at their feet.

The Bye bye song is sung by Peggy to herself in the mirror, too, acknowledging her broken connection to Pete, and her bittersweet musing that she'll always care, nonetheless.

Peggy also seeks love of sorts, among the ruins of New York, a city in decay, as illumed by the trash on the subway steps as she emerges to the crowded bar. She connects physically with her one night stand, but the passion is tempered by practical considerations. He doesn't have a condom, but they can do other things. She has to work in the morning, and leaves in the middle of the night, as soon as he's fallen asleep. Her true love is of her job, a problem that recrudesces in The Suitcase.

The last scene of Don and Peggy at work puzzled me the first time I saw it; seemed a bit flat. But that's what it was trying to convey. Peggy's personal life is a bit of a ruin, and she loves the excitement and challenge of her job more than she does any human.

And the same could be said for Don, despite his upcoming hard fall for Suzanne. This conflict was expressed in his fight with Faye in the Chinese Wall episode. What she called his "stupid job" was everything to him. Whether future human agents of true love emerge for either of them, or mere secondary objects of lust and infatuation, time will tell.

Edited by Tom Bomb, Dec 22, 2011 @ 8:18 AM.