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Thursday, December 19, 2013

Dangerous Christmas Of Red Riding Hood (1965)

From his cage at a zoo, a wolf (Cyril Ritchard) recounts how he was misunderstood and gives us the true story of the Red Riding Hood (Liza Minnelli) incident. A musical revisionist tale, the film's main asset is the strong Broadway worthy songs by Jule Styne and Bob Merrill, the composer and lyricist of FUNNY GIRL and its two lead performers. Minnelli is in great voice and Ritchard hams it up deliciously. The weak production values are cheap looking like something you'd see at a community theater Christmas play and the choreography by Lee Theodore never rises much above that level either. In an attempt to attract the teenage crowd, the rock group The Animals (The House Of The Rising Sun) are cast as Ritchard's wolf pack but their one song We're Going To Howl Tonight is the weakest of the show's songs and they seem uncomfortable when required to say the simplest of lines. Also on hand, Vic Damone as the woodsman. Directed by Sid Smith.

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