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Wednesday, July 23, 2014

June Moon (1974)

A naive young man (Tom Fitzsimmons) from Schenectady moves to New York City in the hopes of becoming a songwriter. He collaborates with an older songwriter (Jack Cassidy) but he falls into the clutches of the older man's devious sister in law (Susan Sarandon) who uses him to make her lover (Kevin McCarthy) jealous. What will it take for him to wake up and smell the coffee? Based on the 1929 Broadway show by George S. Kaufman and Ring Lardner, this was filmed twice in the 1930s, once under the original title in 1931 then as BLONDE TROUBLE in 1937. This version filmed for public television retains the original play's modest charms while putting a darker spin on the money hungry bitchy sisters (Sarandon and Estelle Parsons) which borders on misogyny at times. The satire on Tin Pan Alley holds up well and fortunately for this production, at its core is Fitzsimmons who plays innocent naivete beautifully which is not always as easy as it looks. Too often it comes across as forced and phony but Fitzsimmons aces it. Directed by Burt Shevelove and Kirk Browning. With Barbara Dana, Austin Pendleton, Lee Meredith and Stephen Sondheim in a rare acting role.

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