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Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Lady In The Dark (1954)

The editor (Ann Sothern) of a fashion magazine is undergoing psychoanalysis due to an inexplicable restlessness and confusion. The analyst (Shepperd Strudwick) attempts to get to the core of her depression through her dreams. Based on the 1941 hit Broadway musical (made into a film in 1944 with Ginger Rogers) with a book by Moss Hart, music by Kurt Weill (THREEPENNY OPERA) and lyrics by Ira Gershwin. Its narrative hasn't dated well, its psychoanalytical approach though sophisticated and daring for 1941 is way too simplistic in 2016. Certainly through contemporary feminist eyes, it's slightly offensive. What remains good about it today are the songs which include the lovely My Ship and the witty Saga Of Jenny and for this production, the lively choreography by Rod Alexander. One amusing note: this was done live for TV and one of the actors says "tonight" when he clearly should have said "tomorrow night". Directed by Jeffrey Hayden (Eva Marie Saint's husband). The cast includes James Daly, Paul McGrath, Luella Gear and Carleton Carpenter (in the role that made Danny Kaye a star on Broadway).

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