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Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Pinocchio (1976)

A lonely woodcarver and toy maker (Danny Kaye) makes a puppet (Sandy Duncan) that comes to life and whose one ambition to to become a real little boy. Carlo Collodi's ADVENTURES OF PINOCCHIO first published in 1883 has been adapted countless times for film and television, the most famous adaptation being Walt Disney's 1940 animated film. I've never been overly fond of the story myself, not even as a child. This musical adaptation is a rather lifeless effort with mediocre faux Broadway type songs that are quite forgettable. The role of Geppetto doesn't play to Danny Kaye's strengths as a performer and does anyone want to see a sentimental Kaye pining away for his lost wooden son and singing sad ballads? He's much more enjoyable in a secondary role when he plays the Russian sideshow owner. Sandy Duncan is a talent whose career never quite ignited the way it should have and she provides whatever sparks she can. Ron Field's (who co-directed with Sid Smith) choreography is lively enough.  With Flip Wilson, Clive Revill and Liz Torres.

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