Monday, May 19, 2008

"The Stars and Stripes Forever" (1952) -- Initial Thoughts

My "new" musical last week was The Stars and Stripes Forever (1952), a musical biopic of John Philip Sousa that stars... Clifton Webb??? Yes, that's right, the very man who brought weasely Waldo Lydecker to life in Laura, eight years later plays a lovable, if very control-enthused, Sousa. He's got a beard and a much less nasal voice, and it's hard to believe it's the same guy.

Most of the musical numbers are either bands playing marches, or a few staged songs. On a whole, it was okay, though it never grabbed me the way Yankee Doodle Dandy did. I don't have much to say about it -- it was a solid biography of a man who wrote music.

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