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A Fine Romance Hardcover – Oct 1 2005

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Billboard Books; 1 edition (Oct. 1 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0823077748
  • ISBN-13: 978-0823077748
  • Product Dimensions: 32.6 x 26.7 x 2.9 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 2.4 Kg
  • Average Customer Review: Be the first to review this item
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #3,395,037 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) HASH(0x9cdb5114) out of 5 stars 6 reviews
21 of 21 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9caba6e4) out of 5 stars Moving a Musical to the Big Screen Sept. 23 2005
By John Matlock - Published on
Format: Hardcover
Being an observer of plays and movies with a particular interest in musicals I've long been puzzled by the difficulty there seems to be with moving a musical from Broadway to Hollywood. Why does a smash hit like Gypsy, sometimes called 'The best damn musical ever,' basically flop on screen?

Darcie Denkert is an expert on both Broadway and Hollywood. In this book she has carefully researched a series of the most famous musicals that were made into movies. Sometimes, like with Gypsy, the play simply doesn't translate into the big screen. The scene at the train station, for instance when Rose is shifting her attentions to Louise after June left in the play works well. The train station doesn't look like a train station, it looks like a set. The orchestra is visible, the song works. In the movie, at a real train station, you don't just burst into song. And the stars, great movie stars, just didn't fit.

This is the kind of information that only an insider with a foot into each camp could get and then put into a book. Referring to Gypsy again, the author also tells us how the stories got written, who did what, how did the music get written, what did they do in the screenplay to adapt it?

The book covers 6 big plays: My Fair Lady, West Side Story, Gypsy, The Sound of Music, Cabaret, and Chicago, and 8 smaller ones. This format gives all the space that is needed to completely tell the story. Gypsy, for instance gets 38 pages, and they're big pages. To we outsiders, not plugged into either Broadway or Hollywood, this is an absolutely fascinatin book.
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9c9f2cc0) out of 5 stars dancing queen March 24 2007
By Darryl K. Clark - Published on
Verified Purchase
darcie denkert has done a fabulous job talking about the great shows of broadway and their translation to the screen. i love this book--the illustrations are insightful and the text is very well thought out. it should be a great addition to any college course on musicals.

it is also a great thing to see a woman's voice come through on this subject that is dominated my many great writers such as ethan morrden and mark steyn.

go, darcie!
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9ca7a54c) out of 5 stars Gorgeous and Fun, Fun, Fun Oct. 15 2006
By David Cady - Published on
Format: Hardcover
I couldn't agree more with the other two reviews. This is a marvelous book that any musical and/or movie musical fan will devour. And the design, layout and pics are all sensational. If only "A Chorus Line" had been included, the book would be perfect. (Maybe Denkert was precluded from writing about it for some reason.) In any event, this is a reader-friendly (not to mean dumb) coffee table book that won't break your wrists or the bank.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9c92cb64) out of 5 stars NOT JUST A COFFEE-TABLE BOOK! Sept. 1 2012
By David - Published on
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
When you see the huge format of this book, you may tempted to think, "Wow! I didn't expect it to be this big! I'm not sure it's what I wanted. Lots of pictures, can I suppose the text is worth a careful reading?" DON'T BE FOOLED!

After glancing through this book, maybe reading the introduction only, this book disappeared from my life for a time. Apparently it slipped into a drawer and wasn't seen again for a couple of years. It's possible the "Cleaning Fairy" got it; that can happen in our house, especially when guests are expected. Anyway, while downsizing our household in preparation for an eventual retirement-center life, this book re-appeared. "Do you want to keep this one," my wife said. "Let me read through the text tonight, and then I think I can let it go," I said.

Oh, Boy! While spending a week of evenings reading though this fine book, I was repeatedly amazed at the depth and breadth of experience and research this book exhibits. It's an A+. Buy this book to read it--best done at a library table, because it's really BIG and HEAVY! The great pictures are gravy, compared to the meat and potatoes of the text.

No single example of how the Broadway play influenced the movie--or the movie the play--can suffice. Time after time, era after era, title after title, this book tells the story of how the play, or the movie, or the remake; or the re-staging, or the adaptation, or the revival was conceived, written, produced, cast, and re-cast: Who wanted the part? Who got the part and why? Who was dropped from the Broadway cast for the movie? Who sang the overdubbing because the star couldn't sing that well?

OK, one example (or counterexample): My Fair Lady. They said Rex Harrison was no singer. You've heard how he succeeded famously in the part of Henry Higgins by "talk-singing" the role, both on Broadway and in the movie. What you haven't heard until you've read this book is how the composer, Frederick Lowe (of the team of Lerner and Lowe) wrote the music (the melodies) to reflect Harrison's own (natural or theatrical) cadence while reading the book or the lyric aloud!

This book cannot be donated to just any old thrift store; I've got to find a suitable library, in a school of film or musical theatre, to curate it properly. Darcie Denkert Rocks!
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9c9f22b8) out of 5 stars Mame v. Mame: Mame Wins Feb. 18 2008
By D. J. Ginsburg - Published on
Darcie Denkert has given us a gem. Her lavish book with its incredible photographs tells Broadway and Hollywood tales with purpose. She discusses the influence of Broadway on filmmaking and the all-important connection between the two art forms in highly intelligent and most enjoyable prose. Her knowledge of the genres is huge, yet she lays it out in a natural way, never inserting herself into the stories, although she no doubt has many of her own across a distinguished career. Her passion for the subject is palpable. The people and places come alive in the telling.

This book is required reading for all budding theater impresarios and filmmakers.