17 June 2009

Mitzi Gaynor: Razzle Dazzle! The Special Years

This week I watched a DVD called Mitzi Gaynor: Razzle Dazzle! The Special Years. I was familiar with Gaynor from her appearances in movies such as South Pacific and There's No Business Like Show Business, but I didn't realized that she did annual variety specials on TV in the 1960s and 1970s. This DVD shows clips from the specials along with commentary from some of the people involved back then, including Bob Mackie and Gaynor herself.

I already knew that Gaynor was a great singer and dancer, but what really struck me was how sexy she was back then. In her movies, she always played a sweet girl-next-door type. There's still a sweetness that comes through in the specials, but there is also a lot more "nudge-nudge, wink-wink" and skimpy costuming than I expected. Bob Mackie pushed right up against the censorship limits with a couple of them. I wasn't offended, just surprised.

The DVD focused on the dance numbers so there aren't many of the comedy scenes included. However, the scenes where Gaynor plays a character called The Kid are gems. She plays a 10-year-old tomboy who is unpopular with her classmates. The intriguing part is that she played it with absolutely no makeup on and her natural hair. It was amazing how different she looked with a fresh face. It is a perfect example of the expression, "I need to go put on my face."

If you want a little taste of vintage TV that you can't get from TV Land, then check out this DVD. I know that I'll be looking through the NetFlix catalog again to see if there are any variety shows that I've missed. There's nothing else on TV, so now is the perfect time!
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