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'Mitzi Gaynor Razzle Dazzle' - Movie Review

Gayor's Razzle Dazzle Will Dazzle You

About.com Rating 4 Star Rating


'Mitzi Gaynor Razzle Dazzle' - Movie Review

Mitzi Gaynor Razzle Dazzle DVD

City Lights Pictures
After Mitzi Gaynor's big breakout performance as Nellie Forbush in South Pacific (1958), the talented singer/dancer/actress never landed another movie role that showcased her unique abilities quite as well. It was not until she began starring in her own enormously popular razzle dazzle TV specials during the 1960s that American audiences recognized Gaynor as an entertainment icon. This thoroughly entertaining documentary traces Gaynor's career, and delights us with segments of her spectacular shows along the way.

Gaynor's a Musical Comedy Classic

Mitzi Gaynor is pure razzle dazzle. Shapely, seductive and always smiling, she's the musical star who knows just how to show off her sequins and shake her spangles spectacularly. Her TV specials and Las Vegas shows during the 1960s were full out extravaganzas, and were so enormously popular with audiences they made Mitzi into an entertainment icon.

This compilation documentary, directed by David Stern and co-written by Annette Jolles and Jennifer Matson, is a tribute to Gaynor's talent, grace and humor. Leading showbiz colleagues -- including critic Rex Reed, costumer Bob Mackie, actors Carl Reiner, Kristen Chenoweth, Kelli O'Hara and dancers Alton Ruigg and Randy Doney -- speak about Gaynor's extraordinary career arc in the most glowing terms, mentioning not only her showmanship, dedication and sense of fun, but also her tremendous respect and consideration for everyone working with her. Gaynor, we see, is a class act in every way.

The best and most entertaining segments of the documentary are, however, the outtakes from Gaynor's TV specials, and they are riveting. Sets and costumes are gorgeously extravagant, and Gaynor's performances are superb. In one, a hilarious satire of one of Doris Day's performances, Gaynor deftly changes costumes six or seven times, and each outfit is more adorably ridiculous than the last. Gaynor also does impressively accurate impersonations of Rita Hayworth and other Hollywood stars. No question about it, Gaynor does it all, and she does it all brilliantly.

An Update On Gaynor

This documentary is certainly well-seasoned with nostalgia, but it doesn't leave us living in the past--or longing to do so. Gaynor is still going strong, and we meet her in the documentary in several delightful on-camera interviews. She's still gorgeous, still energetic, still showing concern for her colleagues--in fact, she now spends much of her time raising funds for various worthwhile causes. She seems quite happy, and this film about her is quite happy. In fact, it's a nice bit of uplift and inspiration. And, the DVD has terrific extras!

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Film Details

  • Release Date: November 18, 2008
  • Running Time: 58 mins.
  • Parents Advisory: Parents Guide: Content advisory for parents
  • Country: USA
  • Language: English
  • Distribution: City Lights Pictures

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