Gaily, Gaily (1969)

Genres - Comedy, Crime, Musical  |   Sub-Genres - Biopic [feature], Docudrama, Slapstick  |   Run Time - 117 min.  |   Countries - United States  |   MPAA Rating - R
  • AllMovie Rating
  • User Ratings (0)
  • Your Rating

Share on

Review by Craig Butler

Gaily, Gaily is visually quite attractive, but narratively it leaves a lot to be desired. This is especially unfortunate given that it opens very promisingly and for a while seems to be laying the foundation for a good coming-of-age reminiscence, laced with plenty of nostalgia. Unfortunately, halfway through the filmmakers abandon what has gone before to concentrate on a slapstick chase which throws the whole tone out of whack, and from which it never recovers. The first half was not perfect: the pacing is off in places, the main character's innocence and naivete is exaggerated to an extent that borders on annoying, other characters are a bit "stock," and one never gets quiet as involved with the proceedings as one wishes. But it kept the viewer's attention, and held promise. The second half simply barrels along, but without the comic impact it thinks it is having, and ends up becoming a big bore. Blame rests equally with the writer and director Norman Jewison, neither of whom is in control of the second half. The cast at least is good. If Beau Bridges gets a bit too one note, that is more than redeemed by Melina Mercouri's gorgeous madam, Brian Keith's worldly Irish journalist and Hume Cronyn's oily politico. The physical production is striking, and Henry Mancini's score is sleek and lovely. Gaily could and should have been much better.