Four titles from those Hollywood years will be screened, starting with George Roy Hill's dismal "Thoroughly Modern Millie," an unwatchable 1967 pseudo-musical that TCM disinters with (thankfully) only limited regularity. The movie was made during Andrews' brief reign in the '60s as Roadshow Queen (it was filmed back-to-back with Hill's "Hawaii), and its brand of forced fun apparently still enjoys her embrace and enthusiasm.
It remains an affront that the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences, an outfit known for thoughtlessly throwing away Oscars, saw fit to reward this mess with seven - count 'em - seven Academy Awards nominations, including one for Carol Channing's screeching, amateurish supporting turn.
There's a reason why some stage performers never make it in movies.
And it remains jaw-dropping that Universal was oblivious to its film's batant racism. The presentation of Asians here, as personified by the wince-producing performances of Jack Soo and Pat Morita, is unacceptable, a brand of racist entertainment tossed off as innocent fun by Hollywood during the 1930s and 1940s.
t was a different culture back then but times had supposedly changed by the time "Thoroughly Modern Millie" was made in the so-called, enlightened late '60s - a prevalent theme these days unlikely to be addressed during Ben and Julie's pre- and post-screening discussions.
If Julie was to celebrate one of her other roadshow films during the same period, I'd have nudged her towards Robert Wise's brilliant, hugely underrated "Star!" (1968) or Blake Edwards' troubled "Darling Lili" (1970).
She was one of the singularly nicest movie people I met and perhaps the most beautiful. I was struck by her incredibly dreamy complexion.
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~The poster art for "Thoroughly Modern Millie"
~photography: Universal 1967©
~ Julie Andrews in "Star!"
~photography: Twentieth Century-Fox 1968©
~Andrews with Jack Lemmon in "That's Life!"
~photography: Sony 1986©