Friday, July 19, 2013

So Come, Kiss Me Kate! - movie review

I had a spare evening and the house to myself so I decided it was high time I watched another 50s movie.  With PJs on, a cup of tea at hand and two cats in the lap, I slipped the DVD of 'Kiss Me Kate' into my computer.

After the usual loading screens I was greeted with a title screen for the movie - our lead character, played by Kathryn Grayson looking every bit like a pinup girl while being gleefully spanked by a devilish looking lead, Howard Keel.

My last movie review of 'On Moonlight Bay' included a spanking scene and before that, 'Pillow Talk' included a scene of the lead actress being manhandled.  I'm starting to pick up a theme here....

The story of 'Kiss Me Kate' revolves around a divorced couple Fred and Lilli who are thrown together again to act as the lead actors in a musical theater production of the 'Taming of the Shrew'.

If you've read/watched the play (or watched the excellent movie adaption starring Elizabeth Taylor), you'd know that two leads, Katherine and Petrucio, are pitted against each other - one aiming to tame, woo and keep his ferocious bride, the other, bitter, easily angered and determined to remain free from male domination.

With such two actors playing such two roles in such a play - what could possibly go wrong?

The answer to that is 'Lois and Bill, incorrect deliveries, dinner before acting, gangster thugs, a rancher and a whole lot of spanking'.

Come on!  You know you have to watch it now!

The whole movie was fun from start to finish.  All the characters are hammed a little but this doesn't detract from the movie at all because it doesn't try to be serious at any point.

As most of the movie is set on the stage, there aren't many scenes which showcase the actors in fashions of the day.   There is one or two scenes in which Kathryn Grayson wears a yellow housecoat which she makes look so chic.  I definitely need more housecoats in my life!  Also, keep your eyes peeled for the white, scalloped petticoat that Lois wears under her pretty dress during the 'Why Can't You Behave' dance number.

I think it's only fair to warn you now that this movie does involve men in tights...
 The music numbers are fun and not too long.  My favourite songs from the movie are 'Why Can't you Behave' and 'Brush Up on Your Shakespeare'.  I'm not terribly fond of tap dancing but those tap performances included were thankfully short and not too out of place.

Jack Handey wrote, in his book 'Deep Thoughts'.  "If you ever discover that what you're seeing is a play within a play, just slow down, take a deep breath, and old on for the ride of your life."


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