The Tom & Lorenzo Archives: 2006 -2011
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Musical Monday: On a Clear Day You Can See Forever


Yes kids, it's time for On a Clear Day You Ca-- oh, forget it.

Look, the plot is all the hell over the place on this one and most of the songs are forgettable. We'll try to keep up, but really, the only point to this movie is Barbra's hair, makeup and wardrobe, all of which are divine.

Hit it, Babs.

See what we mean? That's gotta be the weirdest opening to a musical we've ever seen. Ah, 1970. How you amuse us with your mainstream attempts to catch up with the decade-old counter-culture movement. Vincente Minnelli directing Barbra Streisand in a hippy-dippy musical about reincarnation and ESP. What's not to love? We're sure Allen Ginsburg and Ravi Shankar were there on opening night.

Anyway, here we are in Yves Montand's psychiatry class. Yves plays Dr. Marc Chabot, who likes to hypnotize his students and humiliate them for kicks.

Barbra, who snuck in to the class, accidentally gets hypnotized into thinking she's five years old and freaks the hell out. Yves is not amused and hypnotizes her into walking in front of a bus.

Actually, he just talks her down and tells her to leave.

The next day, Barbra shows up at his palatial office in another adorable outfit, chainsmoking and fast-talking her ass off. Oh, for the days when one could smoke in college offices and Babs wore eyeliner.

Anyway, she wants to be hypnotized into quitting smoking because her fiance insists on it. Incidentally, she's about as believable a smoker as she would be a nun.

Yves agrees to hypnotize her partially to shut her the hell up and partially because he's intrigued yet skeptical of some apparent ESP abilities, like getting flowers to grow by singing to them and knowing when the phone's going to ring.

Well they had to advance the plot somehow.

Suddenly, she sits bolt upright in her egg chair and starts speaking loudly in a truly horrible "English" accent.

And just like that we're in 1814 London and Barbra is a drag queen (which is kind of redundant when you think about it).

She is Melinda Tentrees, a haughty, slutty social climber with a taste for outrageous clothes and a habit of lapsing into a 20th century New York accent at the drop of a hat. She narrates her life story for Yves and us.

One day, at a drag queen picnic, she met Roger Tentrees, her destined husband.

That night, at the vagina hat dance, Roger can't keep his eyes off her.

You see, Babs outdid all the other bitches in vagina hats and showed up in an ovary hat.

She seduces him by rubbing a wine glass on her tits and singing without moving her lips.

Apparently, that sort of thing worked in 19th century London. Then again, she was probably the only anatomically correct woman at the party.

Then, Vincente Minnelli discovered double exposures.

Later, Babs comes home to find her former step-brother, Jack Nicholson, hanging out on her roof and playing a sitar in a paisley shirt.

Seriously, how can you not love that? And if that doesn't do it for you...


We meet Barbra's fiance Warren. A graduate student who appears to be in his forties, Warren is high-strung and controlling. He will be dispensed with before the final reel, of course.

The next day, she returns for another "session" with Yves. He puts her under and then sings about how he's in love with Melinda. Then he sets fire to his psychiatry license. Haha, no he didn't. But he should have.

No real reason for this screen shot, but if there are any budding drag queens out there, that's how you want to do your eye makeup.

Y'know, she's kinda dressed like a Barbie through this whole movie. Just saying.

Hoping that she will prove to be half as interesting as Melinda*, Yves takes her out for a drink over his burned license and nonexistent professional ethics.

*She's not.

That night, Barbra can't sleep because she's horny for her psychiatrist.

Also, she wears nightgowns that match her sheets.

More hypnotizing. No reason for the shot other than to document every outfit she wears in this film.

Yves decides to go public with the case of the girl with the past life. His students are both stunned and really, really groovy.

The story hits the press and Babs hears about it on her transistor radio while she's watering her plants. She doesn't realize that Yves is talking about her, because he's totally unethical and never told her about what comes up in her sessions.

This being 1970, the students immediately start organizing a rally and waving signs around.

You know, because it wasn't like there was ANYTHING ELSE to be protesting.

At the university, old white men (and Bob Newhart) discuss what's to be done. They tell Yves to knock it the fuck off.

Later, Yves puts Babs under again just so he can say goodbye to Melinda. She sings.

Even later, Babs is left alone in his office (great idea!) and she accidentally turns on the massive tape recorder which holds all the recordings to her sessions.

She sings again.

Yves shows up on her rooftop and she tells him that she knows everything. Because she's wearing pants now, she has the strength to yell at him and tell him to fuck off.

The next day, again in pants (and looking like Rhoda Morgenstern), she tells Warren to fuck off too.

Feminism was all about fashion. Betcha didn't know that.

Yves decides that the best way to rectify the situation is to stand on top of the Pan Am building and sing at the top of his lungs.

Babs is arrested for wearing Marlo Thomas' clothes.

Outfit check.

Another outfit check. Dig those sunglasses.

Pissed off at all his singing, she shows up, allows herself to be put under one more time, and reveals that she's lived over a dozen lives and in at least one of them, in the year 2038, she and Yves will be married. Apparently he's happy with that and lets her go. For some reason, she goes outside and holds a note for like 30 seconds.

And with that, the movie (and any vestiges of the counter culture movement) comes to an end.



Love it!

when i was younger :) i so wanted that entire wardrobe of bab's. everything flipping matched!

Is that the one where Babs plays a nut-case who no longer has the ability to sing and never had the ability to act?

I saw this movie at a very impressionable age and I still blame it for my drag queen tendencies. Alas, I am a heterosexual female.

It's amazing, I think I saw that 1814 Ovary Hat on the cover of a 1970 Vogue. I remember watching this movie when I was in my early teens and, even then, thinking WTF???

Loved the outfits though, especially that coat with the double buttons!

"That night, at the vagina hat dance..", Ovary Hat, Rhoda Morgenstern, Marlo Thomas - I LOVE You Guys!! You completely crack me up.

Yves Montand weirds me out because my ex looks like him. I start stressing whenever I see him onscreen. I think about step kids and controlling behavior and leaving the house we owned with a change of clothes, my checkbook and nothing else and not caring if I lost everything just as long as I got away (so I'm dramatic - it was all very LifeTime Television - I wanted Nancy McKeon or valerie Bertinellis to play me in the telepic).

This probably would have been a much better movie with the original Broadway leading lady, Barbara Harris, who is a true original and kind of a nut. She starred opposite John (Northern Exposure) Cullum. I have the cast recording and except for "Hurry! It's Lovely Up Here" and "What Did I Have.." I'm not crazy about much of the music. It ran about 8 months on Broadway and wasn't exactly a monster hit so I have no idea why they made the movie.

The Encores! series did a staging of "On a Clear Day..." last year with Kristin Chenoweth starring as Daisy. She was terrific but a revival never materialized.

I do love that Mabel Albertson is in this flick (and yes, she is Jack "Chico & The Man" Albertson's sister). Mabel is best known as Phyllis "Mother" Stephens on Bewitched, she had character bits in a lot of 50's through 70's TV & movies. And she is in one of my all time favorite movies, "What's Up Doc?" with Babs, Madeline Kahn and Ryan O'Neal and a bunch of others.

Is that the one where Babs plays a nut-case who no longer has the ability to sing and never had the ability to act?

No. That would be Yentl.

I actually played the Mark role in this musical my senior year in high school. It was Mark Bruckner, and he was not French. The Jack Nicholson character was added in the movie.

It was a fun show to do on-stage, but the movie made it a trippy, psychadelic fashion show for Babs. Nothing wrong with that, but it wasn't nearly as endearing as the stage version, and as Bill said, Barbara Harris made it work.

This is the first movie among those you've featured this summer that I haven't seen (just for the record, Singing in the Rain was my fave). And thanks to all your fabulous fashion screen shots, I won't have to! Thank you!!
On another note, I have a suggestion for a newer musical to review: Bride & Prejudice. Nothing like taking Jane Austen to Bollywood for high-energy bizarro courtships in fabulous colors! You'd love it.

LOL! Terrific review, boys!!

I used to love this movie as a youngster. Perhaps that is when the seeds of Fabulon were planted...

Of course, the film is preposterous and probably not very good, but as we all know, costumes and hairdos can make a movie. They sure made this one!


"Anonymous said...
Is that the one where Babs plays a nut-case who no longer has the ability to sing and never had the ability to act?

No. That would be Yentl."

Um...who was that in Yentl then? Marni Nixon?

--Gotham Tomato

I adore, adore, adore the clothes from that movie/era. But alas, by the time I got old enough to wear them, they were gone:(

Babs is always perfection, but this movie wasn't worthy of her. She looked absolutely gorgeous though.

--Gotham Tomato

You make Mondays worth living.

OMG. I want to see it just for the costumes.

I'm betting inflatable furniture died because someone owned cats.

No one can review a movie like you two can. It makes getting out of bed on Monday mornings worthwhile!

I loved this movie. I still think Barbra's seduction with the wine glass was hot hot hot, and I *loved* that outfit. Which, btw, was designed by Cecil Beaton (who also did "My Fair Lady").

I wish we had a current Cecil Beaton who could make women look truly fabulous, as opposed to the stripped-down Michael Kors/Halston look. Maybe when Austin Scarlett gets a few more years under his belt, some Ross Hunter-Hollywood producer will let him fab up a Star in a frothy little picture. But please, not Lindsey Lohan or any of the walking sticks who currently populate the red carpet.

Fucking hilarious, Boys! LOVE LOVE the dresses.

omg, how could i forget her FINGERNAILS!!

The only possible reason to not to Bride and prejudics is that it's just awful. Awful, awful, awful.

Not that (as seen with this musical) that should necesarily stop you.

I remember seeing this movie when I was like 13 and being puzzled as hell. One of those movies where one wonders if ANYONE involved knew what the heck was going on with the plot. I still think not.

But the nails were FABULOUS, and the hats were just insane.

Anonymous 12:51 p.m.

"Um...who was that in Yentl then? Marni Nixon?"

Just kidding. Yentl just me over the edge to the point that I've rarely looked back at Barbra . . . until Musical Mondays, that is.

We now return you to our regularly scheduled program, "On a Clear Day You Can See Ovary Hats Forever." Talk. Discuss.

Does anyone else (I can't believe I'm asking this) see a resemblance of young Babs (don't scream at me) to (gulp) Paris Hilton? Just from a few angles? Okay, again, no violence.

I about peed myself when I read the ovary hat description. I love you Boys so frakkin' much. Carry on, please!

Wait! Doesn't she end up with Jack Nicholson at the end?

OMG, I just realized I used to dress like that. Holy crap.

Anonymous said...
Wait! Doesn't she end up with Jack Nicholson at the end?

yes, but in the near "future"

As Bill said, this probably would have been better with the wacky Barbara Harris and the AMAZING John Cullum. Although "better" still doesn't really mean "good"-- the show has some really fundamental problems in conception.

Thankfully, we have some evidence of the original Broadway performances were like online, thanks to the wonderful archive. Very different in tone from Babs, and very much worth watching...

Hilarious!!!Bab's 'love with all the trimmings' seduction is quite scary.

Confusing as this movie is, I think it would've been alot better had anyone other than Yves Montand been cast as Mark. He pretty much killed 'Let's Make Love' as well-he might've been a good dramatic actor,or acting comedy in French, but it takes a collosal bore to hold back both Babs and Marilyn!!


1970, I was 11 years old, and my Mom made me baby-doll pajamas, pillow cases and sheets that all matched. Mine were bright lime green with big pink "flower power" daisies.

Then she made me a pair of "Elephant Bell Bottoms" out of the remaining fabric (side zip, of course). I wore it proudly with my Ship -n- Shore white blouse (tucked in, of course) and a Peace Symbol necklace.

No wonder I'm in therapy.

LOVE me some Musical Mondays ---- thanks again!


I'm sure the makeup and the clothes were all kinds of fabulous. I couldn't see past my fear of her scary witch nails.

To stay on a weird 70s note I think you should do Hair or even Jesus Christ Superstar. I saw them both this weekend and was totally freaked out. I still haven't recovered.

My ex-sister-in-law sang this title song for our first dance at our wedding reception. She was the (very) WASP version of Babs; meaning that the singing was less dramatic and lower in volume. Also she had no boobs, but that is for another day.

I have to say that even as pasturized 'daffy' as this movie is, Ms Streisand still gives me goosebumps when she sings. And can we please credit her with the most beautiful poitrine in film? Between the boobs and the absolutely GORGEOUS hands its hard to know what to stare at.

Good lord I am gushing rather nauseatingly, but there are not many real, multi-talented stars anymore; especially ones who don't look or act like Tenderloin whores. (and whomever said she looked like Paris Hilton, wash your contacts, or get some. Paris should be so lucky)

Thombeau, I love your avatars...they crack me up.

T & L ; your public is waiting for your screenplay/novel/play/TV show. You are the best writers and funnier than anything on the screen today. Though I feel like I should send you a bill for having my computer keyboard and screen professionally cleaned because I can't wait to read what you have written and keep spitting my lovely beverage midst peels of side-splitting laughter.

Like Laura, I can't get past those freaky nails. Her hand movements are like a bad impression of Gloria Swanson in 'Sunset Boulevard.'

Everything about Babs' performance in this movie seems so posed and artificial. A great voice, yes, but I don't think any director, and certainly not Vincent Minnelli, ever found a good way to deal with Babs' vanity or insecurity about how she looked on camera.

And the clothes. Yikes. I was in high school when this movie came out and I don't remember anyone dressing like that. Ever.

Anon: And the clothes. Yikes. I was in high school when this movie came out and I don't remember anyone dressing like that. Ever.

Guilty as charged. I had the Baba-does-Rhoda-Morganstern outfit, complete with headband. Don't ask me why. I think that was when I went shopping with a friend instead of my mother; I have memories of several pair of (ye gods) platform shoes, too.

My favorite part of this film: Babs' nightgown matched her bed sheets. In fact, I think everything in that bedroom matched.

BTW, I played Muriel (Daisy's BFF) in college. Of course, Muriel's big number was cut from the film version.

sewhat said...
Good lord I am gushing rather nauseatingly, but there are not many real, multi-talented stars anymore; especially ones who don't look or act like Tenderloin whores. (and whomever said she looked like Paris Hilton, wash your contacts, or get some. Paris should be so lucky)

Amen. But if there's 1 star who I think could fill the multi-talented shoes of Babs (at least in the acting and singing arena) is Oscar Winner Jennifer Hudson. Maybe she should ask Babs to direct her in the movie version of "Caroline, or Change". Jessica Simpson, Mandy Moore (ok maybe, but can she sing?), et al? Nothin'.

I say this at the risk of half the commenters simultaneously screaming in horror and fleeing for the hills, but I would LOVE to see you guys do High School Musical 2 on a Musical Monday. There is so much to discuss in this snarky Annette and Frankie 2.0...


Disney's Bitch

Well darlings, if you are dying to own a piece of this fabulous wardrobe, I found one of the costumes for sale on the website that I will be cleaning out when my inevitable fame and fortune arrive...
The rest of the site is chock full of stuff that I WANT!!!

The problem with the theory that Babs makes plants grow faster, is that scientists have found that singing to plants makes them grow only if you're not Barbra Streisand.

What a rack Babs has! I'm so jealous.

I've never seen this one, but I still had such fun reading. Good work.

Another tip for drag eye make-up;

If, like some men, your brows are lower and closer to your eyes than most women's and you want to open up that space and have more fun with shadow but don't want to shave them, you can cover them over with mustache wax and integrate them into your look as your crease shadow.

Just slick your eyebrows flat with the wax, moving from the center of your face out, and then pat on a good thick coat of powder. Then gently apply a generous swab of concealer (two shades lighter than your foundation), then powder again, and then a thick coat of non-water based foundation and powder again.

You will probably still have some show-through, but brush on a very light shadow all the way up to your natural brow and then (again, very gently) apply your darker crease color over your blocked out eye brow. Then paint or pencil a brow in the desired shape/color higher up on your forehead and apply a pale shadow right underneath on the outmost corner to simulate a new brow bone.

It's not an easy technique to master, but it's worth the practice if you want your natural eyebrows for your day-to-day life but want to be ever-so-fabulous on Saturday night.

I'm guessign that no one will probably see this by now but I just saw on the listings for HBO that this movie will be on at 7AM tomorrow.

--Gotham Tomato

BALMAIN for women

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