Why didn't Mary Martin get the role of Maria over Julie Andrews for the film version of THE SOUND OF MUSIC?

bobs3
Broadway Legend
joined:4/8/12
Didn't Richard Burton exercise an out-clause in his contract and leave the show to go to Rome to film a movie? According to legend some very interesting and scandalous events (for the time) happened on the set of that film. Anyone remember the name of the movie?

Before you get your panties in a bunch -- it's sarcasm, Sheldon.
henrikegerman
Broadway Legend
joined:4/29/05
Did Redgrave do her own singing in Camelot? If not it's very well matched.
PalJoey
Broadway Legend
joined:3/11/04
Was Mary Martin any older than Glenn Close was when she played Nellie Forbush?

yr pal,
joey




Blocked so far: suestorm, Master Bates
EricMontreal22
Broadway Legend
joined:10/31/11
Agreed on Redgrave.

Josh Logan was apparently a brilliant stage director (I've seen the B&W film of the London production of South Pacific with Mary Martin, and I have to admit the staging feels relatively modern even now--the way he cinematically transitions scenes, etc). But the films of his I known are always ridiculously overblown and heavy seeming--Camelot being perhaps the most extreme. Picnic is a good example--he did it on stage, and it's best with a simple staging, but in the film they seem to spend 30 mins showing us a "real" (and huge) actual Country Fair, etc.

(And yes, Redgrave is great in the movie--I don't think Andrews would have fit at all in Logan's vision of the film).
GavestonPS
Broadway Legend
joined:6/10/12
Was Mary Martin any older than Glenn Close was when she played Nellie Forbush?

Probably not and I'm not a fan of the film or Close's performance. But I sort of bought the age because Nellie's naivete came out of her relatively sheltered upbringing in Arkansas, not from literally being a teenager.
Caring Soul
Understudy
joined:10/4/12
Julie Andrews' sugary sweetness wears thin after a while. I even got sick of her in Sound of Music. So glad that Audrey Hepburn was cast in My Fair Lady. She was a real movie star.
jayinchelsea
Broadway Star
joined:4/9/09
When Audrey Hepburn was cast as Eliza in the film of MY FAIR LADY, she assumed she would be doing her own singing, and she worked very hard to prepare for the role. She did pre-record all of her musical numbers, and it was only after the film was in production that a decision was made to dub her with the ubiquitous Marni Nixon. Audrey was devastated by this, but she still managed to give an incandescent performance. To call it "unwatchable" is totally inappropriate.

Through the magic of video and YouTube we can now see and hear Audrey singing the entire score. While it's true that songs like "I Could Have Danced All Night" were beyond her vocal limits, watching her do "Wouldn't It Be Loverly" is heartbreaking. It is the perfect blend of acting and singing, and perhaps the producers might have been more judicious in simply dubbing almost all of her songs (she can still be heard in the first half of "Just You Wait").

As to Mary Martin (that was the initial thread), she had had her shot at Hollywood stardom in the early 1940s, but the vehicles were weak, and what made her special on stage simply didn't transfer to film. When she returned to Broadway in 1943 in ONE TOUCH OF VENUS, she became an enormous star, and the rest, as they say, is history.
allofmylife
Broadway Legend
joined:3/8/05
CarlosAlberto, "Camelot" was the first show I ever saw, as a very young child. It was also the World Premiere of both the show and The Okeeffe Center in Toronto, a vast barn of a theatre that rivalled The Uris (Gershwin) in size and utter lack of character.

The show did, indeed, run over 4 hours (I remember pee breaks, which a kid could do unescorted back then and not end up on the side of a milk carton).

The show had "Then You May Take Me To The Fair" and "Fie on Goodness" (a great number) and according to the program (I don't remember this) the first of three ballads tried out at the beginning of Act Two between Lance and Jenny.

I read somewhere that Lerner, Loewe AND director Moss Heart all had heart attacks during the Toronto run and ended up working on the show from adjoining hospital beds. Sounds like a great press agent's story, but who knows....

While I can't remember much about the show itself (I was just a kid) I do remember the plushness of the orchestra and Robert Goulet's amazing voice.

Decades later, I arranged for my parents to see Goulet at the Imperial Room, the classiest supper club in Toronto and mentioned to the maitre'd Louis Jannetta, my parents connection to Goulet. (Camelot made him a star) and when Robert performed, he wandered over and sat with my mother and sang "If Ever I Would Leave You" to her. It made her day, week, moth and a few years.
http://www.broadwayworld.com/board/readmessage.cfm?thread=972787#3631451 http://www.broadwayworld.com/board/readmessage.cfm?thread=963561#3533883 http://www.broadwayworld.com/board/readmessage.cfm?thread=955158#3440952 http://www.broadwayworld.com/board/readmessage.cfm?thread=954269#3427915 http://www.broadwayworld.com/board/readmessage.cfm?thread=955012#3441622 http://www.broadwayworld.com/board/readmessage.cfm?thread=954344#3428699
GavestonPS
Broadway Legend
joined:6/10/12
Moss Hart had a heart attack (and died a year after the show opened).

Alan Jay Lerner had bleeding ulcers.

Fritz Loewe had heart problems and became so fed up he basically retired after CAMELOT.

Lots of casualties to make what is basically just a lovely recording.

Updated On: 11/22/12 at 07:26 PM
degrassifan
Broadway Legend
joined:1/23/08
Fyi, there's an unofficial Julie Andrews marathon on ABC Family, Friday, November 23, 2012, with "Eloise at Christmastime," "The Princess Diaries," and "Mary Poppins." All back-to-back in that order beginning at 11 AM. Then, coincidentally, "My Fair Lady" airs the same day at 8 PM on TCM, followed by "Camelot" at 11 PM!

Enjoy
allofmylife
Broadway Legend
joined:3/8/05
GavestonPS, that's not necessarily the best way to describe "Camelot." It did run for 873 performances - 170 more than "Gypsy" - and that was a sizable and respectable run back then. The show was underwritten by studios and recording companies, so it would be interesting to see how it fared. It had a long run at Drury Lane in London (518 perf.) and is still a top earner for Tams Witmark AND it has one of the best OCR ever laid down, so all-in-all, Fritz Loewe retired to the Chemine de Fer tables of Monaco with a good nest egg.
http://www.broadwayworld.com/board/readmessage.cfm?thread=972787#3631451 http://www.broadwayworld.com/board/readmessage.cfm?thread=963561#3533883 http://www.broadwayworld.com/board/readmessage.cfm?thread=955158#3440952 http://www.broadwayworld.com/board/readmessage.cfm?thread=954269#3427915 http://www.broadwayworld.com/board/readmessage.cfm?thread=955012#3441622 http://www.broadwayworld.com/board/readmessage.cfm?thread=954344#3428699
CarlosAlberto
Broadway Legend
joined:6/29/10
Thanks allofmylife for answering my question! You were exposed to the magic of live theater at a very young age and your love for it shows...thanks for sharing your memories!
EricMontreal22
Broadway Legend
joined:10/31/11
I'd argue Gaveston's point, as well--not because I think it's a great musical. I've always had problems with it--but I think the music, and the OBCR is beyond lovely--it's one of my favorites ever recorded. I'd call Lolita, My Love a lovely recording (well, if the recording was official), I'd call Camelot's a great recording. What a score!

And I echo Carlos' thoughts--great to read your memories, allofmylife!
GavestonPS
Broadway Legend
joined:6/10/12
I have no problem calling CAMELOT a "great" recording. I dig it out at least once a year and listen to it several dozen times. (Among other things, I think "Guinevere" is a beautifully executed example of a type of song that most other writers shouldn't even attempt.)

And I apologize, Allofmylife; I did know that the show was a respectable success during its original run, thanks largely to its appearance on the Ed Sullivan Show.

I was thinking more in terms of what Hart/Lerner/Loewe left to musical history. I know amateur groups like to put on tights and run around waving swords, but I have never seen a production (least of all the revival starring Richard Burton) where I wasn't largely bored.

Updated On: 11/23/12 at 06:07 PM
GavestonPS
Broadway Legend
joined:6/10/12
And to the person who complained of Julie Andrews' "sugary sweetness", I think that's more Maria von Trapp (as written for Mary Martin) than Julie Andrews. Mutual friends tell me Andrews is lovely in person, but she has played plenty of roles that weren't so "sweet". Mary Poppins, for one, is actually rather stern, if not so stern as the "super nanny" of the books.
GavestonPS
Broadway Legend
joined:6/10/12
allofmylife, it occurred to me just now that I might be stomping on a favorite childhood memory of yours. I'm sorry if it seems that way and I readily admit my excitement when my junior/senior high school announced they would be doing the show in the late 60s. (The production was later cancelled for reasons having nothing to do with the choice of show.)

It's just that when viewing CAMELOT as an adult, I've noticed that each time the singing stops, my mind tends to wander. And as a rule, I'm quite fond of sword-and-cape plays.
degrassifan
Broadway Legend
joined:1/23/08
Watched Mary Poppins earlier today, and she really is an uppity b-word if you really think about it. And, I agree about the Maria von Trapp sweetness. That's how the character has always been written (The Sound of Music, Die Trapp Familie, The Trapp Family anime television show, etc).

My Fair Lady is on now, and although Audrey did a great job, I can't help but think how Julie would have been in the role. Do you guys think Julie Andrews truly won the Oscar because of her performance in Mary Poppins, or because it was Hollywood's way of saying "sorry for not getting the My Fair Lady role," or both? I think she should've also won the Oscar for The Sound of Music though. That's a better role in my opinion. I guess winning the Golden Globe twice in a row and being nominated again was better than nothing.
allofmylife
Broadway Legend
joined:3/8/05
Actually, the highlight of my childhood was seeing "Gypsy" when we were in New York, the first of many, many trips in my youth to see Broadway. It helps to have parents who are in the business (even if not in New York) and are willing to sit through any musical, as my folks were.

As I have said before here, my parents used to joke that I called The Merm, "The Loud Lady."

Back to Camelot, the sets will always linger in my mind. They were so lavish (look at the two foot thick lip they build to look like a solid piece of marble on the floor of the proscenium) while still looking very early 60s simplistic. It's interesting, also, to look at the photos of the Drury Lane production. They took the original plans and slathered on lots of period detail and made sets that seem utterly lifeless. I guess there is something to be said for simplicity (even lavish simplicity.)
http://www.broadwayworld.com/board/readmessage.cfm?thread=972787#3631451 http://www.broadwayworld.com/board/readmessage.cfm?thread=963561#3533883 http://www.broadwayworld.com/board/readmessage.cfm?thread=955158#3440952 http://www.broadwayworld.com/board/readmessage.cfm?thread=954269#3427915 http://www.broadwayworld.com/board/readmessage.cfm?thread=955012#3441622 http://www.broadwayworld.com/board/readmessage.cfm?thread=954344#3428699
jayinchelsea
Broadway Star
joined:4/9/09
Yes, degrassifan, I think Julie won both for her performance AND as consolation for not playing Eliza on film. And although she might have won twice in a row, that other Julie (Christie) was the "it" girl of the moment, and her Oscar for DARLING was not a surprise (still a dazzling performance).

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