Kiss Me Kate
Directed by George Sidney
Written by Dorothy Kingsley after the Broadway musical by Sam and Bella Spewak and the play The Taming of the Shrew by William Shakespeare
First viewing/My DVD collection
But I’m always true to you, Darlin’, in my fashion/ Yes, I’m always true to you, Darlin’, in my way — “Always True to You”, lyrics by Cole Porter
This is a pleasant musical with some good dancing thanks to Ann Miller, Bob Fosse, et al.
Cole Porter has written a new musical based on The Taming of the Shrew and has hired Fred Graham (Howard Keel) to direct and portray Petruchio. Both are eager to cast Fred’s ex-wife Lilli (Katherine Grayson) as Katherine. The divorced couple did not part on good terms. She is planning to marry a cattle baron. Nevertheless, she agrees to do the part when Fred talks about offering it to Lois Lane (Ann Miller) instead. Lois, who is making a big play for Fred, is eventually cast as Bianca.
Lois’s secret boyfriend is the ne’er-do-well who is playing Lucentio. He has racked up a big gambling debt and signed Fred’s name to the marker. A couple of thugs (James Whitmore and Keenan Wynne) come to collect on opening night. Fred and Lilli look about ready to mend fences when she discovers a note written to Lois tucked into a bouquet mistakenly delivered to her. She takes out her anger very physically on stage and he spanks her for real. Still, it doesn’t take a genius to know where this is going.
I am amazed that it took me this long to get around to this. It was basically worth waiting for. The songs are good and the singing and dancing is excellent. There is a certain lack of pizazz to the story, though. I enjoyed it.
Kiss Me Kate was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Music, Scoring of a Musical Picture.
Carol Haney and Bob Fosse dancing