At Long Last Love

1975

Action / Comedy / Musical / Romance

10
Rotten Tomatoes Critics - Rotten 17%
Rotten Tomatoes Audience - Spilled 38%
IMDb Rating 4.9 10 934

Synopsis


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April 05, 2015 at 03:18 AM

Cast

Burt Reynolds as Michael Oliver Pritchard III
Cybill Shepherd as Brooke Carter
Madeline Kahn as Kitty O'Kelly
M. Emmet Walsh as Harold
720p.BLU 1080p.BLU
869.57 MB
1280*720
English
NR
23.976 fps
1hr 58 min
P/S 0 / 1
1.85 GB
1920*1080
English
NR
23.976 fps
1hr 58 min
P/S 3 / 5

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by lemon_magic 4 / 10

Intermittently amusing, but off key and unfocused

When I watched the "Cinema Snob" do a take on "At Long Last Love", I was expecting one of his classic hatchet jobs...but he was actually rather kind to it. So I thought I would give it a go for myself and see if the movie really deserved the drubbing it got from critics like Micheal Medved.

Well...yes and no. "Yes", there is something..."off" about the musical numbers. They're leaden, clumsy, and unfocused; they lack the razor sharp choreography and deft vocal performances that someone like Crosby or Kelly or Astaire could give songs like these. (Astaire and Rogers would make gravity and momentum seem irrelevant, but none of these actors are anywhere near their level.)

I'll grant you that the characters are supposed to be mostly tipsy/drunk while they are performing them, and if you watch them with that idea in mind...no, sorry they just aren't in the same league as the performances they supposedly pay tribute to. And there are an awful lot of them.

And "No"; the director throws so much stuff at the wall that some of it is bound to stick, and some of the material is at least amusing. For that, we can thank Eileen Brennan and John Hillerman (the "second banana" couple) who play the servants/friends that the stars play off and play with. Brennan and Hillerman actually give the best performances in the movie, and in my mind, they bring the thing up at least one notch. And however mediocre the screenplay is, these actors are pros - even at half power, someone like Burt Reynolds is going to be worth looking at.

So I'd say that it's not so much that the movie is terrible - it's just a big letdown to the Cole Porter legacy. I'm not sorry I gave it a second chance...but I won't give another one.

Reviewed by Howard_B_Eale 7 / 10

it's not the top, but it certainly ain't the bottom

As a viewer who had been bombarded with negative commentary on this film for almost 40 years without having actually viewed it, I suppose I'd drunk the Kool-Aid and assumed that the naysayers were right. But after viewing the Blu-ray (which is a presentation of James Blakely's "unauthorized" re-edit of the film, which he did to amuse himself while working at 20th, and then quietly placed "his" version into TV distribution), I now see how off-base these attacks were.

It's difficult to know, without seeing the 1975 cut, nor the first TV re-edit done by Bogdanovich himself, where the differences in the versions lie (and complicating matters, Bogdanovich was finally able to tighten up bits and pieces and add an entire missing 90-second sequence to the Blakely cut for the Blu-ray). Indeed, seeing the Blakely cut, it's hard to imagine how the trims or changes would have happened at all, as the majority of picture is in long, unbroken shots (beautifully lensed by Laszlo Kovacs). From the occasionally dupey and ragged image quality here evident in the current Blu-ray transfer, it would appear that some numbers were simply discarded entirely in 1975, and replaced by lesser source material by Blakely. The looseness of the structure would have enabled some chess-playing with the sequence of events, but it's hard to imagine the film being truly butchered beyond recognition.

In any event, it's more fruitful to view this film as a very earnest experiment, rather than a "throwback musical". The decision to shoot all the musical numbers live, with the actors not only using their own voices to sing, but doing so on-camera without overdubs, immediately places the entire enterprise in some cinematic twilight zone, out of time, floating weirdly between an era of 1930s Lubitsch and 1970s underground cinema. But, amazingly, it works, in no small part due to the uniformly appealing and earnest cast. Cringe-worthy duff notes aside, even Burt Reynolds pulls it off, and is often genuinely charming in his menage-aux-trois pairings with both Cybill Shepherd and Madeline Kahn. Duilio Del Prete clearly carries his musical numbers with ease, unlike the other three leads, but avoids upstaging them with what is obviously a better-trained singing voice.

Indeed, the film works astonishingly well as an ensemble piece, perfectly suited to the double-entendre-laden Cole Porter tunes around which it is all based. The group sequences in tight quarters, such as the repeated bits in playboy Reynolds' chauffeured limos, are completely charming. The physical comedy is a gentle slapstick, not overly broad.

It doesn't all hang together perfectly. The already-thin narrative feels stretched to the breaking point somewhere around the three-quarters mark, and the whole thing feels a bit long in the tooth at 121 minutes. It's easy to see how mid-1970s audiences would have found the entire enterprise utterly confounding, even after enjoying Bogdanovich's PAPER MOON two years prior. It overreaches, but is no failure.

Reviewed by Charles Herold (cherold) 5 / 10

an interesting experiment

I'm a bit perplexed regarding what to say about this movie. First off, I think I enjoyed it more when I saw it years ago than I did now. But I think that was mainly because of the choice of songs. Cole Porter wrote all sorts of songs, but the movie goes for the particularly witty and urbane choices, including a number I hadn't heard before.

The style of the movie has giddy improvisational style, as actors often seem to be chatting amongst themselves or making quiet asides. This is true not just in conversation, but in song as well, and it's clear the intention is to make the songs work as a continuation of the story and the characterization. It's an interesting approach that I found somewhat likable in conversation but not so much in songs, because it often completely trashes the melodies.

Unfortunately, Bogdonavich was apparently of the opinion that a musical requires very little musical talent. Reynolds is a decidedly poor singer. Shepards can at least carry a tune, but it's hard to imagine anyone casting her as the lead in a musical who wasn't dating her.

The supporting players do better. None of them are great singers either, but Eileen Brennan, John Hillerman, Madelein Kahn and that guy no one's ever heard of all understand how to sell a song. They would make great second bananas behind actors who were strong singers (or dancers, as was the case with Astaire or Kelly musicals), but instead they overshadow the leads, which is a little sad.

The story is simple, essentially a matter of flirting and coupling among the four. Then ending is unsatisfactory.

I've heard there are numerous edits of this movie floating around, and that some work better than others. I saw the version released on VHS, which is apparently neither the best nor the worst version out there. (I've heard the best version is on Netflix and DVD.)

This isn't as terrible as some people claim, and it has some nice touches throughout, but it comes across as a bit of a vanity project in which a director with no experience in musicals nor much sense of what makes them work decided to put his girlfriend in one.

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