Tuesday, January 18, 2022

RIP: Peter Bogdanovitch

Amazing director Peter Bogdanovich has passed away. He was great director and stunning user of black and white cinematography in Paper Moon and The Last Picture Show. He directed What's Up Doc and discovered both Madeline Kahn and Cybill Shepherd (as an ~actress). His list of achievements is long and he was rightly revered as a unique and talented director.

And yet, one of MY favorites is never mentioned. The stunningly so bad it is amazing film At Love Lost Love.

Yes, long before From Justin to Kelly, Peter created and then broke the mold in At Long Last Love. He cast Cybill - the great muse of his life - in a musical with Burt Reynolds.  If you heard is remixed, multiple take trainwreck of singing three lines in Best Little Whorehouse in Texas, you can only imagine his work in ALLL. Well, you can't really. Because Bogdanovitch for some reason decided to go very very old school (like early talkies) of live singing. The music was feed into their ears via tiny speaker and they sang to it. Live! And then they used those takes.

The only reason it could have been done that way was that Bogdanovitch wanted to experiment OR he tried to get them to record in a soundbooth and it was no better.

Now Eileen Brennan and Madeline Kahn came out of this okay. Which in terms of this movie is stellar! For Burt and Cybill, it is a race of car crashes.

The color pallette is also interesting. He films the 1930s homage in color, but nearly all the "real" action takes place in black and white colors. The only rich colors are used in the staged pieces.

It is, of course, nearly impossible to get a hold of this movie. My guess is that Burt and Cybill (and maybe Petere) tried desperately to kill it. I purchased a bootleg copy of a CD that someone took apparently from an over air from a broadcast in Australia. On eban today, I just found a DVD copy from Greece that is being sent here, so we will see.

They released the film for collectors on both Laserdisc (in the olden days) or BlueRay (in the more recent olden days). But both were released to collectors only, and still failed to sell.

Some scenes and yes they sang live as they danced. Some of the huffing and puffing was edited out, but enough stays in to make me smile gleefully. It is such a train wreck, I made Lisa Hunt watch part of it. She was shocked and. appalled, but then morbidly fascinated. 

I await my DVD (projected to arrive between Feb 15 and March 15th!) on pins and needles.

Meanwhile, for your  enjoyment, I present the first introduction of Madeline Kahn as Kitty Kelly - chanteuse.  (A role type she would later make famous in Blazing Saddles).


  1. Oh dear. You and I may have been the only two people who paid an actual admission to see At Long Last Love. And now, after reading this, I really, really want to see it again.

  2. If my Greek DVD comes, I'll drop it on my server, and send the disc to you!


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