NEW WORLD PICTURES MONTH: A Little Night Music (1977)

An adaptation of the 1973 musical A Little Night Music, which was based on Ingmar Bergman’s Smiles of a Summer Night, this seems like an odd film for New World to release. It was directed by Harold Prince, who spent most of his career directing for the stage.

Despite negative reviews, Stephen Sondheim’s music and lyrics for the film — the “Night Waltz” theme and a new version of “The Glamorous Life” — have been added to many of the later productions of this musical when it’s performed on stage.

Widower Frederich Egerman (Len Cariou) is married to a much younger second wife Anne (Lesley-Anne Down) who has kept her virginity for the first year of their time living under one roof. His son Erich (Christopher Guard) may be studying to be a priest, but he lusts after his stepmother while Frederich falls again for an old lover, actress Desiree Armfeldt (Elizabeth taylor), which upsets his young bride.

As for Desiree, her mother Madame Armfeldt (Hermione Gingold) is raising her daughter’s teenager Fredericka (Chloe Franks) and as you can guess, she just may be the daughter of Frederich. All manner of hijinks occur — as much as attempted suicide and Russian roulette can be hijinks — and all ends happily. And hey — Diana Rigg is in it!

That’s really Liz singing in this. I didn’t think so, but then I found out that yes, she’s really singing.

Man, only Roger Corman could get an Elizabeth Taylor musical on this site.

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