Review by Brian Koller|
2½ stars out of 4
"Brigadoon" has a few things going for it:
Gene Kelly, and an engaging story. But sluggish
musical numbers and a lack of comic relief
keep the production from fully taking off.
"Brigadoon" stars Kelly and Van Johnson as
American tourists in Scotland, hunting grouse.
They become lost, and stumble upon a quaint
village. This village exists for only day
every century. Kelly falls for Cyd Charisse,
who has poise but little warmth. Barry Jones
lands a plum role as the brogue-speaking village
elder Mr. Lundie (perhaps Barry Fitzgerald
wasn't available). Meanwhile, love-spurned
villager Hugh Laing threatens to spoil everyone's
fantasy by leaving the village.
Director Vincente Minnelli contrasts the alleged
charm of Brigadoon with the cynical, phony lifestyle
of New York's privileged set. Returning to
New York, Kelly becomes a space cadet dreaming
of Brigadoon, while alcoholic Johnson is somehow
racked with guilt for accidentally shooting a man
and thereby saving an entire town. This leads
inevitably to happy ending, at least for Kelly,
although Johnson may have some explaining to do
to the Police about what has happened to his friend.
All mocking aside, the concept of Brigadoon's centennial
visit is a charming one. The script is good, and the
sets, while phony, ("Brigadoon" was filmed in Hollywood)
are meticulous. The limiting factor for the film is
the musical numbers, with their lumbering choreography and
ensemble choruses. The resulting feeling is not a
visit to the Scottish highlands, but rather using a ticket
to a Broadway musical.
Copyright © 1995 Brian Koller