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Merman was more likeable than lovable usually, probably because she was tough
Last Edit: PlayWiz 12:07 pm EST 11/26/19
Posted by: PlayWiz 11:55 am EST 11/26/19
In reply to: I could not BELIEVE how lovable Carol Channing was - GrumpyMorningBoy 08:40 am EST 11/26/19

I think I said that Merman was more really likeable as opposed to lovable, in that she was probably just too tough at heart in essence rather than showing herself to be vulnerable. But I'd say the film of "Call Me Madam" is pretty much the best representation of a filmed performance that gives you the Merman that was on stage in one of her biggest hits. She's actually pretty vulnerable singing "The Best Thing for Me" and in her reactions to George Sanders' beautiful own singing voice in his songs. She and Donald O'Connor's "You're Just in Love" and their palsy relationship is also super. Of course, the film offers treats in that you also have O'Connor and Vera-Ellen in two dances duets which are on par with Fred Astaire and Ginger Roger's best, plus Irving Berlin's wonderful score. But I'd say this film, which had been out of circulation for many years because of rights, but is now on DVD, is really enjoyable. You can see why Ethel was a huge star. Her voice and her very funny personality comes through, not in an overbearing way, but as a really friendly US ambassador who is down to earth, knows the score, takes charge and simultaneously galvanizes and wins you over with her personality. Of course, no star is without detractors. I knew a soprano who couldn't stand Julie Andrews. Maria Callas, Joan Sutherland, etc., anyone who takes the stage or screen will have people who like or dislike them. It goes with the territory. But Merman was huge box-office for many years, so she had a lot of fans.
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