I know it’s stretching things to include the 1968 musical disaster Star as essential GLBT pride month viewing. Well, Daniel Massey plays Noel Coward brilliantly understated and worthy of his Academy Award nomination. For that period handling the role sensitively was a blessing. Unfortunately, you might never guess he was a gay man. He appeared neutered. And if you didn’t know your gay icon history, you might not realize he was gay. This is the full-length version that clocks in at 175 minutes. A truncated version cut to two hours was mandated by 20th century fox to stave off their fourteen- million-dollar loss and retitled Those Were the Happy Times. (Robert Wise had his name removed) It’s a slog even with gorgeous Donald Brook costumes shooting across the screen every five minutes. This is a pristine HD print. This bio-pic about Gertrude Lawrence has no arc. There are multiple songs that blur together with lackluster grace. Only the finale from Lady in The Dark has any pizzazz. For die-hard Julie Andrew fans and lovers of train wreck musicals that killed the Hollywood musical from 1969 until 2000 when Chicago won for best film.

Star! (1968) – Julie Andrews, Daniel Massey – YouTube

Star! (film) – Wikipedia

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