On A Clear Day You Can See Forever

1970, Movie, G, 129 mins

Review

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The stage musical on which this is based was not a huge hit and neither was the movie, despite the presence of Barbra Streisand and some good tunes by Alan Jay Lerner and Burton Lane. Daisy (Streisand, in a role Barbara Harris played much more effectively on Broadway), a chain-smoker whose uptight fiance, Warren (Larry Blyden), can't abide her habit, attends a class taught by Dr. Marc Chabot (Yves Montand), hoping the psychiatrist can help her. When Dr. Chabot hypnotizes Daisy, she reveals prodigious ESP capabilities, including her transformation into Melinda, a 19th-century English peeress (seeing Brooklyn-born Streisand attempt to play the British lady is an unintentional howl). In subsequent sessions, Daisy as Melinda tells Dr. Cabot about her childhood in an orphanage and how she blackmailed her way up from her humble origins to marry an aristocrat. In the process Cabot falls for Melinda--though he's less taken with Daisy--while Daisy comes to love the psychiatrist and loses interest in Warren. Shot in New York and Brighton, England, where the period flashback scenes were staged, ON A CLEAR DAY YOU CAN SEE FOREVER boasts great sets and costumes, but its script leaves much to be desired, and even the usually reliable Vincente Minnelli is unable to inject much life into the proceedings. At least partly due to radical editing the story never really comes into focus; among the four scenes cut was a musical number by Jack Nicholson, who plays Daisy's ex-stepbrother. Songs include: "On a Clear Day, You Can See Forever," "Come Back to Me," "What Did I Have That I Don't Have?" "He Isn't You," "Hurry, It's Lovely Up Here," "Go to Sleep," "Love with All the Trimmings," "Melinda" (Burton Lane, Alan Jay Lerner). leave a comment

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