Gertrude Lawrence was a huge star in England and on Broadway, but not in movies, and this cinematic biography left audiences wondering why Fox spent about $14 million to tell her story. Julie Andrews, on the other hand, was a huge marquee star after MARY POPPINS and THE SOUND OF MUSIC,
and director Robert Wise and producer Saul Chaplin thought she would make a smashing Lawrence. Viewers disagreed, and the picture plummeted from its opening day. (It was re-released in a cut version, titled THOSE WERE THE HAPPY TIMES, a year later, but with no success either.) The film begins
during WWII, as Lawrence, starring in the musical play Lady in the Dark
, watches a ne...