Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|Barbra Streisand - The Belle of 14th Street|
Actors: Barbra Streisand, Lee Allen, Susan Alpern, Charles Dale, Norma Davids
Directors: Joe Layton, Walter C. Miller
Genres: Music Video & Concerts, Musicals & Performing Arts
Her first television special to feature guest-stars, The Belle Of 14th Street celebrates, in ways both comedic and heartfelt, "The Golden Age of Song". A marvelous showcase for such evergreens as Sophie Tucker's "Some Of T... more »
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BELLE Not A Bummer
Matt Howe | Washington, DC | 07/17/2006
(4 out of 5 stars)
"THE BELLE OF 14TH STREET has a bad reputation among Streisand's television specials. It was never rebroadcast after it aired in 1967. Columbia Records cancelled a soundtrack album that was to be released. And over the years, Streisand fans have come to know of it as her first "bomb".
Now it's out on DVD. You can judge for yourself.
For me, BELLE is not as horrible as people say it is. True, it is a departure from the formula which worked so well in MY NAME IS BARBRA (1965) and COLOR ME BARBRA (1966). In fact, Barbra's next television special (A HAPPENING IN CENTRAL PARK) would return to the format: Streisand - only - singing.
BELLE included guest stars and a format in which Streisand was not prominently featured. Jason Robards and John Bubbles had their own songs. Set in a turn-of-the-century vaudevillian theater, BELLE OF 14TH was an homage to that style of performing. Perhaps it does not succeed because the creative team makes fun of it and yet lovingly salutes it at the same time.
For Streisand fans, there is a lot to enjoy even if the entire concept does not gell. Barbra and Robards sing a fun, patriotic "We're Four Americans". Any fan who wondered what Streisand must have been like in her off-Broadway show ANOTHER EVENING WITH HARRY STOONES need look no further. In "skit" mode, Streisand is charming. With Robards during this song she dances, mugs, and sometimes does some scene-stealing bits. Fun!
Finally, the last concert segment is pure Streisand joy. Every song is superb. Favorites here are "My Buddy/How About Me" as well as the exhilarating "Everybody Loves My Baby" in which Streisand gets to do some comedic singing.
BELLE is not a bummer. It's a hodge podge of styles and a funny homage to vaudeville. If you can't stand to watch the overly long TEMPEST set piece, then just forward to the songs!"
Not enough Barbra
TX Techwriter | Austin TX US | 08/06/2006
(2 out of 5 stars)
"I think that, when people see there's going to be a Barbra show, they expect to see and hear a LOT of Barbra. That's why I believe that this show is so disappointing in the first place. Since she was a pioneer of the type of TV musical special in which only the star performs (as opposed to the star and "a whole host of musical guests,") that's what we were looking for. This was such a departure from that format that it was a bit jarring.
In the second place, it might have been saved had the entertainment been more ... entertaining. The music wasn't great, the comedy wasn't very funny, the drama wasn't poignant. Although the show might have been a faithful recreation of a real vaudeville show, I think it served more as an example of why vaudeville died."
Streisand's Belle engaging
T. Dewey | St. Louis, MO United States | 09/22/2006
(4 out of 5 stars)
"This TV special certainly has a bad reputation- and a few online critics here apparently agree. But for me watching this program for the first time recently was a revelation. Yes there are slow parts- and yes- the other guests distract. But to see Barbra hamming it up and being silly is a delight. Then there's her singing. The concert portion with BS as the "belle" is the best- and she shines throughout this section. She looks trim & radiant just a few months after giving birth to Jason. Rent it or buy it- but judge for yourself. Despite some flaws, it's still classic Barbra."
Horrible - And This is From A Barbra Fanatic
Lewis | 06/15/2008
(1 out of 5 stars)
"I have all her movies, every cd, every concert on Dvd. WHEN I SEEN THIS I COULDNT EVEN GET THROUGH IT. I hated every minute of it, except the minutes where she was solo, which was only around 4 songs. This was terrible and i cant believe it was put out seperatly, i have the boxset and this one has never been touched since the first time i had it in the dvd player. DONT BUY IT SEPERATLY."