Friday, 11 July 2014

Dogfight - The Musical and The Film

Normally, with a film to musical adaptation, it's the film I discover first and then I buy the musical because I loved the film and thought it would make a great musical (Kinky Boots, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Les Miserables, The Addams Family to name a few).

But Dogfight is something of a rarity. I discovered the musical first.
I was browsing through Amazon's forthcoming releases and came across this. I liked the cover so I had a look.

This is the story...
Corporal Eddie Birdlace is about to ship out to Vietnam. But, before they go, he and his buddies want one last night of fun.
They decide to throw a 'Dogfight'.
A Dogfight is a bet. Each guy bets $50 dollars that they can find the ugliest date and bring her to a nightclub. The rest of the guys will vote and whoever's date is voted the ugliest wins the pot.

So, the guys go to hunt for their girls.
Eddie finds Rose.

Rose is a shy waitress with aspirations to write songs. She innocent and idealistic and never thought someone like Eddie would ever be interested in her.

If you want to find out what happens you'll have to watch the film or buy the musical!

 All I can say is that I thought it was a beautiful and touching story. The musical is stunning and the two leads are breathtaking. Everything about it is perfect. There are some incredibly powerful ballads but also a lot of very catchy chorus numbers.
It stayed in my CD player for about 4 weeks solid and I still listen to it at least once a week (as I type actually).

It was while reading the booklet that I discovered it was based on a 1991 films starring River Phoenix and Lily Taylor.

WHAT!!!??? A River Phoenix film I haven't seen? That can't be right!
I loved River Phoenix. I thought he was one of the best actors of his generation and it was such a tragedy when he died.

But, for some reason, the film of Dogfight had just passed me buy.
So...I went on a DVD hunt.
What did I discover? That it had never been released in the UK and that US (Region 1) copies were quite hard to find.
Lucky for me, about a week later, a UK charity was selling a copy on Amazon. I managed to get it for £12! It also turned out to be Region Free! Yay!

Phoenix and Taylor both turn in brilliant performances. But, I never expected anything less.
It was also really great to have some visuals to go with the story from the musical.
My only criticism of the film is that I felt the ending had slightly less of an emotional punch. It's a quite a gentle film. The pace is steady and a little slow at times. But, if you like character driven stories then this is definitely worth a watch. If you can track a copy down!

But, I still loved it and would definitely replace it to blu-ray if it ever became available (that means I think it's excellent! LOL!)

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