Monday, 13 August 2012

Now That's What I Call Camp, vol 376



Last week, our favourite filth-meister Mistress MJ (of Infomaniac infamy - enter at your own risk...) laid down a challenge. I posted that dazzling Busby Berkeley Million Dollar Mermaid spectacular in tribute to the lovely Esther Williams, and described it as "assuredly in the Top Ten of the most extravagantly camp moments in cinema".

The challenge from MJ? To come up with the rest of the Top Ten. Here, for your delectation, are ten choices (in addition to Miss Williams and her sparklers) for that Hall of Fame - in no particular order.

Inevitably, there are thousands of omissions - not least this, this, this, this, and even this. If I were to compile this list next week it would probably be different. What defines "most extravagantly camp moments", after all? In the whole gamut of Hollywood (and international) movie history, how can there only be ten contenders? There aren't, of course...

Opening proceedings in a fitting fashion is an example of exactly how one should enter a party - preferably in the world's most expensive fur, at the top of a glittering staircase, serenaded by an orchestra conducted by Fred Astaire of course! Just like Irene Dunne in Roberta...



This extract from Golddiggers of 1935 has Dick (Powell). It has frou-frou. It has dancing pianos, for gawd's sake! How camp do you want it?



In this classic number from one of the campest comedies of all time Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, my role model Miss Jane Russell gets her men:



As recently featured by Muscato, and also in my tribute to Hedy Lamarr back in 2008 - You Stepped Out of a Dream from Ziegfeld Girl. Possibly the most outlandish fashion parade in history...



The irrepressible Kay Thompson sums up how life should be in a technicolour couture fantasy from Funny Face - Think Pink! indeed. And we do!



Upping the ante, here's Dolores Delargo Towers' all-time favourite hoofer Miss Eleanor Powell in the most breath-taking Art Deco tap-dance number in the world - Fascinating Rhythm from Lady Be Good:



There is only one way to follow that - with the Patron Saint of Pzazz, of course! It's our dear Miss Liza Minnelli's finest moment from my favourite screen musical Cabaret, and the house anthem at Dolores Delargo Towers - Mein Herr:



Back to Busby Berkeley and Dick, for another eye-popping cinematic delight - it has to be By a Waterfall from Footlight Parade:



One can always rely upon Mega-Babs to dominate a movie screen, but with this magnificently uplifting camp number not just a star, but a gay icon was born - and to this day, we still re-enact this Don't Rain On My Parade sequence in full while running down the escalator to the Tube...



Speaking of re-enactments, we can often be found doing this number - around the house, down the street, around the office, around Tesco's... For its sheer campness, its chutzpah, its choreography, for its eternal aspirational message (in my life, anyhow!), if there has to be a Number 1 in this spurious countdown, then There's Gotta Be Something Better Than This from Sweet Charity has to be it!



Oh, and as a bonus, a special request from my sister and her fiancé. I know I have posted this a couple of times before, not least in my countdown to Pride just last month, but Do-mi-do-Duds from The 5000 Fingers of Dr T remains an eternal favourite, and is indeed one of the most camp musical routines, ever!



I look forward to passing on this baton to someone out there in Blogger-land to entertain us with their own Top Ten!

Anyone?

31 comments:

  1. honey, call someone!

    you need a little blogy help.

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    Replies
    1. ¿Cuál es el problema? Jx

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    2. sorry, i'm figuring out that it was me.
      there's probably something i should've downloaded that i haven't.

      as for the show, i'm feeling gayer and i thought that impossible.

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    3. Always a pleasure to widen someone's gayness! Jx

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  2. I'm amazed how many I recognized.

    Dear Abby,
    Am I too gay?

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    Replies
    1. What on earth is "too gay", dear? Nothing exceeds like excess... Jx

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    2. BRAVO HONEY!!!! I do believe we need a Sunday camp Day every week! I like and have seen more of your choices. And I agree, I like excess in everything, gay camp, cock, gin.....Now have a G & T hon, while a massage those shoulders, you must be bushed?

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    3. There's no bush involved, dear... Jx

      PS A splash of tonic, loads of ice, and a slice of lime please.

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  3. You've outdone yourself!

    I'll return after work to revisit some of these clips.

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    Replies
    1. I expect to see your version on Infomaniac any time soon - although somehow I imagine there might be more willies. Jx

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    2. yes I agree, it will be the Top 10 "Top" Moments with hung Bottoms!

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    3. ...and choreography by Debbie Allen, no doubt. Jx

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  4. Oh, I love those old Busby Berkeley films...
    Sx

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  5. Heavens. And heavenly. Perhaps I'll have to run some also-rans...

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    Replies
    1. Will Egypt get a gold, I wonder? Jx

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  6. Excellent selection!

    My suggestion would be the Busby Berkeley-esque Gutterballs scene from The Big Lebowski.

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    Replies
    1. An admirable effort by the Coen Brothers, but somehow I cannot - ever - put Jeff Bridges, that Kenny Rogers song, or bowling under the heading of "camp". Jx

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  7. ..or the 'Makin' Whoopie' scene from Tank Girl? BTW good call, LX!

    My personal all-time favorite, TALLULAH BANKHEAD!! And here's the addo because I'm shit at links:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yrTDzTnDFyU

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    Replies
    1. Oh, now we're talking! Miss Bankhead is a whirlwind of campness - but if we are in the realms of "melodramatic camp", we're heading towards a completely different kind of "Top Ten" blog. Miss Crawford, Miss Davis, Miss Swanson, our Pantheon... Jx

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  8. FABULOUS! With a capital FAB.

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    Replies
    1. Praise indeed from the Queen of camp bloggery! Jx

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  9. A wonderful list. Thanks in particular for including Cronain's favourite. I'm starting to wonder about him you know ;-) Hils x

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    Replies
    1. He hasn't yet mastered the dance moves to "Let's Have a Kiki" so there's still hope... Jx

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  10. YES!

    After listening to three of these earlier today, the old man tied a kite string on me, saying that I might:
    "float-away-gay".

    I'm not quite sure what that means but now I know to listen to the rest when he's not around....

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Beware elderly gentlemen with bags of Werthers Original and kite string... Jx

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  11. I'm having Do-Mi-Do dreams after spending last night in bed revisiting your camp clips.

    Bravo, Jon!

    You really delivered the goods with this post.

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    Replies
    1. Nothing quite beats Busby Berkeley and Dick in your bed. Jx

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  12. Here from Infomaniac and am now beyond dazzled. Lovely!

    I'm planning a camp and cult blogathon in September-ish, would you mind if I linked to this post to give my wee followers some ideas? And also to put some extra fab in their lives.

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    Replies
    1. It's good to know you enjoyed it.

      By all means link away, my dear - and please encourage people to visit more often, stay a while, read more, sign up (follow)... Jx

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