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Thread: Elaine May

  1. #1
    Senior Member Country: United States
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    Not a British director, I know, but is anyone else a fan?



    She's probably best known as a comedian and screenwriter, but I thought her work as a director was extraordinary. She only made four films--"A New Leaf," "The Heartbreak Kid," "Mikey and Nicky" and "Ishtar."



    "Mikey and Nicky" and "Heartbreak Kid" are favorite films of mine, and "Ishtar" has a brilliant opening 20 minutes imo (those bad songs are a hoot) before it loses its way.

  2. #2
    Senior Member Country: United States will.15's Avatar
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    I agree about The Heartbreak Kid (don't mention the remake) and haven't seen Mikey and Nicky. A New Leaf, her first film, is also hilarious in spots, but may have been hurt by Bob Evans who cut it severely. It was originally a black comedy with Matthau killing two people, including Jack Weston's smarmy lawyer. The irony was Matthau was capable of murder, but couldn't kill the woman he meant to be his ultimate victim. That was the way the original short story went and that's how May shot it.

  3. #3
    Senior Member Country: England cornershop15's Avatar
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    I also remember her as Walter Matthau's wife in Neil Simon's California Suite,

    where she finds a naked young woman asleep in his bed! All very innocent



    Elaine is also remembered for her partnership with Mike Nichols, which I've

    read about many times without ever seeing a photo of them ... until now!



    In the Broadway production An Evening with Mike Nichols

    and Elaine May
    . Date photographed: 13th January 1961



    He later directed The Graduate and Catch 22, of course



    But this is how I remember Elaine best, in A New Leaf (1971):


  4. #4
    Senior Member Country: United States theuofc's Avatar
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    name='James Fox']Not a British director, I know, but is anyone else a fan?



    She's probably best known as a comedian and screenwriter, but I thought her work as a director was extraordinary. She only made four films--"A New Leaf," "The Heartbreak Kid," "Mikey and Nicky" and "Ishtar."



    "Mikey and Nicky" and "Heartbreak Kid" are favorite films of mine, and "Ishtar" has a brilliant opening 20 minutes imo (those bad songs are a hoot) before it loses its way.


    Raises hand quickly! Big fan of Elaine May here and especially the Mike Nichols and Elaine May team. Their spontaneous comic dialogues were outstanding. They had the rare talent to capture the humorous idiosyncrasies of fellow humans. I've heard some of their duos a zillion times, but when I recently relistened to a few on YouTube, I couldn't stop laughing and appreciated their genius all over again.

  5. #5
    Senior Member Country: Great Britain
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    Can anyone forget the Greek wedding/nightdress in "A New Leaf" !

  6. #6
    Senior Member Country: Australia ShirlGirl's Avatar
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    I'm a big fan of hers, too. She's amazingly talented. "A New Leaf" is one of my favourite films and I've recommended to so many people I should get commission.

  7. #7
    Senior Member Country: England cornershop15's Avatar
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    I hope you've seenl the pictures in that link, ShirlGirl. Really interesting. I can't recall too much about the film except that it was shown on BBC1 about 20 years ago.

  8. #8
    Senior Member Country: United States will.15's Avatar
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    A long time ago they announced a remake of A New Leaf, with the murders that were edited out back in the story, but nothing came of it.

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