A FUNNY THING HAPPENED ON THE WAY TO THE FORUM (1966) C widescreen 99m dir: Richard Lester
w/Zero Mostel, Phil Silvers, Jack Gilford, Buster Keaton, Michael Crawford, Michael Hordern, Annette Andre, Patricia Jessel, Leon Greene, Inga Neilsen
From The Movie Guide: "Typical hit-and-miss filmmaking by the relentlessly antsy Richard Lester, but lots of fun all the same. Based on the smash Broadway musical [by Stephen Sondheim], the film toplines Mostel as a Roman slave desperately trying to win his freedom and Gilford as his unwitting accomplice. Plot complications involve Silvers as a brothel owner, Andre and Crawford as young lovers, and Keaton searching for his lost children. Lester's direction is full of flashy technique which worked better in his Beatles movies [e.g., A HARD DAY'S NIGHT). Sometimes he would have done better to just let some of the farcical set-pieces alone. His sense of timing is sometimes off, and laughs are lost as a result. The songs are quite delightful, but somehow the production numbers don't fly as they should and just end up bogging down the story. To his credit, however, Lester does add a certain energy and spirit to many scenes, and some great comic moments result. Also, the overall performances make this film well worth watching --- Gilford in particular is a gem. FUNNY THING now seems one of the more enjoyable of the many overcooked musical adaptations Hollywood was desperately cranking out during the 1960s."
Oscar-winner for Best Adapted Score (Ken Thorne).