At the Movies: A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum
Of course we had to choose a musical as the film for this lesson. It could have been Singin’ in the Rain or The Wizard of Oz or West Side Story or A Hard Day’s Night. But it’s not.
A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum is the quintessential desert-island movie—if you had to take one film with you, this would be it. Why? Well…for many reasons.
Composer Stephen Sondheim is the single greatest composer of musicals during the last 50 years. The story is based on Plautus, which connects us to the earliest Roman farce. The presence of Buster Keaton, Phil Silvers, and Zero Mostel links us to the earliest movies and the vaudeville tradition. Director Richard Lester is one of the most influential stylists of the last 40 years.
"Tragedy tomorrow; comedy tonight!" Enjoy!
1 1/2 hours
Watch A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum (and jot down notes on the film) while thinking about the following questions.
Please post your responses to the following questions on the class message board.