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Thoroughly Modern Millie
2 reviews

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Movie Details

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Directed By
George Roy Hill

Written By:
Richard Morris

Cast:
Julie Andrews, Carol Channing, Mary Tyler Moore, John Gavin, James Fox, Noriyuki Pat Morita, Beatrice Lillie

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Thoroughly Modern Millie (1967)
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Movie Review by Jessica Film Junkie
August 27th, 2007

Too Much Channing, Not Enough Andrews

This is the story of Millie (Julie Andrews) who comes to New York to be a modern woman and encounters the very unmodern Miss Dorothy (Mary Tyler Moore) who intends to be an actress. The two women grow close in their all-girls boarding house while a white slavery ring is being run behind their backs. The ladies meet two very different men and must test the mettle of their intentions against their circumstances.

Andrews was at her peak around this time and her work here is gold. She is smart and driven while also being dim-wittedly innocent. Millie is the typical woman of the 1920's who was glad to have it all, but is easily seduced by comfort. Moore is annoying as Dorothy but that is what the character calls for, it is great to see her dance. Carol Channing also shows up as Muzzy, the kind of woman Millie wishes she could be. Channing is ridiculously over the top and I have no idea why she was nominated for an Oscar for this tremendously aggravating performance.

It is humourous to see the first wave feminism of the 1920's depicted under the glare of the uber-sexist 1960's. The 60's produced some of the most sexist films ever because it was just before the breaking point of second wave feminism in the 70's. Here we are supposed to see it as quaint that Millie wants to be an equal to her husband and we are also supposedly to be relieved when she finally decides to be 'a woman' upon getting engaged. It is horrendously offensive to the character and the audience to turn her around like this, but again it is typical of the era.

The movie is far too long (if Channing was cut out it would be shorter and more enjoyable), but I love all the nods to the 20's films like the 'Safety Last!' building climbing scene and the fact that Millie's thoughts are shown in title cards. Thus it is a muddled musical with some good musical numbers which might have been better if they were all performed by Andrews.

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