A Funny Thing Happened on the way to the Forum Daniella Macias Edit
A Funny Thing Happened on the way to the Forum is a comedic film that mocks all sword and sandal films. This parody, often referred to as Forum was roughly based on a Stephen Sondheim musical created in 1962. Forum which started out as a play cost a total of 2 million dollars to create. Yet, earned a total of 3.3 million dollars. This film had all the flair that typical sword and sandal films possessed. Although these scenes were not nearly as extravagant as other sword and sandal films. Forum featured grand feasts, gladiator fights, and military victories. (Cyrino, A Funny Thing Happened on the way to the Forum)
The director Richard Lester, born January 19, 1932 in Philadelphia, was the creative master mind behind A Funny Thing Happened on the way to the Forum. Richard Lester is known for being “one of the most influential directors of the 1960’s.” The American filmmaker graduated from the University of Pennsylvania at
the age of 19 with a degree in clinical psychology. One of Lester’s greatest accomplishments is when he directed The Beatles: A Hard Day’s Night .in 1964. This man is an expert at camera angles and “the frenetic cutting style” which he features all throughout the 1966 film Forum. (IMDb, 2016) With the help of set designer Tony Walton, these two men were able to portray this wonderful film that has continued to be a classic even 49 years later. (Synopsis, 2016)
A Funny Thing Happened on the way to the Forum's cast was not new to Forum's story line. Most of the cast were members of the original musical.
Starring in A Funny Thing Happened on the way to the Forum is Zero Mostel. The seasoned actor Mostel, is commonly known for his lead role as Tevye in the Broadway musical Fiddler on the Roof. Zero Mostel plays Pseudolus a slave desperate for freedom. Michael Crawford was cast as Hero the son of Domina portrayed by Patricia Jessel and Synex, played by Michael Hordern. Michael Crawford was not an unfamiliar face when it came to the big screen. Crawford starred in The War Lover as well as Hey Dolly! With a mischievous slave like Pseudolus you must always have the faithful servant to play devil's advocate. Jack Gilford was cast as Hysterium lady Domina's loyal servant/willing slave. (IMDb, 2016)
The Plot Edit
A Funny Thing Happened on the way to the Forum is set in Rome during an era that is not quite known. Forum begins with the very enamored Hero becomes infatuated by a young virgin who is living in a brothel next door. Completely love struck Hero strikes a deal with his slave Pseudolus. If Pseudolus complies both men will receive the things they want most, Hero's virgin, Pseudolus' freedom. Hero's parents Domina and Synex are on voyage, visiting Domina's mother. Upon her voyage Domina demanded that her loyal slave Hysterium watch Hero, making sure he stay away from women. Both slaves/servants are eager to comply with their masters requests.With both Pseudolus and Hysterium having opposite goals chaos and pandemonium occurs! (Cyrino, A Funny Thing Happened on the way to the Forum) (Synopsis, 2016)
Famous Songs Edit
A Funny Thing Happened on the way to the Forum is first and foremost a musical. The film featured songs that people continue to reenact today. Taking the audience through several emotions the songs in Forum were catchy and upbeat. Comedy Tonight and Everybody Ought to Have a Maid possessed clever lyrics leaving the audience laughing and wanting to sing along. Ballads such as Lovely sung by Michael Crawford pulled at our heart strings. Forum has such a variety of music there is no doubt this film deserved the Oscar it was awarded in 1967 for Best Music, Scoring of Music, Adaptation or Treatment. (Awards, 2016) (Cyrino, A Funny Thing Happened on the way to the Forum)
"A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum." IMDb. IMDb.com, n.d. Web. 13 Dec. 2016.
"Awards." IMDb. IMDb.com, n.d. Web. 11 Dec. 2016.
Cyrino, Monica Silveira. "A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum." Big Screen Rome. Malden, MA: Blackwell Pub., 2005. 159-75. Print.
"Synopsis: A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum." Utah Shakespeare Festival. N.p., n.d. Web. 11 Dec. 2016.