A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum


Action / Comedy / Musical

Plot summary

Uploaded by: OTTO

Top cast

Jack Gilford Photo
Jack Gilford as Hysterium
Zero Mostel Photo
Zero Mostel as Pseudolus
Ingrid Pitt Photo
Ingrid Pitt as Courtesan
720p.BLU 1080p.BLU
752.88 MB
English 2.0
23.976 fps
1 hr 39 min
P/S ...
1.44 GB
English 2.0
23.976 fps
1 hr 39 min
P/S ...

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by MartinHafer6 / 10

Kind of funny, but after a while it also gets a bit tiresome

The music in this film by Steven Sondheim is excellent and I enjoyed most of the songs despite the fact that most of the actors couldn't sing if their lives depended on it. And as for the story, it was pretty interesting, though after a while I felt pretty weary from the fast pace and the film actually got a bit tiresome--like it just ran out of steam. Now this isn't to say that I hated the film. At first, I really liked it, but after a while I just was ready for it all to end. I think Leonard Maltin hit the nail on the head when he commented that the film just tried a little TOO hard! In other words, it lacked subtlety and kept assaulting you so fast that you just wish the film had slowed down and taken a more leisurely pace. Also, sadly, this was Buster Keaton's last film and the role wasn't particularly memorable. Heck, blink twice and you might just miss him!

Reviewed by bkoganbing9 / 10

Something For Everyone, A Comedy Tonight

It's ironic that just as Stephen Sondheim was establishing himself as both composer and lyricist on Broadway, musicals just stopped being made except on rare occasions. As a result most of Sondheim's work is sadly not filmed. In any event we don't have the musical stars on screen to do the roles justice.

So in his first effort at writing both music and lyrics we're lucky indeed to have A Funny Thing Happened On The Way To The Forum on the big screen. A cut down version to be sure in terms of songs, but still a tribute to Sondheim in a fashion.

The accent is more on comedy however and you cannot give enough praise to both Zero Mostel and Jack Gilford who were the only two from the Broadway cast to repeat their roles. In fact I can't conceive of A Funny Thing Happened On The Way To The Forum being made without Mostel. He dominates the proceedings and that's not easy considering his main co-star is Phil Silvers.

Phil Silvers was supposed to be on Broadway, but would not do the part on stage because he could not wear his glasses. Those were not just a comic prop, the man was terribly nearsighted. As a result his part was played by John Carradine. Who'd have ever thought those two would have been up for the same part?

Another movie veteran the garrulous Raymond Walburn played the wandering Erronius and his part was played by the great stone face Buster Keaton in what turned out to be his farewell performance.

Richard Lester the director comes in for a lot praise as well. The way he maximized the use of the screen you can hardly tell the stage origins of this show. Certainly that wild and crazy chariot race at the end could not have been done on stage. It's a great sequence even if the idea originated in the Eddie Cantor film, Roman Scandals.

This movie was also the return of Zero Mostel to the screen after the blacklist. Mostel previously had done some really nice character parts, he stands out in those two Humphrey Bogart films, The Enforcer and Sirocco and was really good as Jack Palance's lapdog companion in Panic In The Streets. But when he could not get work in Hollywood, he returned to nightclubs and the theater where he obtained real stardom. One of the many Tony Awards A Funny Thing Happened On The Way To The Forum won was for Zero Mostel as Best Actor.

On Broadway the show ran for 964 performances from 1962-1964 and also won a Tony for Best Musical. I haven't even described the plot because it's impossible. It revolves essentially around young Hiero, played by Michael Crawford to get the woman he loves who happens to work over at Phil Silvers's pleasure house and his family slave Zero Mostel to obtain his freedom. That's as far as I can go.

As another movie icon expressed, fasten your seatbelts, A Funny Thing Happened On The Way To The Forum is a wild and bumpy ride.

Reviewed by SnoopyStyle5 / 10

Great Zero Mostel can't save this

The movie takes place in ancient Rome around three adjacent houses. In the house of Erronius , the children have been stolen by pirates. In the house of Marcus Lycus (Phil Silvers),he is a buyer and seller of beautiful women. In the house of Senex, Roman senator Senex lives with his domineering wife Domina and their dim son Hero (Michael Crawford). When Hero falls for beautiful virgin courtesan Philia (Annette Andre) from next door, their house slave Pseudolus (Zero Mostel) makes a deal with Hero to get the girl in exchange for his freedom. Only the girl has already been sold to Captain Miles Gloriosus (Leon Greene).

It's comedic musical with a lot of old hands at the wheel. It's adapted from the Broadway musical which itself is inspired by ancient Roman farces. The comedy isn't quite funny. Zero Mostel is running around like a scheming mad man only he could. The problem is that the characters are all unlikeable. The scheming and running around get too chaotic. The music could have saved it but all of them are forgettable and unfunny. It's just a throughly weak comedy.

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