At Long Last Love (1975)

Musical, Comedy, Romance
Burt Reynolds, Cybill Shepherd, Madeline Kahn, Duilio Del Prete
This film was Peter Bogdanovich's homage to musical comedies of the 1930s. A millionaire named Michael Oliver Pritchard III and a singer named Kitty O'Kelly meet and fall in love. Meanwhile...
  • 01 Mar 1975 Released:
  • N/A DVD Release:
  • N/A Box office:
  • Peter Bogdanovich Writer:
  • Peter Bogdanovich Director:
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Exhilarating Musical10/10
An homage to 30s musicals, this vastly underrated film features tongue-in-cheek performances by Cybill Shepherd and Burt Reynolds, and terrific comedy turns by Eileen Brennan and Madeline Kahn.

Kahn does a great, obscure Cole Porter (all music in this film) called "Find Me a Primitive Man"; Brennan shines in the "Gentlemen Don't Want Love" number. Duilio del Prete, Mildred Natwick, and John Hillerman are also quite good.

Many obscure Porter songs and a few well-known ones. The costumes and sets are nice and evoke the 30s with the star blacks and whites with hints of beige. While the dancing may be a little rough, the stars more than make up for it in their zest and obvious enjoyment of the material.

The entire cast has fun with this slight story of changing partners until each finds at long last love. Reynolds might be a tad too silly but Shepherd has fun and display a great set of pipes. Ultimately, Brennan and Kahn make this one worth catching.
Underrated, Ambitious Musical7/10

This is definitely a case of people running around saying a film is terrible they've probably never seen. Upon release, the film was trashed, probably partially because of its type of cinema being out of favor (this was Scorsese/Altman time) and because of people's annoyance with Bogdanovich and Shepard on talk shows and such. But with time as a distancer, watch this film and dare to tell me it isn't superiour to "Everyone Says I Love You" in every way! I LIKE "Everyone says..." but this film, with its cinematography, and its use of Cole Porter tunes to advance the plot, while uneven, is much more ambitious than the charming Allen film. If you didn't like the Allen film, you may well not like this -- but Reynolds, Shepard, Eileen Brennan singing, which got trashed upon release, is just as good as Roberts, Norton et al warbling in "Everyone." This is a funny, unique work that does occasionally suffer from the cutes -- but so what? Polly Platt, Bogdanovich's ex-wife, always talks about this as one of his "he's no good after he left me" examples, but at least his musical retains its music (she's one of the creators of James L. Brooks' "I'll Do Anything"). This film is a target from so many for no good reason. I recommend this and "Nickelodeon", another overlooked Bogdanovich picture, to be rediscovered as the just plain good films they are!
A Misunderstood Film Masterpiece9/10
I love "At Long Last Love"! I really think the enmity displayed by critics at the time was most probably personal given Mr. Bogdonovich and Ms. Shepherd's public relationship. People wanted them to fail. I think the main problem people had with this film is that they didn't know how to categorize it. Not too long ago, I saw Mr. Bogdanovich speak at a preview of "The Cat's Meow" (another great evocative film) and asked him if we might ever see All on DVD, he said "probably not". This is a shame, because I think so many aspects of this film are brilliantly executed. I only hope, in time, that Mr. Bogdanovich will relent. While no film is perfect, it's a truism to state that many great films were panned when released but are seen as great today. As well, many great works of art have been reviled, only to be revered as masterpieces later on. At Long Last Love is one of them. The sets, costumes, cinematography, songs and story are wonderfully true to the period of the 30's (as Mr. Bogdanovich, an accomplished film historian would know) and I think Ms. Shepherd, Ms. Kahn, et al. were simply super given the difficulty of the tasks set before them. That they come across as breezily indolent as they do is a true testament to their acting chops. Consider they had to sing on cue, while swimming and meeting camera marks. A great experiment in Cinema Verite meets the Artifice of the Golden Age. Too bad it was so misunderstood. Then again, if you don't get it, you don't get it. Why some complain about Ms. Shepherds singing, I cannot understand. Ms. Shepherd's voice is better than many a modern singer. I hope we will someday see a full length version with all songs restored (like "Which", sung with aplomb by Ms. Shepherd) on DVD. Mr. Bogdanovich, please relent!! I think you would be very surprised at how many people would happily snap this up.
I love this movie!10/10
This movie is one of my all-time favorites! I saw it three times in the theater and thankfully was able to record it during a rare TV broadcast. I watch it at least once a year.

The costumes and set design are beautiful. I love the basic black and white color-scheme throughout. John Hillerman and Eileen Brennan are wonderful with their witty repartee. Cybil Shepherd is the ideal spoiled,dumb blonde. And Burt Reynolds truly is the consummate rich, playboy bachelor (probably actually type casting back in 1975) It's very campy and of course the songs are phenomenal.

Forget what the critics say. WATCH THIS MOVIE
Ahead of its time10/10
This film was widely misinterpreted at the time of its release. As the other commentator on this page mentions, Bogdanovich not only used non-professional singers, but the songs were recorded live! Each actor had an earpiece through which they received a transmission of the basic melody. I was fond of the movie from the very beginning, being such a devoted fan of Madeline Kahn (just check out her Primitive Man number), but the true finds of the movie were the delicious Eileen Brennan and the deadpan John Hillerman, as the faithful servants. I do not hesitate to say that Eileen Brennan, with that incredible delivery and posture, a cigarette dangling from her lips, was the best thing to hit a Hollywood kitchen since Thelma Ritter in All About Eve! I hope this film will eventually be released in DVD. And by the way, shame on you Mr. Bodanovich for apologizing for your creation. Too bad she was not nominated for an Oscar.