Philandering 1930s sheet music salesman Arthur Parker escapes from his dull life by fantasizing elaborately choreographed musical numbers in which he and the other characters lip-sync to original recording of popular 1930s music.
1978 BBC mini-series created by Dennis Potter -Starring Bob Hoskins
,Gemma Craven,and Cheryl Campbell
Later remade as a 1981 film.Starring Steve Martin
, Jessica Harper, Bernadette Peters
and Christopher Walken
Includes examples of the following tropes:
- Corrupt the Cutie from meek schoolteacher to hooker in a few months
- Deconstruction: of Depression-era musicals
- Downer Ending
- The Great Depression: The film never holds back from showing just how wretchedly awful the character's lives are and why They are so eager to escape into a fantasy world.
- Groin Attack: When Arthur's wife Joan receives the evidence confirming her suspicions that Arthur's been cheating on her (as the cops tell her he's suspected of murdering a blind girl - which he's actually innocent of) she demands that the police castrate him. More than that, she angrily demands that they "cut his thing off and bury it!"
- Nothing But Hits: averted - many of the songs are rather obscure.
- Playing Against Type: At the time this movie was released, Steve Martin was mainly known for his standup routines, Saturday Night Live appearances and The Jerk.
- Soundtrack Dissonance: basically the central concept of both the movie and the mini-series.
- This Is Reality: The film plays quite fast and loose with the idea of fantasy interrupting reality.
- Tranquil Fury: Joan when she leans that he's been cheating on her - she demands his castration with quietly repressed rage.
- Woman Scorned: Joan will settle for nothing less than having his family jewels physically removed (see Groin Attack above) when she learns that Arthur has in fact been unfaithful to her.