On a Clear Day You Can See Forever (1970)

Article #1768 by Dave Sindelar
Viewing Date: 1-16-2006
Posting Date: 6-15-2006
Directed by Vincente Minnelli
Featuring Barbra Streisand, Yves Montand, Bob Newhart

A woman visits a doctor adept at hypnotism to cure her of chain smoking. He inadvertently discovers that she has psychic powers and past lives.

How’s this for a change of pace from the bloody action of DEATH RACE 2000 and 1990: THE BRONX WARRIORS – a romantic musical comedy take on the Bridey Murphy theme? Yes, I think it’s too long, but then I’m not a Barbra Streisand fan; though I have no problems with her as an actress, she rarely does movies that interest me, and since she works in a mode that has no appeal to me, I have no use for her as a songstress. Quite frankly, the names that most caught my attention in the cast were those of Jack Nicholson, Simon Oakland and Bob Newhart, and though they all do well in their respective roles, not one of them is on the screen long enough to really make a big impression. There are things I quite like in the movie; I love the time-lapse flower photography, two of the musical numbers were cute enough to catch my attention (the one where Streisand takes advantage of the fact that she’s playing more than one character to sing a duet with herself, and the one where her telepathic ability picks up a song Montand is speaking through any variety of hosts). Some of the reincarnation themes are mildly interesting, but once the we reach the point where the movie clearly becomes aware of itself as a romantic comedy, most of that goes by the wayside. I do like the ending, though; it manages to go against the grain of the romantic comedy while still retaining a satisfying emotional flavor. One personal point of contention is Streisand’s accent; whenever she kicks into high comedy with that accent of hers, I keep seeing the second coming of Huntz Hall and start looking around for Leo Gorcey to hit her over the head with his hat.


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