The first half of Thoroughly Modern Mille is quite successful in striking and maintaining a gay spirit and pace. There are many recognizable and beguiling satirical recalls of the flapper age and some quite funny bits.
Liberties taken with reality, not to mention period, in the first half are redeemed by wit and characterization. But the sudden thrusting of the hero, played by James Fox in hornrimmed glasses, into a skyscraper-climbing, flagpole-hanging acrobat, a la Harold Lloyd, has little of Lloyd but the myth. This sequence is forced all the way.
Musically Millie is a melange. Standards such as ‘Baby Face’ mingle with specials by Jimmy Van Heusen and Sammy Cahn. All is part of Elmer Bernstein’s score, as arranged and conducted by Andre Previn.
Julie Andrews is very much like the leading lady of the story but hardly more than a bystander when Carol Channing commands the scene and at such times it is seldom that a star has been so static so long in a film. Mary Tyler Moore serves the plot in that she is essentially a prototype of a sweet, long curls and rather dumb rich girl.
1967: Best Original Score.
Nomination: Best Supp. Actress (Carol Channing), Costume Design, Scoring of Music, Song (‘Thoroughly Modern Millie’), Sound