Long before pop tease Britney Spears, or even the video revolution of MTV, the pants of men everywhere were going crazy for Nancy Sinatra during the mid-60s (the singer even traveled to Vietnam to raise the morale of our boys far from home). The siren mixed overt sex appeal with witchy anthems like These Boots Are Made For Walkin, but she could also be more soulful as in her Bond title track for You Only Live Twice. In her NBC variety special, Movin' With Nancy (1967, 60 minutes), Sinatra slinks through various songs under the direction of Jack Haley, Jr. The 27-year-old was also joined for duets with Lee Hazlewood and the three coolest cats ever: Dean Martin, Sammy Davis, Jr. and her very, very close relative.
The movie: We're basically treated to seeing lovely Nancy in various tempting outfits replete with bare midriffs, micro-mini skirts and her famed go-go boots. There are also a couple of dance numbers by choreographer David Winters (one with Teri Garr among the dancers.) The interwoven music videos are: I Gotta Get Out Of This Town, Up Up And Away, Sugar Town, Some Velvet Morning (with Hazlewood), Jackson (with Hazlewood), This Town, Just Bummin' Around (Dean's solo), Things (with Dean), What'd I Say (with Sammy), a loving tribute to her father Wait Til You See Him, Younger Than Springtime (Ol' Blue Eyes hisself), Friday's Child, See The Little Children and Who Will Buy? The special was financed by Royal Crown (the cola with the mad, mad taste) for $475,000 -- none of that went to the big three as they generously appeared as a favor to Nancy.
Notables: No breasts. 53 mannequins. Red, white, tan, pink, grey, black, yellow and blue boots. Mini-skirt dance number. One balloon flight. Funky photo session. Swooning women. One roller coaster ride.
Quotables: Nancy actually says, "Sock it to me!" And sings about looking for a new man, "I got some places I itch. I got some scratchin to do."
Time codes: Pop the cop at the Fox Studios gate (2:40). Lee Hazlewood visits The Planet of the Apes (11:05). Son'O'Frank (11:55). Dino croons (22:22). Sammy does a swishy British accent (30:40). Frank Sinatra's bare ass (36:57). Marvel at the origins of RC Cola (55:16).
Audio/Video: Originally shot in 16mm and presented in its original fullframe, made-for-TV ratio. The image is fairly soft throughout, while maintaining good balance and levels. The color is especially vibrant when it comes to showcasing Nancy's bright wardrobe. There's both Dolby Digital 5.1 and 2.0, with the only real blemish coming when Dean and Nancy have a brief exchange between songs. The audio is faint, and it sounds as though the levels have been cranked to salvage that bit of audio (which is charming and all).
Extras: Audio commentary with Nancy and Haley that has more of a nostalgic vibe than a technical one. They also narrate about 10 minutes of rather boring behind-the-scenes footage. Nancy's discography. Animated menus with audio.
Final thought: Peculiarly absent is These Boots Are Made For Walkin which Nancy then refused to include in her innovative special, but now regrets the decision. Regardless, this is a fun little time capsule which proves how little pop music has actually changed in 30 years. Recommended.
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G. Noel Gross is a Dallas graphic designer and avowed Drive-In Mutant who specializes in scribbling B-movie reviews. Noel is inspired by Joe Bob Briggs and his gospel of blood, breasts and beasts.