It was 1975. Directors ruled in Hollywood. With studio movies tanking right and left, the producers decided to give artists that had been coming up with low budget hits like Easy Rider and The Graduate free reign. Another of those films was The Last Picture Show, directed by Wunderkind Peter Bogdanovich. It was a huge hit, and cemented the reputation of Bogdanovich as a bankable director. Two more hits followed - What's Up Doc (one of my personal favorites) and Paper Moon. By the time Daisy Miller had rolled around with a lukewarm reception by the public he was already up and running with this film. At the time, it was considered a disaster, though in retrospect, there's a lot that's quite charming about it. His concept for it was to produce a musical without prerecording the musical tracks - to record the performances of the actors on set. It went against the grain of Hollywood production tenants, and for good reason. When you're in production, time is, literally, money. So the less you have to worry about, the better off you are. Prerecorded tracks eliminate one variable factor - the musical performance, which can take time and attention to get right, freeing up the cast and crew to worry about the myriad other things that make up a scene. It was a daring choice, and it had mixed results.
The story follows two couples (Burt Reynolds and Madeline Kahn and Cybill Shepherd and Duilio Del Prete) as they navigate the ins and outs of love. They warble Cole Porter tunes, and look ultra glamorous in sophisticated 30's clothes and settings, but, ultimately, the plot is not important. This is essentially an exercise in style, and at that, it's extremely successful. Look for delightful turns by Eileen Brennan as Ms. Shepherd's maid, John Hillerman as Mr. Reynolds' Chauffeur and the irrepressible Mildred Natwick as his mother.
This film has been hiding in a corner with its tail tucked between its legs for many years now. No commercial DVD of it exists (though you can find it over at iOffer.com) and I don't believe it was ever released on VHS. You can, however, watch it on YouTube, though the uploader has disabled embedding, so you'll have to click this link to see it:
Obscurity factor: 5 (no DVD, available on YouTube & iOffer, legendary for its poor box office and critical reception)