Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Fiddler on the Roof (1971)

Fiddler on the Roof (1971). Film adaptation of the 1964 Broadway musical of the same name. Directed by Norman Jewison. The film won three Academy Awards, including one for arranger-conductor John Williams. It was nominated for several more, including Best Picture, Best Actor for Chaim Topol as Tevye, and Best Supporting Actor for Leonard Frey, who played Motel the Tailor, both had originally acted in the musical.

The film is about the lives of a proud Jewish family living in the town of Anatevka, in Tsarist Russia, in 1905. Tevye is a very poor milkman, even though he works very hard. He and his wife, Golde (Norma Crane), have five daughters and cannot afford to give them dowries so they ask the village matchmaker, Yente (Molly Picon), to help find them husbands.

Fun Fact:

Orson Welles, Anthony Quinn and Marlon Brando were among the many actors who turned down the lead role of Tevye. Frank Sinatra and Danny Kaye both wanted the role and were passed over.

Chaim Topol (born September 9, 1935), often billed simply as Topol, is an Israeli theatrical and film performer. Topol was born in Tel Aviv. He first practiced acting in amateur theatrical plays staged by the Israeli Army. Among Topol's earliest film appearances was the lead role in the 1964 film Sallah Shabati by Ephraim Kishon, a play, later adapted for film, depicting the hardships of a Mizrachi Jewish immigrant family in Israel of the early 1960s. The film was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film and earned the actor the Golden Globe Award for New Star of the Year - Actor. In 1966, Topol made his first English-language screen appearance as Abou Ibn Kaqden in the big-budget Mickey Marcus biopic Cast a Giant Shadow. He is best known for his performance as Tevye the milkman in the, Fiddler on the Roof. In 1972, Topol won a Golden Globe Award and was nominated for a Best Actor Oscar for his performance in the film. He was on active service with the Israeli army at the time, but was granted permission to attend the awards ceremonies. Some of his other notable appearances were in Galileo (1975), Flash Gordon (1980), and as Milos Columbo in James Bond movie For Your Eyes Only (1981)

Fiddler on the Roof, is a Musical about the human experience. Perfect casting, cinematography, pacing, art direction, wardrobe and best of all, the amazing soundtrack.


Music by Jerry Bock
Lyrics by Sheldon Harnick
Performed by Chorus

Music by Jerry Bock
Lyrics by Sheldon Harnick
Performed by Rosalind Harris, Neva Small, Michele Marsh and Chorus

"If I Were a Rich Man"
Music by Jerry Bock
Lyrics by Sheldon Harnick
Performed by Topol

"Sabbath Prayer"
Music by Jerry Bock
Lyrics by Sheldon Harnick
Performed by Topol, Norma Crane and Chorus

"To Life"
Music by Jerry Bock
Lyrics by Sheldon Harnick
Performed by Topol, Paul Mann and Chorus

"Tradition (reprise)"
Music by Jerry Bock
Lyrics by Sheldon Harnick
Performed by Topol

"Miracle of Miracles"
Music by Jerry Bock
Lyrics by Sheldon Harnick
Performed by Leonard Frey

"Tevye's Dream"
Music by Jerry Bock
Lyrics by Sheldon Harnick
Performed by Topol, Norma Crane, Ruth Madoc, Patience Collier and Chorus

"Sunrise, Sunset"
Music by Jerry Bock
Lyrics by Sheldon Harnick
Performed by Topol, Paul Michael Glaser, Michele Marsh and chorus

"Do You Love Me?"
Music by Jerry Bock
Lyrics by Sheldon Harnick
Performed by Topol and Norma Crane

Far From the Home I Love"
Music by Jerry Bock
Lyrics by Sheldon Harnick
Performed by Michele Marsh

"Chava Ballet"
Music by Jerry Bock


Music by Jerry Bock
Lyrics by Sheldon Harnick
Performed by Topol, Norma Crane, Molly Picon, Shimen Ruskin, Paul Mann and Barry Dennen

Monday, November 29, 2010

Happy Birthday: Busby Berkeley!

Busby Berkeley (November 29, 1895 – March 14, 1976), was famous for his beautiful musical production numbers using showgirls and props as fantasy elements in kaleidoscopic on-screen performances.

Busby Berkeley was born to silent film and stage actress Gertrude Berkeley. During World War I, Berkeley served as a field artillery lieutenant. Watching soldiers drill may have inspired his choreography. During the 1920s, Berkeley was a dance director for many Broadway musicals. As a choreographer, Berkeley was less concerned with the terpsichorean skill of his chorus girls as he was with their ability to form into geometric patterns. His musical numbers were among the largest and best on Broadway.

His earliest movie jobs were on Samuel Goldwyn's Eddie Cantor musicals, where he began developing such techniques as a “parade of faces” and moving his dancers in as many kaleidoscopic patterns as possible. Berkeley's top shot technique appeared in Cantor films, and also the 1932 Universal programmer Night World . As choreographer, Berkeley was allowed independence in the numbers he choreographed which were mostly upbeat and focused on decoration with maybe one exception, “Remember My Forgotten Man” from Gold Diggers(1933), which dealt with the treatment of soldiers in a post-World War I Depression .

Berkeley choreographed four wonderful musicals back-to-back: 42nd Street, Footlight Parade, Gold Diggers of 1933 and Fashions of 1934, as well as In Caliente and Wonder Bar with Dolores del Rio. The numbers have been critiqued for their display of the female form as seen through the “male gaze”. Berkeley always argued that his main goal was to constantly top himself and to never repeat his past accomplishments.

As the musicals in which Berkeley specialized became less popular, he turned to straight directing. The result was, They Made Me a Criminal(1939), one of John Garfield's best films. In 1943, he was removed as director of, Girl Crazy, because of disagreements with Garland, although the musical number "I Got Rhythm", which he directed, remained in the picture. His next work was at 20th Century-Fox for 1943's The Gang's All Here, in which Berkeley choreographed Carmen Miranda's “Lady in the Tutti-Frutti Hat” number. Berkeley returned to MGM in the late 1940s, where among many other accomplishments he conceived the beautiful finales for Esther Williams films. Berkeley's final film as choreographer was MGM's Billy Rose's Jumbo.

Busby Berklely films I have seen:

42nd Street(1933)
Gold Diggers of(1933)
Footlight Parade(1933)
Gold Diggers of(1935)
Gold Diggers of(1937)
Varsity Show(1937)
Gold Diggers in Paris(1938)
Broadway Serenade(1939)
Babes in Arms(1939)
Ziegfeld Girl(1941)
Babes on Broadway(1941)
For Me and My Gal(1942)
Girl Crazy(1943)
The Gang's All Here (1943 film)(1943)
Romance on the High Seas(1948)
Take Me Out to the Ball Game(1949)
Million Dollar Mermaid(1952)
Easy to Love(1953)
Billy Rose's Jumbo(1962)

Below are a couple of video examples of his amazing work:

The “By A Waterfall” production number from Footlight Parade (1933) made use of one of the largest soundstages ever built, constructed especially by Warner Bros. to film Berkeley's creations.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Ziegfeld Girl (1941).

Ziegfeld Girl(1941). Cast:James Stewart, Judy Garland, Hedy Lamarr, and Lana Turner, and co-starring Tony Martin, Jackie Cooper, Eve Arden, and Philip Dorn. Released by MGM, it was directed by Robert Z. Leonard and featured musical numbers by Busby Berkeley.

Set in the 1920s, the film tells the stories of three women who become performers in the  Broadway show the Ziegfeld Follies. It was intended to be a 1938 sequel to the 1936 hit The Great Ziegfeld, and even recycled some footage from the earlier film.

What an amazing cast!! And wonderful film for Judy Garland even though she is not the "star ". The costumes were amazing! They were all designed by Adrian. Adrian was MGM's most famous costume designer, but he never won an Academy Award! ( I don't believe they had Academy Awards for Costume Design until after his death). He also designed all the costumes for The Wizard of Oz and many other MGM films. This is a great film if you are looking for a costume spectacle. This is one of thoses movies that you wished were in color. Please click on Ziegfeld Girl (1941), in the tag line to view Monty's awesome movie review.


You Never Looked So Beautiful"
(1936) (uncredited)
Music by Walter Donaldson
Lyrics by Harold Adamson
Played and sung by an offscreen chorus during the opening credits
Sung by Judy Garland and chorus in the finale

"Minnie from Trinidad"
(1941) (uncredited)
Written by Roger Edens
Played during the opening credits
With The Kids from Seville: Antonio and Rosario
Sung and Danced to by Judy Garland (uncredited) and chorus, and danced to by Sergio Orta (uncredited)
Sung by Lana Turner (uncredited) (dubbed by Virginia Rees (uncredited))

"I'm Always Chasing Rainbows"
(1918) (uncredited)
Music by Harry Carroll
Lyrics by Joseph McCarthy
Played on piano by Charles Winninger (uncredited) and sung by him and Judy Garland (uncredited)
Reprised with an orchestra and sung by Judy Garland (uncredited) at an audition
Played as background music often

"Laugh? I Thought I'd Split My Sides"
(1941) (uncredited)
Written by Roger Edens
Performed by Charles Winninger and Judy Garland in a vaudeville show

"You Stepped out of a Dream"
(1940) (uncredited)
Music by Nacio Herb Brown
Lyrics by Gus Kahn
Sung by Tony Martin and chorus in a Zeigfeld Follies number
Played on piano by Jackie Cooper
Hummed by Lana Turner
Reprised by Tony Martin and chorus in the finale
Played during the end credits

(1920) (uncredited)
Music by John Schonberger
Lyrics by Malvin Schonberger
Played as dance music at the Palais Royale restaurant and sung by Bill Days, John Rarig and Max Smith

"Bridal Chorus"
(1850) (uncredited)
from "Lohengrin"
Music by Richard Wagner
Played as background music when Gil Shows Sheila a marriage license

"The Wedding March"
(1843) (uncredited)
from "A Midsummer Night's Dream, Op. 61"
Music by Felix Mendelssohn-Bartholdy
Played as background music when Susie and Geoffrey talk about his proposing to Sheila

"Caribbean Love Song"
(1941) (uncredited)
Music by Roger Edens
Lyrics by Ralph Freed
Sung by Tony Martin and chorus in a Ziegfeld Follies show

Mr. Gallagher and Mr. Shean"
(1922) (uncredited)
Written by Edward Gallagher and Al Shean
Sung by Charles Winninger (uncredited) and Al Shean (uncredited) in a Ziegfeld Follies show

"Ziegfeld Girls"
(1941) (uncredited)
Written by Roger Edens
Sung by Judy Garland and chorus, with solo lines by Dorothy Hoyle, Christine Stafford,
Rose Paidar, Betty Allen, Virginia Rees and Helen Patterson in the finale

"You Gotta Pull Strings"
(1936) (uncredited)
Music by Walter Donaldson
Lyrics by Harold Adamson
Sung by Judy Garland and chorus in the finale

Tony Martin (born December 25, 1913), received a saxophone as a gift from his grandmother at the age of ten. In his grammar school glee club, he became an instrumentalist and a boy soprano singer. He formed his first band, named "The Red Peppers", when he was at Oakland Technical High School, eventually joining the band of a local orchestra leader, Tom Gerun, as a reed instrument specialist, sitting alongside the future bandleader Woody Herman. After college, he left Gerun's band to go to Hollywood to try his luck in films.

He was a featured vocalist on the George Burns and Gracie Allen radio program. In the movies, he was first cast in bit parts, including a role as a sailor in the movie, Follow the Fleet (1936). He eventually signed with 20th Century-Fox and then Metro Goldwyn Mayer in which he starred in a number of musicals.

Martin was featured in the 1941 Marx Brothers film (their last for MGM), The Big Store.

He appeared in many film musicals in the 1940s and 1950s. His rendition of "Lover Come Back To Me" with Joan Weldon in Deep in My Heart.

The Firefly(1937).

The Firefly(1937) . Cast: Jeanette MacDonald, Allan Jones. The film is an adaptation of the operetta of the same name by composer Rudolf Friml and librettist Otto A.  The film used almost all of the music from the operetta but  added a new song, "The Donkey Serenade", which became popular, as was one of the Friml songs, "Giannina Mia".

Spy Nina Maria Azara, worked for Spain during the Napoleonic Wars. Her mission is to seduce French Officers, to learn what Napolean's plans are. She is sent to Bayonne, France to learn military secrets. She meets, Don Diego while performing at a club. Unknown to her, Don Diego is actually Captain Andre, who is sent to Spain to spy on her. While in France, Nina discovers Diego's true identity, only after she has fallen in love with him. Nina Maria returns to Spain and goes into hiding. Napoleon's troops invade Spain and Nina is captured....

I really enjoyed the scenes in the cafe, the “Donkey Serenade” sequence and the moonlit night in the garden.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

June Allyson.

June Allyson (October 7, 1917 – July 8, 2006). Film and television actress, popular in the 1940s and 1950s. Allyson won the Golden Globe Award for Best Actress for her performance in, Too Young to Kiss (1951). From 1959–1961, she hosted her own CBS TV show, The DuPont Show with June Allyson.

During World War II, Allyson was selected for the film version of, Best Foot Forward (1943). The story is about Bud Hooper (Dix), who sends Lucille Ball (who plays herself) an invitation to be his date at his school prom. Lucille's publicity man, Jack O'Riley (Gaxton), believes this is a perfect PR stunt and convinces her to attend the Winsocki Military Academy's dance. Hooper, who never dreamed she would accept, has to break his date with his girlfriend, Helen (Weidler), and asks Ball to pretend to be Helen. Knowing the school would not allow her to attend as herself. Hooper has a hard time keeping Lucille from the other cadets. Harry James and his orchestra perform the songs, "The Flight of the Bumblebee". The cast also sing and dance their way through, "Buckle Down, Winsocki", "Wish I May," "Three Men on a Date", "Alive and Kickin'", "The Barrelhouse, The Boogie-Woogie and the Blues", and "Ev'rytime."

Despite playing a "bit part" in the film, Girl Crazy (1943), Allyson received good reviews as Lucille Ball's sidekick . The Film is about Danny Churchill, a playboy, who is taken out one of college by his father and sent to 'Cody College' located in the middle of the desert, in the hopes that he will concentrate more on his studies. He meets Ginger, the postmistress and quickly falls for her. Danny and Ginger are upset when they learn that the college must close, because of financial reasons. Danny meets with the state governor, and asks him if they can save the school if enrolments improve? Danny puts on a show to 'bring back the old west', with Tommy Dorsey's band .

When MGM's musical supervisor, Arthur Freed saw her test and insisted that Allyson be put on contract. Another musical, Thousands Cheer (1943) was again a showcase for her singing and dancing. The movie is  a two-part story. The first half is a romantic/comedy about an aerialist, played by Gene Kelly, who is drafted into the US Army. During training, he falls in love with Kathryn ( Kathryn Grayson), the daughter of his commanding officer, who has also put her singing career on hold in to provide entertainment for the troops. Kathryn has just met her father for the first time because her parents were divorced. Kathryn tries to get her parents(John Boles and Mary Astor) back together. Grayson sings and Kelly performs one of his most famous routines, dancing with a mop as a partner. The second part of the film becomes a variety showcase of comedy, song, and dance.

Allyson's breakthrough performance was in, Two Girls and a Sailor (1944), with Van Johnson. Johnson and Allyson were to perform together in four later films.

Allyson's early success as a musical star led to several other postwar musicals, including: Two Sisters from Boston (1946), Good News (1947). Allyson also played straight roles such as, Constance in The Three Musketeers (1948), Little Women (1949) and Battle Circus (1953).

Allyson had been signed to perform opposite Fred Astaire in, Royal Wedding, but had to leave the production due to pregnancy. She with a rising star, Jack Lemmon in a musical comedy, You Can't Run Away From It(1956). Besides Van Johnson, James Stewart was a frequent costar, teaming up with Allyson in films such as The Glenn Miller Story, The Stratton Story and Strategic Air Command.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Two Girls and a Sailor(1944).

Two Girls and a Sailor(1944). Has a host of celebrity performances including, Jimmy Durante doing his hallmark "Inka Dinka Doo", Gracie Allen, and Lena Horne. Richard Connell and Gladys Lehman were nominated for the Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay. Harry James as himself. Cast: June Allyson, Gloria DeHaven, Van Johnson and Tom Drake .

Sisters Patsy and Jean Deyo grow up watching their parents sing and dance on the vaudeville stage. Before long they start an act of their own.

Patsy is constantly warning her sister, to save herself for a "good" man. Jean, wanting to marry a rich man, receives orchids from an admirer who signs the card as "Somebody," she and Patsy try figure out who it is during one of their nightclub performances. Later that night, Jean and Patsy host a "private canteen," inviting many sailors and soldiers to their apartment, and both sisters are attracted to a sailor named Johnny. Johnny is attracted to Jean and Sgt. Frank Miller's is also attracted to Jean, but spends the evening with Patsy. Jean points out to Johnny an abandoned warehouse near their apartment and tells him that she and Patsy want to convert the old building into a canteen. The next day, Mr. Nizby tells the sisters that "Somebody" has purchased the warehouse for them and is paying to have it renovated.

Patsy and Jean find the warehouse used to be a theatrical warehouse and Billy Kipp, a popular vaudevillian whom they used to know, has been secretly living there.

After the building is completely finished, the sisters put on an elaborate show paid for by "Somebody," for all the servicemen, including Johnny and Frank. While Jean and Patsy are on the dance floor with Johnny, Billy overhears dancer Ben Blue ordering orchids over the telephone and he thinks he now knows who the "Somebody." is. Billy tells Patsy and Jean of his suspicions, but they soon find out that Ben is ordering flowers for his wife. Johnny takes the opportunity to ask Patty who she wants "Somebody" to be. Patsy says that she wants him to marry Jean and that she wants her true love to be a poor "straight man." That night, Patsy has a nightmare in which she looses Johnny to Jean. The next morning, Billy overhears Mr. Nizby place a work order for the canteen and charge the cost to John Dyckman Brown, she then runs to tell Patsy and Jean the good news. Jean is happy that the millionaire is her admirer, Patsy then goes to the Brown mansion to confront him. After confronting the grandfather John Dyckman Brown and then his son, John Dyckman Brown II, of toying with her sister's affections, Patsy learns that "Somebody" is John Dyckman Brown III, and that he is Johnny. Patsy pretends to be happy for her sister. After she leaves, Johnny confesses to his father and grandfather that he is actually in love with Patsy, but is afraid to hurt Jean.

Later, in New York, Patsy heartbroken shows up late at the nightclub and tells Jean about Johnny. Jean's excitement about Johnny makes Patsy even more upset, and she runs out of club in tears.

Unknown to Patsy and Jean, the Dyckmans have come to see their show. Jean, realizes that Patsy is in love with Johnny and asks Frank, if he is in love with her. When he answers yes, Jean kisses him, and the next day, she announces that she and Frank, are getting married. Johnny then proposes to Patsy, and Billy is reunited with his long-lost son "Junior," an enlistee who looks exactly like him.

Fun Fact: First of six movies that paired June Allyson and Van Johnson.

The film is very entertaining. Richard Thorpe, the director, did a wonderful job and the cast of stars a made a movie that is delightful to see anytime it's shown. I especially enjoyed Harry James as the Young Man with a Horn.

Friday, November 19, 2010

An American in Paris (1951).

An American in Paris(1951). MGM musical film inspired by the 1928 orchestral composition by George Gershwin. Cast: Gene Kelly, Leslie Caron, and Oscar Levant, the film is set in Paris, and was directed by Vincente Minnelli from a script by Alan Jay Lerner. The music is by George Gershwin, with lyrics by his brother Ira, with additional music by Saul Chaplin, the music director.

Jerry Mulligan, an American World War II veteran, is now living in Paris trying to make a living as a painter. His friend, Adam, is a struggling concert pianist who has worked with French singer, Henri Baurel. A lonely society woman, Milo Roberts, befriends Jerry and wants to support him. Jerry falls in love with Lise, a French girl who he meets at a restaurant. Lise loves him as well but she is engaged to Henri, to whom she feels indebted for having saved her family during World War II.

Will Milo ever figure out that Jerry is not interested in her and will Jerry prevent Lise from marrying Henri?

The cast performances are excellent. Leslie Caron, who is making her film debut, is so wonderful you would think she'd been making films for years. Oscar Levant, is hilarious and gets a couple of great scenes: during the end party sequence (which I will not give away for anyone who hasn't seen the film), and one of the film's most memorable musical numbers.

Fun Facts:

Hayden Rorke, best known for playing Dr. Bellows on the TV series I Dream of Jeannie has a small part as a friend of Nina Foch's character.

Noel Neill, later to portray Lois Lane on the TV series The Adventures of Superman, has a small role as an American art student who tries to criticize Jerry Mulligan's paintings.

Judy Landon, better known for her appearance in Kelly's next musical Singin' in the Rain (and as the wife of Brian Keith), appears as a dancer in the Stairway to Paradise sequence.

Happy Birthday: Tommy Dorsey!

Tommy Dorsey. (November 19, 1905 – November 26, 1956). Was a jazz trombonist, trumpeter, composer, and bandleader of the Big Band era. He was known as "The Sentimental Gentleman of Swing", due to his smooth-toned trombone playing. He was the younger brother of bandleader Jimmy Dorsey. After Dorsey broke with his brother in the mid-1930s, he led a band from the late '30s into the 1950s. Dorsey had a reputation for being a perfectionist.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Happy Go Lovely (1951)

Happy Go Lovely(1951). British musical/comedy film. Directed by H. Bruce Humberstone. Cast: Vera Ellen, David Niven, and Cesar Romero.

American producer Jack Frost, begs his creditors to give him a couple more days to come up with the money that he owes them. To make things worse the star of the show quits. The next morning, chorus girl Janet Jones hitchhikes to the theater and is picked up by chauffeur Bates. Racing to get Janet to rehearsal, Bates is pulled over by the police, Janet arrives late and is fired. Unknown to Janet, Bates works for B. G. Bruno, the richest man in Scotland, and when Bates returns to the theater with her forgotten purse, everyone believes that Janet is Bruno's fiancee.

Seeing an opportunity, Jack rehires Janet and gives her the starring role. Janet, is also surprised when dressmaker Madame Amanda, who had been after her to pay an outstanding bill, gives her beautiful clothes to wear.

Upset, Janet's roommate Mae Thompson, asks her why she did not tell her about Bruno, Janet decides to tell her the truth. Believing that Bruno will never find out, Mae convinces Janet to continue with her story until the show opens.

The next day, Bruno, receives Madame Amanda's bill and decides to investigate. At the theater, Janet thinks that Bruno is Paul Tracy, a reporter who is scheduled to interview her, and Bruno does not correct her. Bruno questions Janet about "B. G.," she comes up with a story about their friendship.

Bruno, invites Janet to lunch the next day. Janet asks him not to print anything about her relationship with B. G. Jack, tells the real Paul his own stories about B. G. and Janet, and Paul writes about the "romance" in his next column. During lunch, Jane confronts Bruno about the column, but he convinces her that someone else wrote the story. Janet sees Bates's limousine outside the theater and quickly leaves. Bruno questions Bates about his visit to the theater, and when Bates tells him how met Janet, Bruno becomes convinced that Janet is not a gold digger.

Later, Mae and Janet, who told Jack she will bring B. G. to dinner the next night, look over actors' photographs, hoping to find someone to impersonate B. G. When Bruno brings flowers for Janet, the women think that he would make a perfect B. G., and ask him to play the part.

Janet and Mae give him tips on how to act like a millionaire, Bruno joins Janet at the fancy restaurant where Jack's creditors are waiting to meet B. G. Bruno convinces Jack and his creditors that he is B. G. and is considering investing in the show. After dinner, Janet tells Bruno that she does not know B. G.

The next morning, Bruno writes Jack a check. Janet sees Bruno at the theater and come clean with Jack and tells him that Bruno's check is phony. Jack wants Bruno's arrested and when Bruno shows up at opening night, he is chased by the police.

Bruno tries to convince Janet that he really is B. G., but she does not believe him. After Bruno is arrested, one of the officers recognizes him as B. G..

I thought this was a very charming comedy, with wonderful musical numbers, performed by, Vera-Ellen. Romero is bit frantic but Niven is hilarious.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Brigadoon (1954)

Brigadoon (1954). Based on the Broadway musical of the same name by Alan Jay Lerner and Frederick Loewe. Directed by Vincente Minnelli. Cast: Gene Kelly, Van Johnson, and Cyd Charisse.

Americans Tommy Albright and Jeff Douglas are on a hunting trip in Scotland and become lost in the woods. They find themselves in the little sleepy town of, Brigadoon, that rises out of the mists every hundred years for only a day. Tommy falls in love with, Fiona Campbell.

He is happy to learn that his love for Fiona will make it possible for him to stay in Brigadoon forever. At first he is ready for the commitment, but.. backs down as Brigadoon disappears. Back home in New York City, he can think only of Fiona. He travels back to Scotland. Will he ever find the magical village and be united with Fiona?

Fun Fact: Cyd Charisse said that, of the several films she made with Gene Kelly, this was her favorite.

Gene Kelly's, performance is perfect and Van Johnson steals the show as well. Cyd Charisse was wonderful as Fiona, she made the character seem so believable and was perfect for the part.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Ginger Rogers in Kitty Foyle (1940)

Told via flashback, this bittersweet drama follows working girl Kitty Foyle (Ginger Rogers, who received the Best Actress Academy Award) as she chases her storybook dreams. While earning a living as a department store clerk, Kitty finds herself romantically entangled with two men: a weak-willed Philadelphia society scion (Dennis Morgan) and an unassuming physician (James Craig). Gladys Cooper plays Morgan's sniffish mother.

Rogers gives a solid performance and shows she can do more than sing and dance and be the wise-cracking girlfriend. Her Kitty Foyle has to be one of the best film characters ever performed. She deservedly won the Oscar that year for her top notch performance.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Ginger Rogers Sings

"Dream Kisses"
(1927) (uncredited)
Music by M.K. Jerome
Lyrics by Jack Yellen
Sung a cappella by Ginger Rogers

Monday, November 8, 2010

Ginger Rogers was also a painter.

Not only was Ginger Rogers a wonderful actress and dancer. She also loved to paint. Please click Ginger Paintings to see some of her paintings.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Swing Time (1936).

John "Lucky" Garnett is a gambler and dancer who, after showing up late for his wedding to Margaret, is told by her father that he must earn $25,000, in order to show that he is serious about marrying his daughter.. Lucky and his friend Cardetti catch the first train to New York, where Lucky meets Penny, a dance school instructor, and immediately falls in love with her. They are successful in the casino and on the dance floor.

SWING TIME, is the sixth teaming of Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers. I thought Swing Time was one of their most lavish and stylish films, with some wonderful songs and dance numbers.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Fred and Ginger - Swing Time

Ginger Rogers Career Highlights:

In 1984, at age 74, Ginger directed her first stage musical, Babes In Arms.

She was a fashion consultant for the JCPenney chain from 1972-75.

In March 1965, Ginger performed in her last movie, Harlow, based on the life of actress Jean Harlow. Fun Fact: The part of Mama Jean Bello initially had been accepted by Judy Garland, who then had second thoughts about the quality of the film and withdrew before filming started. Next, Eleanor Parker, went quickly in and out prior to shooting.

Ginger starred in her first British film, Twist of Fate, in 1953.

In November of 1951 she was on the cover of Life Magazine for the fourth time.

In 1940 she won an Oscar as the Best Actress in a Leading Role for her performance in Kitty Foyle. A story about a woman named, Kitty Foyle, who& was an executive at Delphine Detaille's fashion house. Kitty meets wealthy Wyn Strafford, who offers her a job at his magazine. The two fall in love, but Wyn does not have the courage to break from his family. After her father's death, Kitty goes to New York, where she begins to date Mark. Wyn comes back into Kitty's life, and the two are married. Kitty forces Wyn to make a choice between herself or his family. What does Kitty's future hold for her?

She appeared for the first time on the cover of LIFE magazine with Fred Astaire in the August 1938 edition.

In 1936 she was invited to the White House to meet President Franklin D. Roosevelt during his birthday celebration.

A 20 year old Ginger Rogers was in her first Hollywood film, The Tip Off, in 1931.

In 1930, starring in Broadway musical Girl Crazy, Ginger was making $1000/week at the beginning of the Great Depression.

In 1929 Ginger made her Broadway debut in Top Speed.

Ginger was the Texas State Charleston Champion in 1925, marking her stage debut.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Ginger Rogers Quotes:

When two people love each other, they don't look at each other; they look in the same direction."

"The only way to enjoy anything in this life is to earn it first."

"I don't know which I like best. I love the applause on the stage. But pictures are so fascinating - you reach many millions through them. And you make more money too."

"When you're happy, you don't count the years."

[On her partnership with Astaire] "After all, it's not as if we were Abbott and Costello. We did have careers apart from each other."

"The most important thing in anyone's life is to be giving something. The quality I can give is fun, joy and happiness. This is my gift."