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More Movie Musicals: 100 Best Films plus 20 "B" Pix

More Movie Musicals: 100 Best Films plus 20 "B" Pix

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More Movie Musicals: 100 Best Films plus 20 "B" Pix

511 pagine
6 ore
Apr 12, 2011


The musicals detailed in this large-format book of 260 pages, range from best-loved movies like "An American in Paris", "The Great Caruso" and "South Pacific"; through personal favorites like "The Band Wagon", "Calamity Jane", "Deep In My Heart", "The Emperor Waltz", "Footlight Parade", "Fra Diavolo", "Hollywood Hotel", "Lillian Russell", "Make Mine Music", "One Night With You", "Roman Scandals", "Rose Marie", "State Fair", "Whoopee!" and "You Can't Have Everything"; to cult classics such as "Animal Crackers", "Birth of the Blues", "Carefree", "Dancing Lady", "Destry Rides Again", "Diplomaniacs", "Down to Earth", "Falling for You", "Girl Crazy", "Heat Wave", "Hollywood Party", "The Inspector General", "Kid from Brooklyn", "King Arthur Was a Gentleman", "King Creole", "Melody for Two", "No Limit", "Panama Hattie", "Road to Singapore", "Sabrina" and "That's Entertainment". The author is not only highly informative and entertaining, he even betrays a well-developed spirit of fun. He has written not only an invaluable -- indeed an essential -- reference book, but a fun book!

Apr 12, 2011

Informazioni sull'autore

Author of over 100 full-length books, of which around 60 are currently in print, John Howard Reid is the award-winning, bestselling author of the Merryll Manning series of mystery novels, anthologies of original poetry and short stories, translations from Spanish and Ancient Greek, and especially books of film criticism and movie history. Currently chief judge for three of America's leading literary contests, Reid has also written the textbook, "Write Ways To Win Writing Contests".

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More Movie Musicals - John Howard Reid


100 Best Films plus 20 B Pix

John Howard Reid


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John Howard Reid at Smashwords

Copyright (c) 2011 by John Howard Reid


All rights reserved. Without limiting the rights under copyright reserved above, no part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in or introduced into a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form, or by any means (electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, or otherwise) without the prior written permission of both the copyright owner and the above publisher of this book.

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Copyright 2011 by John Howard Reid. All rights reserved.




CinemaScope One: Stupendous in ‘Scope

CinemaScope Two: 20th Century Fox

CinemaScope 3: Hollywood Takes the Plunge

Books in the Hollywood Classics series:

1. New Light on Movie Bests

2. B Movies, Bad Movies, Good Movies

3. Award-Winning Films of the 1930s

4. Movie Westerns: Hollywood Films the Wild, Wild West

5. Memorable Films of the Forties

6. Popular Pictures of the Hollywood 1940s

7. Your Colossal Main Feature Plus Full Support Program

8. Hollywood’s Miracles of Entertainment

9. Hollywood Gold: Films of the Forties and Fifties

10. Hollywood B Movies: A Treasury of Spills, Chills & Thrills

11. Movies Magnificent: 150 Must-See Cinema Classics

12. These Movies Won No Hollywood Awards

13. Movie Mystery & Suspense

14. America’s Best, Britain’s Finest

15. Films Famous, Fanciful, Frolicsome and Fantastic

16. Hollywood Movie Musicals

17. Hollywood Classics Index Books 1-16

18. More Movie Musicals

19. Success in the Cinema

20. Best Western Movies

21. Great Cinema Detectives

22. Great Hollywood Westerns

23. Science-Fiction & Fantasy Cinema

24. Hollywood’s Classic Comedies

25. Hollywood Classics Title Index to All Movies Reviewed in Books 1-24

Mystery, Suspense, Film Noir and Detective Movies on DVD: A Guide to the Best in Cinema Thrills

Silent Films & Early Talkies on DVD: A Classic Movie Fan’s Guide

WESTERNS: A Guide to the Best (and Worst) Western Movies on DVD

British Movie Entertainments on VHS and DVD: A Classic Movie Fan’s Guide


Table of Contents


American in Paris (1951)

Animal Crackers (1930)

Anything Goes (1936)

Artists and Models (1955)


Babes on Broadway (1941)

Band Wagon (1953)

Bathing Beauty (1944)

Billboard Girl (1932)

Birds and the Bees (see Three Daring Daughters)

Birth of the Blues (1941)

Blue Montana Skies (1939)

Blue of the Night (1932)

Bogus Bandits (see Fra Diavolo)

Bohemian Girl (1936)

Broadway Melody of 1940 (1940)


Calamity Jane (1953)

Carefree (1938)

Case of the Missing Hare (1941)

Christmas Toyland (see Midnight in a Toyshop)

Cinderella (1950)

Cocoanut Grove (1938)

College Swing (1938)

Colorado Sunset (1939)

Come On, George (1939)

Concerto (see I’ve Always Loved You)

Crockett-Doodle-Do (1959)


Dancing Lady (1933)

Deep In My Heart (1954)

Destry Rides Again (1939)

Devil’s Brother (see Fra Diavolo)

Diplomaniacs (1933)

Double Dynamite (1951)

Down Missouri Way (1946)

Down To Earth (1947)

Dream House (1932)


Elena et les Hommes (see Paris Does Strange Things)

Emperor Waltz (1938)

Escape of Princess Charming (see Princess Charming)


Falling for You (1933)

Footlight Glamour (1943)

Footlight Parade (1933)

For You Alone (see When You’re In Love)

Fra Diavolo (1933)


Girl Crazy (1943)

Give Me a Sailor (1938)

Great Caruso (1951)


Happiest Millionaire (1967)

Heat Wave (1935)

Hi, Gang! (1941)

High Note (1960)

Hillbilly Hare (1956)

Hollywood Canteen (1944)

Hollywood Hotel (1937)

Hollywood or Bust (1956)

Hollywood Party (1934)

Hollywood Revue of 1929 (1929)

How Do You Do (1945)


I’ll See You In My Dreams (1951)

Indian Love Call (see Rose Marie)

In Old Monterey (1939)

In Person (1935)

Inspector General (1949)

I Surrender, Dear (1931)

I Thank You (1941)

It Happened One Summer (see State Fair 1945)

It Started With Eve (1941)

I’ve Always Loved You (1946)


Kid from Brooklyn (1946)

King Arthur Was a Gentleman (1942)

King Creole (1958)

Kiss (1929)

Kissing Bandit (1948)


Let It Be Me (1936)

Lillian Russell (1940)

Lilli Marlene (1950)

Little Boy Lost (1953)

Little Dutch Mill (1934)

Luxury Liner (1948)


Magic Bow (1947)

Magic Fire (1956)

Major Lied Till Dawn (1938)

Make Mine Music (1946)

Melody for Two (1937)

Mexicali Rose (1939)

Midnight in a Toyshop (1930)

Million Dollar Mermaid (1952)

My Old Kentucky Home (1938)


Nancy Goes to Rio (1950)

New Faces of 1937 (1937)

New Moon (1940)

Night and Day (see Jack’s the Boy)

No Limit (1935)

Now That Summer Is Gone (1938)


Old Barn Dance (1938)

One More Chance (1931)

One Night With You (1948)

One-Piece Bathing Suit (see Million Dollar Mermaid)

On Your Toes (1939)


Painting the Clouds with Sunshine (1951)

Panama Hattie (1942)

Paris Does Strange Things (1956)

Prairie Moon (1938)

Princess Charming (1934)

Public Cowboy Number One (1937)


Quartet (1949)


Red Riding Hoodwinked (1955)

Rich, Young and Pretty (1951)

Road House (1935)

Road to Hollywood (1946)

Road to Singapore (1940)

Roll On Texas Moon (1946)

Roman Legion-Hare (1955)

Roman Scandals (1933)

Rose Marie (1936)

Rufus Jones for President (1933)


Sabrina {Fair} (1954)

Saga of Death Valley (1939)

Said O’Reilly to McNab (1937)

Sailing Along (1938)

Seven Hills of Rome (1958)

Sez O’Reilly to MacNab (sic) (see Said O’Reilly to McNab)

Show Business (1944)

Sing, You Sinners (1938)

Something in the Wind (1947)

Song of My Heart (1947)

Song of Russia (1943)

Song of Scheherazade (1947)

Song of the Buckaroo (1948)

Song to Remember (1945)

South Pacific (1958)

Star! (see Those Were the Happy Times)

Starlift (1951)

State Fair (1933)

State Fair (1945)

State Fair (1962)

Story of Three Loves (1953)

Story of Vernon and Irene Castle (1939)

Swing, Teacher, Swing (see College Swing)


Ten Thousand Bedrooms (1957)

That’s Entertainment (1974)

That’s Right, You’re Wrong (1939)

Three Daring Daughters (1936)

Three Daring Daughters Grow Up (1939)

Tip Tap Toe (1932)

Torch Song (1953)

Tops Is the Limit (see Anything Goes)

Traveling Saleswoman (1950)

Two Weeks With Love (1950)


Vagabond Lover (1929)

Viennese Nights (1930)

Virtuous Tramps (see Fra Diavolo)


Wedding of Lilli Marlene (1953)

We Must Have Music (1941)

When You’re In Love (1937)

When You’re Smiling (1950)

Whoopee! (1930)


You Can’t Have Everything (1937)


an American in Paris

Gene Kelly (Gerry Mulligan), Leslie Caron (Lise Bourvier), Oscar Levant (Adam Cook), Georges Guetary (Henri Borel), Nina Foch (Milo Roberts), Eugene Borden (Georges Mattieu), Martha Bamattre (Mathilde Mattieu), Mary Young (old woman dancer), Ann Codee (Therese), George Davis (Francois), Hayden Rorke (Tommy Baldwin), Paul Maxey (John McDowd), Dick Wessel (Ben Macrow), Don Quinn and Adele Coray (honeymoon couple), Lucian Planzoles, Christian Pasques and Anthony Mazola (boys with bubble gum), Jeanne Lafayette, Louise Laureau (nuns), Alfred Paix (postman), Noel Neill (American girl), Nan Boardman (maid), John Eldredge (Jack Jansen), Anna Q. Nilsson (Kay Jansen), Madge Blake (Edna Mae Bestram — customer), Art Dupuis (driver), Greg McClure (artist), André Charisse (dancing partner), Marie Antoinette Andrews (news vendor), Dudley Field Malone (Winston Churchill), Jean Romaine, Mary Jane French, Pat Dean Smith, Joan Barton, Ann Robin, Mary Ellen Gleason, Judy Landon, Beverly Thompson, Beverly Baldy, Angela Wilson, Sue Casey, Ann Brendon, Marietta Elliott, Lorraine Crawford, Lola Kenricks, Meredith Leeds, Marily Rogers, Pat Hall, Madge Journery Marlene Todd (Stairway girls), Mary Menzies, Svetlana McLee, Florence Brundage, Dee Turnell (furies), Harriet Scott, Janet Lavis, Sheila Myers, Lila Zali, Betty Scott, Eileen Locklin, Pat Sims, Linda Scott, Shirley Lopez, Shirley Glickman, Phyllis Sutter (place de la Concorde ensemble), Dick Lenner, Don Hulbert, John Stanley, Eugene Fuccati, Ray Weamer, Harvey Karels, Bert Madrid, Dick Landry, Rudy Silva, Rodney Beiber, Manuel Petroff, Robert Ames, Betty Hannon, Linda Heller, David Kasday, Marion Horosko, Pamela Wells, Dorothy Tuttle, Tommy Ladd, Albert Ruiz, Alex Goudovitch, Eric Freeman, Dick Humphries, Alan Cooke, John Gardner, Ricky Gonzales, Bill Chatham, Ernie Flatt, Ricky Riccardi, Graham Johnson, (firemen), Ernie Flatt, Alex Romero, Dick Humphries, Bill Chatham (four servicemen in Rousseau Place), Betty Scott, Shirley Lopez, Pat Sims, Dee Turnell, Sheila Myers, Janet Lavis (can-can dancers), Eleaner Vindever (Gaulou), Dick Lenner (Toulouse-Lautrec), Gino Corrado (Oscar Wilde), Alba No Valero (Aristide Briand).

Directed by VINCENTE MINNELLI from an original story and screenplay by Alan Jay Lerner based upon an idea by Arthur Freed. Photographed in Technicolor by Alfred Gilks. Ballet photographed by John Alton. Choreography: Gene Kelly. Music composed by George Gershwin, orchestrated by Conrad Salinger, and directed by Johnny Green and Saul Chaplin. Song lyrics: Ira Gershwin. Art directors: Cedric Gibbons and Preston Ames. Set decorators: Edwin B. Willis and Keogh Gleason. Ballet costumes designed by Irene Sharaff. Beaux Arts Ball costumes designed by Walter Plunkett. All other costumes designed by Orry-Kelly. Film editor: Adrienne Fazan. Technicolor color consultants: Henri Jaffa and James Gooch. Gene Kelly’s paintings by Gene Grant. Special photographic effects: Warren Newcombe and Irving G. Ries. Montage sequences: Peter Ballbusch. Make-up created by William Tuttle. Hair styles designed by Sydney Guilaroff. Songs and production numbers: An American In Paris (ballet) featuring Gene Kelly and Leslie Caron; Concerto in F (instrumental) featuring Oscar Levant; Our Love Is Here to Stay featuring Gene Kelly and Leslie Caron; I Got Rhythm featuring Gene Kelly and children; Embraceable You featuring Leslie Caron; ‘SWonderful featuring Gene Kelly and Georges Guetary; By Strauss featuring Gene Kelly, Georges Guetary and Oscar Levant; I’ll Build a Stairway to Paradise featuring Georges Guetary; Tra-la-la featuring Gene Kelly and Oscar Levant, Nice Work If You Can Get It. Lyrics for I’ll Build a Stairway to Paradise by E. Ray Goetz and B. G. DeSylva. Sound recording supervisor: Douglas Shearer. Sound mixer: Bill Steinkamp. Music co-ordinator: Lela Simone. 2nd unit director: Peter Ballbusch. 2nd unit photography: Geoffrey Faithfull. Mr Kelly’s assistant: Carol Haney. Additional art directors: Jack Martin Smith (the beaux arts ball), Irene Sharaff (the ballet). Technical advisor: Alan Antik. Assistant to the director: Jane Loring. Chief set painter: George Gibson. Chief sculptor: Henry Greutart. Western Electric Sound System. Producer: Arthur Freed.

Copyright 5 September 1951 by Loew’s Inc. A Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer picture. New York opening at the Radio City Music Hall: 4 October 1951 (ran 7 weeks). U.S. release: 9 November 1951. U.K. release: 24 December 1951. Australian release: 2 April 1952. 10,204 feet. 113 minutes.

SYNOPSIS: American painter in Paris falls for a young woman.

NOTES: M-G-M production number: 1501.

Negative cost: $2,723,903.

Total worldwide rentals gross to 1975: $8,050,000.

Initial domestic rentals gross: $4 million, which gave it the number 5 position at the U.S./Canadian box-office for 1952.

The movie took good money but did not make the top lists of box-office attractions overseas. The title itself of course was a liability so far as non-American audiences were concerned.

First and only Hollywood film of Georges Guetary.

Number 3 on the National Board of Review’s American Ten Best list.

Also number 3 in The Film Daily’s poll of American film critics for 1951.

In addition to the Special Awards to Arthur Freed and Gene Kelly, the film won prestigious Hollywood awards for Best Picture [defeating Decision before Dawn, A Place in the Sun, Quo Vadis, A Streetcar Named Desire], Best Story and Screenplay [defeating The Big Carnival, David and Bathsheba, Go for Broke, The Well], Color Cinematography [defeating David and Bathsheba, Quo Vadis, Show Boat, When Worlds Collide], Color Art Direction [defeating David and Bathsheba, On the Riviera, Quo Vadis, Tales of Hoffmann], Best Scoring of a Musical Picture [defeating Alice in Wonderland, The Great Caruso, On the Riviera, Show Boat], Best Color Costume Design won jointly by Orry-Kelly, Plunkett and Sharaff [defeating David and Bathsheba, The Great Caruso, Quo Vadis, Tales of Hoffmann].

The film was also nominated for Best Directing [won by George Stevens for A Place in the Sun], and Film editing [won by William Hornbeck for A Place in the Sun].

When the film was being edited for release, some musical numbers were deleted and minor cuts were made to tighten the picture. Kelly was sorry to see his favorite number eliminated. I’ve Got a Crush on You was a solo number to which he had given particular thought and attention. Love Walked In and But Not for Me, both Guetary solos, were also taken out of the film. The former held up the tempo in the early part of the picture and the latter didn’t play in the surrounding whirl of the Beaux Arts ball. At the ball some trims were made, especially in view of the long ballet that followed.

Shooting commenced 1 August 1950 and wrapped up on 8 January 1951, with one day of re-takes on 2 April 1951.

Whilst Kelly was rehearsing the final ballet, Minnelli directed a sequel to his Father of the Bride. On 6 December when Minnelli came back to shoot the ballet, he brought with him John Alton, his cameraman on Father’s Little Dividend. I regretted that I hadn’t had him for the whole film, says Minnelli. I think he is one of the greatest cameramen that I have ever worked with. Alton is very flexible; he doesn’t have a set mind like Gilks had, and he is capable of modifying his way according to the director’s indications.

This was Alton’s first Technicolor assignment. But even so, he had very definite ideas as to how to bring about certain color effects. The secret of the ballet’s photography, he says, "was the fumata (smoky) quality, which changed all the colors to pastel. In the ballet we used English color quality for the first time. I was inspired, like everybody else on the picture, by the electrical force Gershwin’s music generated. In my case this showed itself in the way I used light... We all worked like a team. Every morning we would rush to the studio, eager to do something, even ahead of time. We were just like kids going to the candy store. That’s how excited we were...."

Many of Alton’s colleagues believed that no-one could have shot the ballet the way he did: shooting directly into a light, or using less than the minimum light deemed necessary for a good negative. And others considered him to be a very arrogant man.

There was also a row with the electricians. They tried everything to stop his cutting down on lights, says Keogh Gleason. Alton could light properly and quickly. But the laboratories would say ‘It’s no good,’ because it was cutting down on the procedures. John also said he didn’t need any catwalks. That really blew the top off. Of some sixty lights, Alton would use only three or four, which cut down tremendously on labor. It’s a wonder he didn’t have a light dropped on him . . .

The ballet begins as Kelly sits by himself on a balcony at the Beaux Arts Ball, ignoring the revelry inside, and looks out over the vast scene of Paris at night. His thoughts and his associations with the city and its painters materialize for the audience. Throughout the ballet he continually sees and courts and loses the girl, moving through familiar Parisian locations, all in the style of the painters who have influenced him. The Place de la Concorde swirls with people in a background suggestive of Dufy; he spots the girl and pursues her — through the Renoir-like streets around the Madeleine flower market — through a gaudy fairground as Utrillo might have seen it — through the holiday throngs at the Jardins des Plantes, a favorite subject of Rousseau — and to the Place de L’Opéra, reflecting the art of Van Gogh, and finally to the Montmarte of Toulouse-Lautrec

VIEWERS’ GUIDE: Okay for all.

COMMENT: Because of a dispute between M-G-M and the newspaper I worked for over an unfavorable review (I forget what the movie was), I was not permitted to cover this film at the time of its release, so it was some twenty years before I saw it. All the same, I remember very distinctly how disappointed I felt when I missed the movie in 1952 and yet how I wondered what all the shouting had been about in 1972. For the film had captured no less than eight of 1951’s prestigious Hollywood awards: Best Picture, Best Story and Screenplay, Best Color Photography, Best Color Art Direction, Best Color Set Decoration, Best Color Costume Design, Best Score for a Musical Picture, and a Special Honorary Award for Gene Kelly in appreciation of his versatility as an actor, singer, director and dancer, and specifically for his brilliant achievements in the art of choreography on film.

Admittedly, the movie was handicapped for me by the presence of Gene Kelly himself. I concede that he is a brilliant (if extremely flashy) choreographer, an amazingly adroit dancer and a fairly imaginative director, but as a singer he is weak and as an actor he often displays many of the least likeable aspects of the American character: his brash, aggressive manner, his supreme self-confidence, his boastfulness and perhaps above all, his ingrained belief that the world owes him deference simply because he is an American. Unfortunately, these traits are in great evidence in An American In Paris.

Lacking sympathy for the central character, it is easy to see why the film failed to fully engage my attention back in 1972. I was not happy with the supporting characters either. As a singer, Georges Guetary belongs to the florid school, and as a personality, I do not remember him at all. And I much preferred glamorous Nina Foch (who is supposed to be the unsympathetic character) to gamin Leslie Caron (who is supposed to be the heroine). Oscar Levant is his usual amusing screen self.

The plot is slight and all-too-familiar but some of the songs are very catchy. On the other hand, I have never cared for the music of An American in Paris, which seems to me strident, forced, lacking in harmony and melody.

What impressed me most about the film in 1972 was its glittering color photography, its sumptuous sets and its dazzling costumes. I have no doubt that An American In Paris deserved the awards it won in these departments.

OTHER VIEWS: An American In Paris emerged as a surprise winner in the 1951 Hollywood awards’ sweepstakes, which had generally been regarded as a neck-and-neck race between A Streetcar Named Desire and A Place in the Sun. Perhaps a split in the votes had resulted in the statuette going to the Metro musical?

We selected each artist’s tone and felt for similar tone in the passages of the Gershwin score. For example, that one brassy section could have meant nothing else to us but Lautrec’s Chocolat and we all agreed immediately that the Walking Theme was most potently related to the lightly sketched style of Raoul Dufy. Our chief trouble was with the Rousseau, which being simply primitive, seemed even more so against the score. But we felt that to omit him would be a kind of misrepresentation, so we made the American tap-dance his way through a 4th of July celebration in Cohanesque manner, against the theme of the music, while Parisian revelry spins itself out around his figure.

— Gene Kelly in Dance Magazine.

The peak achievement of the American musical film of the ‘fifties and one of the most stunningly well-made and charming films of all time. This film, along with Everybody’s Cheering and On The Town, shows the talents of Gene Kelly as the greatest star/choreographer the cinema has produced. Here he plays Gerry Mulligan, a penniless artist living (naturally) in a garret in Paris surrounded by lovable eccentrics, chief among whom is the downstairs piano-player Oscar Levant at his most acid. Levant has a friend — Ivor Novello leading man Georges Guetary — Henri Borel, the toast (naturally) of the Paris night spots. He is about to marry his ward, Lise, who equally naturally falls for Kelly/Mulligan despite competition from the glamorous heiress with the big car who keeps after him.

This plot is merely a coat-hanger (though a very skilful one) on which to hang the production. Color, design, the M-G-M backlot settings which make an acceptable Paris (even for Parisians), and the Gershwin music are all as significant in forming the film as its script and dialogue (by one of the authors of My Fair Lady and Gigi—this film incidentally is one of the few movies of the cycle to have only one writer credit). The plot itself disappears completely in the magnificent, two-reel ballet at the climax.

In An American In Paris Minnelli has struck the perfect balance between the folksy charm of his early Under the Clock and Meet Me In St Louis and the striking color effects of less successful, later, straight films like Two Weeks In Another Town or Some Came Running. Like The Pirate and The Band Wagon, this film shows him as one of the great entertainers and one always wishes the formula could work again on other items like Bells Are Ringing and Goodbye Charlie.

Scene after scene is full of beautiful touches:— Caron in the cafe keeping a solemn face as Kelly clowns, the girl behind her bursting out with laughter at something completely different, Levant mixing cigarettes and coffee as the horrible truth dawns; the Black and White Ball which is just that — in a color film; that last barbed interchange between Levant and Nina Foch; and Kelly’s quite moving farewell, The more beautiful it all is, the more it will hurt because you’re not here to share it! — a line which really means something in a film as beautiful as this.

The photographic style is remarkable. The decor is improved by the use of transparencies — back-projected stills which, because they don’t move, don’t have to be restricted to 35 mm film, the larger plates giving much sharper detail and less grainy color saturation. The main film was shot by Alfred Gilks, a veteran cameraman whose work on the Sam Wood-Jackie Coogan Peck’s Bad Boy marked him as a superior craftsman as early as 1921. The dream sequence with its typical Minnellian use of colored light is credited to photographer John Alton who had never previously worked in color and whose award proved one of the most controversial to be given.

[Editor’s note: Failure of the Academy of Motion Arts and Sciences to acknowledge the often major contributions to color cinematography of color consultants, especially from the Technicolor company, had been a sore point for some time, but in 1952 the issue was pursued rather vigorously in some quarters, partly because of Alton’s lack of personal popularity among his fellow cinematographers.]

Each of the numbers requires comment. No other musical contains so many that are excellent. The formula of having Guetary sing while Kelly dances sustains the By Strauss and Love numbers perfectly. Kelly repeats his Living in a Big Way building site item as I Got Rhythm in the same mood, and his duet with Caron on the bank of the Seine as Our Love Is Here to Stay really does carry the plot as no words alone could. Her introduction in the multi-divided color image — she was just 20 at the time — is done to Levant’s Tra-la-la and the Gershwin number where he imagines himself playing all instruments before unwrapping the Coke in the champagne pot, are as good. Guetary’s Stairway to Paradise, however, belongs to another tradition of musical. The ballet itself with its rose motif, swirling colored smoke, solid fountains and enormous revolving mirrors is an achievement in itself and rumor has it that it was only inserted due to Nina Foch’s illness.

This film is the absolute triumph of form and craftsmanship in the cinema. It is difficult to imagine it being improved or surpassed. Rating: 100%.

— Barrie Pattison.

OTHER REFERENCES: The Musical Film by Douglas McVay (Zwemmer, London/Barnes, New York, 1967); Gotta Sing, Gotta Dance by John Kobal (Hamlyn, London/New York, 1970); The World of Entertainment by Hugh Fordin (Doubleday, New York, 1975); The Films of Gene Kelly by Tony Thomas (Citadel, Secaucus, 1974); Directed by Vincente Minnelli by Stephen Harvey (Museum of Modern Art, New York, 1989); The Magic Factory by Donald Knox (1973); The Best of M-G-M by James Robert Parish and Gregory Mank (Arlington House, Westport, 1981).


Animal Crackers

Groucho Marx (Captain Jeffrey T. Spaulding), Harpo Marx (Professor), Chico Marx (Emanuel Ravelli), Zeppo Marx (Horatio Jamison), Margaret Dumont (Mrs Rittenhouse), Lillian Roth (Arbella Rittenhouse), Louis Sorin (Roscoe W. Chandler), Hal Thompson (John Parker), Margaret Irving (Mrs Whitehead), Kathryn Reece (Grace Carpenter), Robert Greig (Hives), Edward Metcalf (Inspector Hennessey), The Music Masters (six footmen), Ann Roth (girl).

Directed by VICTOR HEERMAN from a screenplay by Morrie Ryskind. Script continuity: Pierre Collings. Based on the 1928 musical play Animal Crackers by George S. Kaufman, Bert Kalmar, Morrie Ryskind and Harry Ruby. Photography: George Folsey. Songs, Why Am I So Romantic? (sung by Lillian Roth), Hooray for Captain Spaulding! by Bert Kalmar and Harry Ruby; Collegiate by Moe Jaffe and Nat Bonx; Some of These Days by Sheldon Brooks. Music arranged by John W. Green. Producer: Jesse L. Lasky. Sound recording: Ernest F. Zatorsky. Movietone Sound System.

Copyright 6 September 1930 by Paramount Publix Corp. U.S. release date: 6 September 1930. (10 reels). (8,897 feet). (99 minutes). Filmed at Paramount’s Astoria Studios, Long Island, New York. Opened in New York at the Rialto: 28 August 1930.

SYNOPSIS: A valuable painting is stolen from the Long Island home of Mrs Rittenhouse, a leading society matron. Captain Geoffrey T. Spaulding (Jeffrey in the credits, but Geoffrey in the movie) investigates.

NOTES: One of the top twelve domestic box-office attractions of 1930.

COMMENT: A filmed stage play with very long takes, theatrical and sound effects, topical references to the Theatre Guild and its programs, and no reverse camera angles. Everything is filmed from a stage audience’s point-of-view. The camera rarely moves, and the editing largely consists of substituting a two-shot for a four-shot. The acting is lively, the musical interludes are pleasant. Miss Roth is seen to better advantage as the film progresses. By present-day standards, the script is not very funny. Some of the puns are too atrocious (spinach for Spanish), but some sequences are very amusing. The film seems better in retrospect, when one remembers the best lines and situations. In all, the film is a bit disappointing after The Cocoanuts, but it is still good entertainment and must viewing for Marxian fans.

OTHER VIEWS: The laughs are wider-spaced in this, the second-released Marx Brothers’ film, though there are enough of them to make it rewarding for enthusiasts. The technical side is undistinguished.

— B.P.

A curate’s egg of a movie: — very funny (Spaulding’s African adventures), very entertaining (all the musical numbers including recitals by Chico and Harpo, Groucho’s wonderfully zany Spaulding side-stepping dance, and Miss Roth’s most appealing rendition of Why Am I So Romantic? which becomes a duet with Thompson and which Harpo then so engagingly reprises) in parts; rather tedious (many of the monologues and non-sequiturs) and dated (the Strange Interlude asides) in others.

The players are nothing if not enthusiastic, including the vivacious Miss Roth (her sister is easy to spot in the line-up of swimming-costumed cuties), and it’s always a great pleasure to see Margaret Dumont and Robert Greig, especially when they have lots of crazy material and business as here. Sorin is too dull to capture interest, and Mr Thompson too boy-next-door slick. But all the Brothers Marx, including the put-upon and not over-present Zeppo, have a grand time.


Anything Goes

Bing Crosby (Billy Crocker), Ethel Merman (Rena Sweeney), Charles Ruggles (Reverend Dr Moon), Ida Lupino (Hope Harcourt), Grace Bradley (Bonnie Le Tour), Arthur Treacher (Sir Evelyn Oakleigh), Robert McWade (Elisha J. Whitney), Richard Carle (Bishop Dobson), Margaret Dumont (Mrs Wentworth), Edward Gargan (detective), Jerry Tucker (Junior), Harry Wilson, Matt McHugh, Bud Fine (pug uglies), Billy Dooley (ship’s photographer), Matt Moore (ship’s captain), Rolfe Sedan (bearded man), and Dennis O’Keefe, Pat Collins, Jack Mulhall and Chill Wills and the Avalon Boys.

Director: LEWIS MILESTONE. Screenplay: Guy Bolton, Howard Lindsay, Russel Crouse. Based on the stage play by Howard Lindsay and Russel Crouse. Music and lyrics: Cole Porter. Photography: Karl Struss. Film editor: Eda Warren. Art director: Hans Dreier. Dances staged by LeRoy Prinz. Set decorations: A. E. Freudeman. Additional background music: Victor Young. Songs by Cole Porter: Anything Goes (Ethel Merman sings a few bars under the credits), I Get a Kick Out of You (Merman), You’re the Top (Merman and Crosby), There’ll Always Be a Lady Fair (Merman, Chill Wills and the Avalon Boys). Song by Hoagy Carmichael: Moonburn (Crosby). Songs by Frederick Hollander (music) and Leo Robin (lyrics): Am I Awake? (Crosby), My Heart and I (Crosby), Hopelessly in Love, Shangai-de-ho. Song by Richard Whiting (music) and Leo Robin (lyrics): Sailor Beware (Crosby). Additional song material: Edward Heyman. Copyright 10 January 1936 by Paramount Productions Inc. Presented by Adolph Zukor. Producer: Benjamin Glazer.

Released in the U.S. 24 January 1936. New York opening at the Paramount: 5 February 1936. Australian release: 22 April 1936. Sydney opening at the Prince Edward: 18 April 1936 (ran 2 weeks). 10 reels. 92 minutes.


SYNOPSIS: A runaway English heiress (Lupino) is pursued by a young American (Crosby) aboard a transatlantic liner. (A variant of It Happened One Night).

NOTES: Anything Goes, with a book by Guy Bolton and P.G. Wodehouse revised by Howard Lindsay and Russel Crouse, songs by Cole Porter and dances by Robert Alton, opened on Broadway in 1934. It starred Ethel Merman, William Gaxton, Victor Moore and Bettina Hall and ran for 420 performances. This was the vehicle in which Porter really made Ethel Merman a star.

— Thomas G. Aylesworth.

COMMENT: The director’s snappy editorial effects keep the film moving at a rapid pace. It is a pity that so many of Cole Porter’s songs were eliminated in favor of new numbers which are not nearly as memorable, but Ethel Merman plays with plenty of zest and Bing Crosby gives his usual smooth account of the leading male role. Ethel Merman was the star of the original Broadway production, but William Gaxton had the Crosby role and Victor Moore was the bogus reverend.

— G.A. and E.V.D.

OTHER VIEWS: When the musical was made into a film in 1936, only four of the original songs were kept, in addition to All Through the Night, which was used as background music only. The four were You’re the Top, I Get a Kick out of You, Anything Goes and There’ll Always Be a Lady Fair. In the ads, it was billed as "Cole Porter’s Anything Goes", but in fact it was 60 percent the work of Hoagy Carmichael, Frederick Hollander, Richard Whiting, Leo Robin and Edward Heyman. Eight Porter songs had been deep-sixed.

As far as the cast was concerned, Ethel Merman was in there pitching, re-creating her stage role as Reno Sweeney. But substituting Charles Ruggles for Victor Moore was a terrible mistake. And Bing Crosby was not the one to use in place of William Gaxton. In short, it lacked sparkle, and sparkle was the thing most needed to overcome the silliness of the plot.

Thomas G. Aylesworth in Broadway to Hollywood.


Artists and Models

Dean Martin (Rick Todd), Jerry Lewis (Eugene Fullstack), Shirley MacLaine (Bessie Sparrowbush), Dorothy Malone (Abigail Parker), Eddie Mayehoff (Murdock), Eva Gabor (Sonia), Anita Ekberg (Anita), George Foghorn Winslow (Richard Stilton), Jack Elam (Ivan), Herbert Rudley (secret service chief), Richard Shannon, Richard Webb (secret service agents), Alan Lee (Otto), Kathleen Freeman (Mrs Muldoon), Art Baker (himself), Emory Parnell (Kelly), Carleton Young (Colonel Drury), Nick Castle, Jr (specialty dancer), Steven Geray (scientist), Charles Evans (general) and Otto Waldis, Margaret Barstow, Martha Wentworth, Sara Berner, Ralph Dumke, Clancy Cooper, Mortimer Dutra, Frank Jenks, Mike Ross, Patti Ross, Ann McCrea, Glen Walters, Larri Thomas, Sharon Baird, Eve Meyer, Dale Hartleben, Mickey Little, Patricia Morrow, Sue Carleton, Tommy Summers, Max Power, Frances Lansing, Don Corey, Frank Carter, Dorothy Gordon, Rudy Makoul, Jeanette Miller.

Director: FRANK TASHLIN. Screenplay: Frank Tashlin, Hal Kanter, Herbert Baker. Adaptation: Don McGuire. Based on the stage play Rock-a-bye Baby! by Michael Davidson and Norman Lessing. Photographed in VistaVision and Technicolor by Daniel L. Fapp. Film editor: Warren Low. Art directors: Hal Pereira, Tambi Larsen. Set decorators: Sam Comer, Arthur Krams. Costumes: Edith Head. Make-up: Wally Westmore. Process photography: Farciot Edouart. Special photographic effects: John P. Fulton. Dialogue director: Rudy Makoul. Technicolor color consultant: Richard Mueller. Songs by Harry Warren (music) and Jack Brooks (lyrics): Artists and Models (Martin, reprised Martin and Lewis), The Lucky Song (Martin), Inamorata (Martin, reprised MacLaine), You Look So Familiar (Martin), When You Pretend (Martin, Lewis, MacLaine and chorus). [Deleted songs: When You Pretend was originally heard not just at the finale but as an early duet between Martin and Lewis; The Bat Lady, a MacLaine solo in which she sings, dances and clowns around]. Music arranged and conducted by Walter Scharf. Vocal arrangements: Norman Luboff. Musical numbers created and staged by Charles O’Curran. Assistant director: C. C. Coleman Jr. Sound recording: Hugo Grenzbach, Gene Garvin. Western Electric Sound System.

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