The Jolson Story (1946) - News Poster

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Rocketman (2019) – Review

Hey hard-rockin’ film fans, better hope the sound system at your local multiplex goes well past eleven because it’s musical biography time once more. Sure popular musicians have been recreated on screen through the years, Surprisingly the lives of Al Jolson and Fanny Brice inspired two hit films and a couple of sequels (The Jolson Story begat Jolson Sings Again while the great Streisand starred in Funny Girl then Funny Lady). Ah, but late 2018, a little over six months ago rock and roll ruled the box office (and garnered 4 Oscars) with the story of Queen in Bohemian Rhapsody. And a fictional music flick, the fourth iteration of A Star Is Born, inspired by real performers and showcasing the acting debut of a current music superstar, grabbed a gold statue and lots of filmgoers. Plus earlier this year Netflix got into the act with a “biopic” of those heavy metal hellions,
See full article at WeAreMovieGeeks.com »

Nita Bieber, Former Dancer, Actress and MGM Contract Player, Dies at 92

Nita Bieber, Former Dancer, Actress and MGM Contract Player, Dies at 92
Nita Bieber, a onetime dancer and actress who appeared with the Three Stooges in Rhythm and Weep, with Judy Garland in Summer Stock and with Tony Curtis in The Prince Who Was a Thief, has died. She was 92.

Bieber died Monday in Rancho Palos Verdes, California, her son, Rocky, told The Hollywood Reporter.

A graduate of Hollywood High, Bieber also appeared as a dancer in The Jolson Story (1946), starring Larry Parks, and worked alongside the Bowery Boys in News Hounds (1947), with Jackie Cooper and Jackie Coogan in Kilroy Was Here (1947) and with Hedy Lamarr in A Lady Without Passport ...
See full article at The Hollywood Reporter »

Oscar flashback: Portraying a real-life musician could be key to winning

Oscar flashback: Portraying a real-life musician could be key to winning
Among this year’s leading Oscar contenders for Best Actor is Emmy winner Rami Malek (“Mr. Robot”) for his star turn as the late Freddie Mercury, the legendary lead vocalist of the rock band Queen, in “Bohemian Rhapsody.” Should Malek reap an Oscar bid, he will mark the 12th leading man to date recognized for his portrayal of a real-life musician.

First to achieve this feat was James Cagney, nominated for his lively depiction of Broadway composer and performer George M. Cohan in “Yankee Doodle Dandy” (1942). On Oscar night, Cagney was triumphant, scoring the lone Oscar of his storied career.

Later in the decade, a pair of actors earned recognition for portraying real-life musicians, the first being Cornel Wilde, up for his performance as Polish pianist Frederic Chopin in “A Song to Remember” (1945). The following year, Larry Parks was a nominee for portraying singer and actor Al Jolson in “The Jolson Story
See full article at Gold Derby »

Hollywood Choreographer Miriam Nelson Dies at 98

  • Variety
Hollywood Choreographer Miriam Nelson Dies at 98
Miriam Nelson, who worked extensivley as a choreographer during Hollywood’s golden age, died on Aug. 12 at her home in Beverly Hills, Calif., according to her longtime friend James Gray. She was 98.

Nelson was the choreographer for “Breakfast at Tiffany’s,” “The Jolson Story,” “Picnic,” “Hawaii,” “Bob & Carol & Ted & Alice,” and “The Apartment.” She also appeared as an actress in “Double Indemnity,” “Cover Girl,” “The Jolson Story,” “Breakfast at Tiffany’,” and “Pillow Talk.” Nelson choreographed the dancers on the opening day of Disneyland in 1955, two Academy Awards and two Super Bowl halftime shows.

Nelson was widely known for her enthusiasm for dancing. John Wayne once shouted to a group taking a break on set as she walked by, “Run for the hills, fellas! Or Miriam will make you dance!”

She was born Miriam Lois Frankel on Sept. 21, 1919, in Chicago and began tap dancing at a very young age.
See full article at Variety »

Sliff 2017 Review-dalida

Dalida screens as part of the 26th Annual Whitaker St. Louis International Film Festival On Saturday, November 4 at 9:30 Pm at Landmark’s Plaza Frontenac Cinemas. Click Here for ticket information. It screens again at the same venue on Sunday, November 5 at 2:30 Pm. Click Here for ticket information

We in the states have enjoyed biographies since the start of cinema, particularly those focusing in on popular stars. And of the show-biz bios, those of singers seem to attract film goers. In the late 1940’s Larry Parks was a sensation in The Jolson Story, so much so that he stepped in for Al in a sequel Jolson Sings Again. In more recent years Bobby Darrin’s life inspired Beyond The Sea and Jamie Foxx nabbed an Oscar as Mr. Charles in Ray. Surely this same genre has been done in other countries, say…France. Just 10 years ago Marion Cotillard snagged
See full article at WeAreMovieGeeks.com »

Stage Tube: On This Day for 5/26/15- Al Jolson

Happy Birthday Al Jolson Between 1911 and 1928, Jolson had nine sell-out Winter Garden shows in a row, more than 80 hit records, and 16 national and international tours. Although he's best remembered today as the star in the first full length talking movie, The Jazz Singer in 1927, he later starred in a series of successful musical films throughout the 1930s. After a period of inactivity, his stardom returned with the 1946 Oscar-winning biographical film, The Jolson Story. His Broadway credits include Hold on to Your Hats, The Wonder Bar, Big Boy, Artists and Models, Bombo, and many more.
See full article at BroadwayWorld.com »

Few Musicals Have Been Nominated for Adapted or Original Screenplay

By Anjelica Oswald

Managing Editor

Into the Woods, Disney’s adaptation of Stephen Sondheim and James Lapine’s Broadway musical, could land an Oscar nomination for its screenplay, which was adapted by Lapine. It may be a stretch for Into the Woods to land in the top five, though. Adapted — or even original — musical screenplays may be discounted for the music in the Oscar race, which might be why few musicals are nominated for adapted or original screenplay. Twelve musicals have been nominated for adapted screenplay since 1929, but 2002’s Chicago was the last musical to do so.

Adapted from Bob Fosse and Fred Ebb’s 1975 musical of the same name, Chicago won six of its 13 nominations, including best picture. It was the first musical since 1968’s Oliver! to win best picture, but its screenplay lost to The Pianist.

Carol Reed’s Oliver! was nominated for 11 Oscars and won five. It
See full article at Scott Feinberg »

Stage Tube: On This Day 5/26- Al Jolson

Happy Birthday Al Jolson Between 1911 and 1928, Jolson had nine sell-out Winter Garden shows in a row, more than 80 hit records, and 16 national and international tours. Although he's best remembered today as the star in the first full length talking movie, The Jazz Singer in 1927, he later starred in a series of successful musical films throughout the 1930s. After a period of inactivity, his stardom returned with the 1946 Oscar-winning biographical film, The Jolson Story. His Broadway credits include Hold on to Your Hats, The Wonder Bar, Big Boy, Artists and Models, Bombo, and many more.
See full article at BroadwayWorld.com »

Top 15 Movies of This Past Year: Do Audiences Really Want Original, Quality Stories?

Top box office movies of 2013: If you make original, quality films… (photo: Sandra Bullock has two movies among the top 15 box office hits of 2013; Bullock is seen here in ‘The Heat,’ with Melissa McCarthy) (See previous post: “2013 Box Office Record? History is Remade If a Few ‘Minor Details’ Ignored.”) As further evidence that moviegoers want original, quality entertainment, below you’ll find a list of the top 15 movies at the domestic box office in 2013 — nine of which are sequels or reboots (ten if you include Oz the Great and Powerful), and more than half of which are 3D releases. Disney and Warner Bros. were the two top studios in 2013. Disney has five movies among the top 15; Warners has three. With the exception of the sleeper blockbuster Gravity, which, however dumbed down, targeted a more mature audience, every single one of the titles below were aimed either at teenagers/very,
See full article at Alt Film Guide »

Philip French on Cinema Paradiso

Observer film critic Philip French explores the dreamlike qualities of the cinema

From early in the 20th century, cinemas became prominent features of the urban landscape and later, in the form of drive-ins, of the American countryside. As the late John Updike observed in his poem Movie House:

No windows intrude real light

Into this temple of shades, and the size of it,

The size of the great rear wall measures

The breadth of the dreams we have there.

It dwarfs the village bank,

Out looms the town hall,

And even in its decline

Makes the bright-ceilinged supermarket seem mean.

Very soon cinemas began to appear in the films themselves, as dream palaces to escape the world, trysting places for lovers, temporary refuges for fugitives, secret rendezvous for spies, or just places in which to work, most suggestively as that key cultural figure, the projectionist.

Gangster John Dillinger was ambushed
See full article at The Guardian - Film News »

Stage Tube: On This Day 5/26- Al Jolson

Happy Birthday Al Jolson Between 1911 and 1928, Jolson had nine sell-out Winter Garden shows in a row, more than 80 hit records, and 16 national and international tours. Although he's best remembered today as the star in the first full length talking movie, The Jazz Singer in 1927, he later starred in a series of successful musical films throughout the 1930s. After a period of inactivity, his stardom returned with the 1946 Oscar-winning biographical film, The Jolson Story. His Broadway credits include Hold on to Your Hats, The Wonder Bar, Big Boy, Artists and Models, Bombo, and many more.
See full article at BroadwayWorld.com »

Baseball Biopic Overperforming: Will Easily Top Domestic Weekend B.O. Chart

Baseball Biopic Surpassing Expectations: Will Easily Top Domestic B.O. Chart This Weekend Written and directed by Academy Award winner Brian Helgeland (L.A. Confidential screenwriter), and starring Chadwick Boseman as pioneering black baseball player Jackie Robinson and veteran Harrison Ford as the Brooklyn Dodgers' team executive Branch Rickey, the biopic 42 was the no. 1 movie at Friday's domestic box office; it'll surely be the weekend's top film, too. As per early, rough estimates found on the web site Deadline.com, the period drama will be the only movie grossing more than $20 million at the domestic box office. (See below more information about Scary Movie 5 and last weekend's holdovers.) (Pictured above are an unrecognizable Ford as the Brooklyn Dodgers' team executive Branch Rickey and Boseman wearing Robinson's baseball uniform.) The 42 movie brought in an estiamted $8.5 million at 3,003 U.S. and Canada venues on Friday (April 12) and by Sunday evening may possibly
See full article at Alt Film Guide »

What children want to be when they grow up: From the archive, 9 November 1950

Being a film star not high up on the list of 1950's children's career ambitions

Only 2 per cent of the boys and 5 per cent of the girls answered "Film actor" or "Film actress" to the question in a Government "quiz" on cinema-going "What would you most like to be when you grow up?" When they were asked which of sixteen film stars they would like to be nearly one in seven said "None." The children's ambitions were, on the whole, very practical, says the report, issued to-day, of a social survey made by the Central Office of Information in 1948 for the Departmental Committee on Children and the Cinema.

Answering the careers question, which was put only to children in the 10-15 age group, 58 per cent of the boys made "realistic" choices. So did 73 per cent of the girls. Compared with 36 per cent of the boys, only 15 per cent of the
See full article at The Guardian - Film News »

The 50 greatest matte paintings of all time

The art of the glass shot or matte painting is one which originated very much in the early ‘teens’ of the silent era. Pioneer film maker, director, cameraman and visual effects inventor Norman Dawn is generally acknowledged as the father of the painted matte composite, with other visionary film makers such as Ferdinand Pinney Earle, Walter Hall and Walter Percy Day being heralded as making vast contributions to the trick process in the early 1920’s.

Boiled down, the matte process is one whereby a limited film set may be extended to whatever, or wherever the director’s imagination dictates with the employment of a matte artist. In it’s most pure form, the artist would set up a large plate of clear glass in front of the motion picture camera upon which he would carefully paint in new scenery an ornate period ceiling, snow capped mountains, a Gothic castle or even an alien world.
See full article at Shadowlocked »

Stage Tube: On This Day 5/26- Al Jolson

Happy Birthday Al Jolson Between 1911 and 1928, Jolson had nine sell-out Winter Garden shows in a row, more than 80 hit records, and 16 national and international tours. Although he's best remembered today as the star in the first full length talking movie, The Jazz Singer in 1927, he later starred in a series of successful musical films throughout the 1930s. After a period of inactivity, his stardom returned with the 1946 Oscar-winning biographical film, The Jolson Story. His Broadway credits include Hold on to Your Hats, The Wonder Bar, Big Boy, Artists and Models, Bombo, and many more.
See full article at BroadwayWorld.com »

Betty Garrett obituary

Actor and singer known for her role as the Sinatra-chasing taxi driver Brunhilde Esterhazy in On the Town

The most famous role played by the all-round entertainer Betty Garrett, who has died aged 91, was Brunhilde Esterhazy, the taxi driver in Stanley Donen and Gene Kelly's musical On the Town (1949). In the film, she introduces herself to a shy sailor played by Frank Sinatra and asks him: "Why don't you come up to my place?" She is soon vigorously chasing him around her cab, rejecting any of his suggestions about what to see in New York with the rapid retort: "My place!"

In Take Me Out to the Ball Game (1949), Garrett had pursued Sinatra with equal zeal, assuring him by singing It's Fate, Baby, It's Fate. She also panted after Red Skelton in Neptune's Daughter (1949), begging him not to leave her apartment with the song Baby, It's Cold Outside.
See full article at The Guardian - Film News »

Betty Garrett obituary

Actor and singer known for her role as the Sinatra-chasing taxi driver Brunhilde Esterhazy in On the Town

The most famous role played by the all-round entertainer Betty Garrett, who has died aged 91, was Brunhilde Esterhazy, the taxi driver in Stanley Donen and Gene Kelly's musical On the Town (1949). In the film, she introduces herself to a shy sailor played by Frank Sinatra and asks him: "Why don't you come up to my place?" She is soon vigorously chasing him around her cab, rejecting any of his suggestions about what to see in New York with the rapid retort: "My place!"

In Take Me Out to the Ball Game (1949), Garrett had pursued Sinatra with equal zeal, assuring him by singing It's Fate, Baby, It's Fate. She also panted after Red Skelton in Neptune's Daughter (1949), begging him not to leave her apartment with the song Baby, It's Cold Outside.
See full article at The Guardian - TV News »

R.I.P. Betty Garrett (1919-2011)

I was saddened to learn this morning that Betty Garrett, the great star of stage, screen, and TV, passed away yesterday at the age of 94 after suffering an aortic aneurysm.

Garrett was one of those rare people — like, say, Jack Valenti — who happened to be a witness to and/or participant in a remarkably high number of historic events of the 20th century. She was a member of Orson Welles’s famed Mercury Theatre company, and was with him on the night that he shook up America with his infamous radio broadcast of “The War of the Worlds” (1938); she was Frank Sinatra’s leading lady in two of the earliest great M-g-m musical-comedies, “Take Me Out to the Ballgame” (1949) and “On the Town” (1949); her career was greatly hurt by the Hollywood Red Scare after her husband, the Oscar nominated actor Larry Parks, refused to name names before the House Committee
See full article at Scott Feinberg »

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