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Reel-Important People is a monthly column that highlights those individuals in or related to the movies who have left us in recent weeks. Below you'll find names big and small and from all areas of the industry, though each was significant to the movies in his or her own way. Jacques Bergerac (1927-2014) - Actor. He starred in Gigi, The Hypnotic Eye, Les Girls and Twist of Fate, where he met first wife Ginger Rogers. He died on June 15. (THR) Ann B. Davis (1926-2014) - Actress. Best known for playing Alice on The Brady Bunch, she later had a cameo in The Brady Bunch Movie (see below) and appears as herself in The Naked Gun 33 1/3: The Final Insult. She died June 1. (THR) Peter de Rome (1924-2014) ...
- Christopher Campbell
Jacques Bergerac, a French actor who made a name for himself in film and TV and was wed to some of Hollywood’s most sought-after actresses during the 1950s and ’60s, has died. He was 87.
Bergerac died June 15 at his home in Anglet in the Pyrenees-Atlantiques region of southwest France, according to French media reports. The actor appeared in the cult horror film “Hypnotic Eye” and musical romantic comedy “Gigi” alongside Gene Kelly and Leslie Caron.
Bergerac gained his U.S. citizenship in 1963 and married Oscar-winning actress Ginger Rogers when he was 26. Rogers was 16 years his senior. He left his law studies behind in France and returned to the U.S. with Rogers to pursue a career in acting.
When they first met in France Rogers landed him a screen test at MGM, which led to a role in “Twist of Fate” in 1954 with him playing her onscreen boyfriend.
- Jordyn Holman
Jacques Bergerac, a dashing French actor who appeared in Les Girls with Gene Kelly and Gigi with Leslie Caron and made a habit of marrying Oscar-winning actresses, has died. He was 87. Bergerac died June 15 at his home in Anglet in the Pyrenees-Atlantiques region of southwest France, according to French media reports. Bergerac was married to Oscar-winning actresses Ginger Rogers (as the fourth of her five husbands, he was 26 years old, 16 years her junior, when they were wed) and Dorothy Malone (as the first of her three husbands). Bergerac also starred in the horror cult classic
- Mike Barnes
Wait, what?! Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich compared former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to Kim Kardashian on CNN's Crossfire on Tuesday, June 24. "You have to understand the problem Bill has," Gingrich started while discussing how former President Bill Clinton came out defending his wife, Clinton, who recently revealed they were "dead broke" when they left the White House. "Bill is to politics what Fred Astaire is to dancing, he is just automatically amazing and he wants to have Ginger Rogers out there dancing," the [...] »
Over at IndieWire Max O'Connell writes an impassioned essay about the terrible direction that keeps sinking movie musicals. While I do not agree that Clint Eastwood's Jersey Boys is the best-directed musical of the past 10 years (yikes!) the case is stronger than I was expecting that that is at least debatable.
Why does Hollywood have such a hard time making musicals?
Many of the essay's points are memorize / share worthy. I merely wish that Max didn't succumb to the tired notion that there simply aren't enough charismatic stars with musical theater chops for the genre to really be alive again. This notion is brought up nearly every time people talk about the state of the film musical (or when they're casting and have to defend strange choices) but it's just patently false.
Here's that bit of the otherwise stellar article:
Maybe there aren't enough modern equivalents to Gene Kelly, »
- NATHANIEL R
Q: “What are the grounds for divorce in this state? “
No – it’s not the Richard Gere/ Susan Sarandon film from 2004. That was a remake of the same-named 1996 Japanese film. Both of those films had grammatically correct titles ending in question marks but this is The Hi-Pointe’s Classic Film Series so of course it’s the 1937 Shall We Dance starring the great team of Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers.
In Shall We Dance Fred Astaire played Peter Peters, an American ballet dancer who’s known as Petrov. He wants to blend classical ballet with modern jazz, and when he sees the picture of tap dancer Linda Keene (Ginger Rogers of course), he immediately falls in love with her. Before they know it, they’re married. Or at least the press thinks so. Shall We Dance was the seventh of the ten Astaire-Rogers movie. This confection has the »
- Tom Stockman
Written and directed by Jacques Demy
Gene Kelly, Fred Astaire, Ginger Rogers, Busby Berkeley, Vincente Minnelli, Arthur Freed: names synonymous with the movie musical. Missing from this standard list is a key contributor to the form, the French director Jacques Demy. Perhaps part of the reason for his widespread unfamiliarity, even to those who adore the genre, is that Demy only directed a handful of musicals in his entire career. It’s also likely that the musical is simply thought of as an American type of movie, and therefore, “foreign” practitioners don’t quite warrant similar attention. In either case, Demy did amplify the genre with at least two major works, one of them the recipient of the Palme d’Or at the 1964 Cannes Film Festival. The Umbrellas of Cherbourg, which also received four Academy Award nominations (at least some American love there), is not just an exceptional musical, »
- Jeremy Carr
As we continue on, I need to once again clarify that if this list was “Joshua Gaul’s 50 Favorite Movie Musicals,” it’d be a quite a different list. But, if my tastes determined what is definitive, I’d be asking you all to consider Aladdin as a brilliant piece of filmmaking and wax nostalgic about my love for Batteries Not Included and Flight of the Navigator (not for the musicals list, of course). Much to my dismay, my tastes are not universal. I’d like to think my research methods are.
courtesy of themoviescene.co.uk
30. Annie (1982)
Directed by John Huston
Signature Song: “Tomorrow” (http://youtu.be/Yop62wQH498)
Originally a 1924 comic strip, the beloved stage musical about a red-haired orphan girl was brought to the big screen in 1982 and directed by John Huston (yes, that John Huston – director of The Maltese Falcon and The African Queen, not to »
- Joshua Gaul
Mickey Rooney dead at 93: Four-time Oscar nominee, frequent Judy Garland co-star may have had the longest film career ever (photo: Mickey Rooney ca. 1940) Mickey Rooney, four-time Academy Award nominee and one of the biggest domestic box-office draws during the studio era, died of "natural causes" on Sunday, April 6, 2014, at his home in the Los Angeles suburb of North Hollywood. The Brooklyn-born Rooney (as Joseph Yule Jr., on September 23, 1920) had reportedly been in ill health for some time. He was 93. Besides his countless movies, and numerous television and stage appearances, Mickey Rooney was also known for his stormy private life, which featured boozing and gambling, some widely publicized family infighting (including his testifying in Congress in 2011 about elder abuse), his filing for bankruptcy in 1962 after having earned a reported $12 million (and then going bankrupt again in 1996), his eight marriages — including those to actresses Ava Gardner, Martha Vickers, and Barbara Ann Thomason »
- Andre Soares
Screwball comedy movies, rare screenings of epic box office disaster: Library of Congress’ Packard Theater in April 2014 (photo: Cary Grant and Irene Dunne in ‘The Awful Truth’) In April 2014, the Library of Congress’ Packard Campus Theater in Culpeper, Virginia, will celebrate Hollywood screwball comedy movies, from the Marx Brothers’ antics to Peter Bogdanovich’s early ’70s homage What’s Up, Doc?, a box office blockbuster starring Barbra Streisand and Ryan O’Neal. Additionally, the Packard Theater will present a couple of rarities, including an epoch-making box office disaster that led to the demise of a major studio. Among Packard’s April 2014 screwball comedies are the following: Leo McCarey’s Duck Soup (Saturday, April 5) — actually more zany, wacky, and totally insane than merely "screwball" — in which Groucho Marx stars as the recently (un)elected dictator of Freedonia, abetted by siblings Harpo Marx and Chico Marx, in addition to Groucho’s perennial foil, »
- Andre Soares
Episode 13 of 52 wherein Anne Marie screens all of Katharine Hepburn's films in chronological order.
Hallelujah! Katharine Hepburn has arrived! From the ashes of Quality Street she rises, patrician and perfect. After 12 weeks of inconsistent performances, to suddenly be confronted with Kate in all her Mid-Atlantic, New England-born, iron spined, pants-wearing glory is a downright religious experience. And lo, Katharine Hepburn did star in a Kaufman and Ferber adaptation, and it was good.
Stage Door is the limelight dramedy of a gaggle of Broadway hopefuls living at the fictional Footlights Club in New York. The original play was an ensemble piece, but director Gregory La Cava and writer Morrie Ryskind remade the the movie in the image of its stars. Ginger Rogers, then between musical blockbusters, »
- Anne Marie
Here’s a bit of justified promotion for an event you will absolutely want to see: fashion historian, DJ for Jazz FM, author and Clothes on Film contributor, Amber Jane Butchart, teams up with your very own editor, Christopher Laverty, for an exquisite evening entitled Puttin’ on the Glitz on 28th March in London.
Taking place at the sumptuous, gorgeous, you-really-should-have-been-there-by-now British Library, Amber and Christopher present two separate talks pertaining to the 1920/30’s Jazz Era before coming together to answer questions from the audience. After that, there will be cocktails and period frivolities courtesy of The Vintage Mafia. It all starts at 6.30 pm and finishes around 10.30, so plenty of time to be entertained, educated, and tipsy.
The beautiful British Library is about five minutes walk from King’s Cross and St. Pancras International train stations. Full details on the library website.
The following press release is pulled directly from the British Library website, »
- Lord Christopher Laverty
Adam Sandler and Drew Barrymore dropped by "The Tonight Show" on Wednesday to promote what will be their third movie together, "Blended," due out in May. To recognize that milestone, the pair sang a duet about their proclivity for pairing up onscreen every decade or so, or as Barrymore put it, "Every ten years, we get to fall in love again."
Accompanied on guitar by host Jimmy Fallon, Sandler and Barrymore serenaded each other with compliments, with Barrymore calling Sandler "the Fred [Astaire] to my Ginger Rogers," and Sandler admitting that the first time he met Barrymore, the actress "gave me a hug, and I got a boner."
The song itself isn't too great from a melody standpoint, but it's a sweet reminder of the pair's onscreen chemistry and real-life friendship. Sandler even ended the song with a sweet callback to one of the greatest musical moments from "The Wedding Singer, »
- Katie Roberts
Why does cinema favor the mad woman? It's easy to see why Oscar does: roles like Jasmine French give an actress space to not only chew but swallow and spit up scene after scene. Cate Blanchett will almost certainly win Best Actress this year for her frittered, diabolical performance in "Blue Jasmine" as cinema's archetypical woman-on-the-verge: that pill-popping, martini-swilling mad Medea who men fear and women sometimes dream of (being? playing? escaping into?).Thus, here are eight classic Oscar snubs in the Best Actress category. Bow down to Gena Rowlands in "A Woman Under the Influence." Watch clips after the jump. Also, check out our Toh! feature on eight scene-stealing female performances from 2013.1940 Who Won: Ginger Rogers ("Kitty Foyle") Who Should've Won: Joan Fontaine ("Rebecca") Who Was Nominated: Bette Davis ("The Letter"), Katharine Hepburn ("The Philadelphia Story"), Martha Scott ("Our Town") Hitchock's delirious and deliciously twisted English gothic »
- Ryan Lattanzio
Review by Sam Moffitt
I never was a fan of Shirley Temple, far from it. I do recall seeing most of her movies years ago. Back in the Sixties Channel 11, in St. Louis, used to have a Shirley Temple Theater on weekend afternoons. My sister Judy, for some reason, had to watch those Shirley Temple films. So I can recall seeing Bright Eyes, the Little Colonel, Heidi, Little Miss Marker and what have you.
To say I was not impressed would be a major understatement. Even as a young kid I realized there was a strict formula to Shirley’s movies, namely her sunny disposition and optimistic outlook would win over cranky old adults and straighten out bratty little kids, who were usually the villains, in her films, and that was about all.
I do recognize and respect Shirley Temple’s place in film history. She was the biggest star »
- Movie Geeks
Episode 7 of 52 wherein Anne Marie screens all of Katharine Hepburn's films in chronological order.
In which we ignore the movie for a beauty break
Question: Does anybody know what “Break of Hearts” means? I’m guessing it was 30’s slang for “recycled romance plotline.” Break of Hearts is another tired story which follows the predictable cycle of heartbreak and forgiveness between the Ambitious Girl (Kate) and the Troubled Artist (Charles Boyer). But who cares?
The real joy in this film is the costume design by Bernard Newman, the Rko designer responsible for every bizarrely wonderful dress Ginger Rogers wore in Top Hat and Swingtime. This is the only time Newman costumed Kate, so let us take a moment to appreciate Hepburn’s most enjoyable gowns since that moth number in Christopher Strong. [More...]
- Anne Marie
Cherubic child star of the 1930s who returned to public life as a Us diplomat
From 1934 to 1938, when she was at the height of her fame, Shirley Temple (later known as Shirley Temple Black), who has died aged 85, appeared in films as a bright-eyed, curly-topped, dimpled cherub, whose chirpy singing and toddler's tap dancing were perfect antidotes to the depression. "During this depression, when the spirit of the people is lower than at any other time, it is a splendid thing that, for just 15 cents, an American can go to a movie and look at the smiling face of a baby and forget his troubles," Franklin D Roosevelt stated in 1935, referring to the world's biggest and littlest star.
- Ronald Bergan
Shirley Temple dead at 85: Was one of the biggest domestic box office draws of the ’30s (photo: Shirley Temple in the late ’40s) Shirley Temple, one of the biggest box office draws of the 1930s in the United States, died Monday night, February 10, 2014, at her home in Woodside, near San Francisco. The cause of death wasn’t made public. Shirley Temple (born in Santa Monica on April 23, 1928) was 85. Shirley Temple became a star in 1934, following the release of Paramount’s Alexander Hall-directed comedy-tearjerker Little Miss Marker, in which Temple had the title role as a little girl who, left in the care of bookies, almost loses her childlike ways before coming around to regenerate Adolphe Menjou and his gang. That same year, Temple became a Fox contract player, and is credited with saving the studio — 20th Century Fox from 1935 on — from bankruptcy. Whether or not that’s true is a different story, »
- Andre Soares
Shirley Temple, the child star phenomenon of the 1930s who went on to a career in international diplomacy, died Tuesday in California at age 85.
A statement from her family provided to news organizations said she died at home in Woodside, Calif., of natural causes. “She was surrounded by her family and caregivers,” the BBC quoted the statement as saying. “We salute her for a life of remarkable achievements as an actor, as a diplomat, and… our beloved mother, grandmother [and] great-grandmother.”
A string of non-stop hits starting with “Little Miss Marker” in 1934 and continuing with such films as “Captain January,” “Poor Little Rich Girl” and “Wee Willie Winkie” captured Depression-era America’s heart, keeping the troubled 20th Century Fox solvent.
The dimpled, blonde, curly-headed Temple was the nation’s top box office attraction from 1935-38 and one of the nation’s top wage earners. Reflecting the extent of her popularity, she »
- Richard Natale
Pre-Code Hollywood studios spent millions transitioning their medium to sound and other new technologies that brought about major advances in photography, lighting, and set design. But there were still five million unemployed people in the United States and many more just getting by. The studios were losing money, many of them going bankrupt.
By 1930 the breadlines were longer than the ticket lines and people were slow to give up their hard earned money. They wanted to be entertained, they wanted to laugh and forget their troubles for just a while. Comedies, adventure, and musicals quickly became the most popular film genres of the time.
I. Pre-Code Action, Adventure, and Drama
Hollywood took their stories to the far corners of the earth as places like Africa, the South Pacific, and the Far East became exotic settings for movies. An island kingdom somewhere in the Pacific with strange creatures, even stranger natives, »
- Gregory Small
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