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20 items from 2011


Glasgow dances with the stars

16 December 2011 10:00 AM, PST | eyeforfilm.co.uk | See recent eyeforfilm.co.uk news »

Gene Kelly retrospective to feature at 2012 festival. Youth Festival details also announced.

"Gene Kelly led a one-man revolution in Hollywood that changed the screen musical forever," says Glasgow Film Festival director Allan Hunter, explaining why the fleet-fotted star of Singin' In The Rain will be the subject of a special retrospective at next February's event. Stars like Judy Garland, Cyd Charisse and Frank Sinatra will also feature in what is set to be a treat for dance fans. If you want to give it a go yourself, there'll even be a special Gene Kelly ceilidh!

The »

- Jennie Kermode

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MGM musicals: more stars than the heavens

9 December 2011 4:05 PM, PST | The Guardian - Film News | See recent The Guardian - Film News news »

Watching the best of the studio's output – Singin' in the Rain, Meet Me in St Louis – is to indulge in pure joyous artifice

Fred Astaire strolls into a toyshop with a walking stick and spats, whistling. He snatches an oversized Easter bunny from a small boy and proceeds to do a tap dance using a series of conveniently positioned props that happen to be lying around on the shop floor. "I'm plumb crazy for drums," he sings, for no obvious reason. Then he takes his bunny – without paying – and nonchalantly strolls out again.

This – a scene from Easter Parade (1948) – is the sort of thing that could only happen in the fantastical Technicolor world of the MGM musical. Such trifles as logical plot development and plausible human motivation have no place here. What matters is getting as quickly as possible to the next song and the next dance and letting the stars do their thing. »

- Bee Wilson

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MGM musicals: All singing, all dancing

10 November 2011 4:06 PM, PST | The Guardian - Film News | See recent The Guardian - Film News news »

MGM meant musicals for more than a decade after the second world war. David Thomson looks at a time when a little cheer at the movies was appreciated – and wonders if the same couldn't be said now

There had been musicals before. In the 1930s, as soon as sound permitted, Warner Brothers developed what we call the Busby Berkeley pictures: they were black and white, and often aware of the harsh Depression times, but a choreographic lather of girls and fluid, orgasmic forms where the camera was itching to plunge into the centre of the "big O" – think of Footlight Parade, Gold Diggers of 1933 or 42nd Street. They had aerial shots of waves and whirlpools of chorus girls, opening and closing their legs in time with our desire. A few years later, at Rko Pictures, the Astaire-Rogers films came into being – where the gravity, beauty, and exhilaration of the »

- David Thomson

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TCM Classic Film Festival To Open With Bob Fosse’s Cabaret

3 November 2011 2:02 PM, PDT | WeAreMovieGeeks.com | See recent WeAreMovieGeeks.com news »

Turner Classic Movies (TCM) will open the 2012 edition of the TCM Classic Film Festival with the world premiere of a new 40th anniversary restoration of Bob Fosse’s Cabaret (1972). TCM’s own Robert Osborne, who serves as official host for the festival, will introduce Cabaret to kick off the four-day, star-studded event, which will take pace Thursday, April 12 - Sunday, April 15, 2012, in Hollywood. Passes are set to go on sale Wednesday, Nov. 9, at 10 a.m. (Et) through the official festival website: http://www.tcm.com/festival.

One of the most acclaimed films of its era, Cabaret stars Oscar®-winner Liza Minnelli as an American singer looking for love and success in pre-World War II Berlin. Michael York and Academy Award® winner Joel Grey co-star in the film, which earned Fosse an Oscar for Best Director and serves as a perfect showcase for his unique choreography and imaginative visual style.

Cabaret »

- Michelle McCue

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15 Greatest Dance Movies of All Time!

15 October 2011 11:33 PM, PDT | Extra | See recent Extra news »

With the release of the remake "Footloose," we take a look back at 15 of the jazziest, coolest, hottest and smoothest dance movies ever released. Let's hit the dance floor!

15 All-Time Best Dance Movies"Dirty Dancing" (1987)

"Nobody puts Baby in a corner!" Spending the summer in the 1960s Catskills with her family, Baby (Jennifer Grey) learns a thing or two about dirty dancing and falls for the resort's dashing dancing teacher (Patrick Swayze).

"Strictly Ballroom" (1992)

Before »

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“Hollywood Home Movies III” And “Amateur Night” At The Academy

7 October 2011 2:46 PM, PDT | WeAreMovieGeeks.com | See recent WeAreMovieGeeks.com news »

Beverly Hills, CA . The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences will kick off a weekend of home movie-related events on Saturday, October 15, at noon, with “Home Movie Day: A Celebration of Amateur Films and Filmmaking.” At 7 p.m., the Academy will present “Hollywood Home Movies III: Treasures from the Academy Film Archive Collection,” and then on Sunday, October 16, at 7 p.m., the weekend will conclude with “Amateur Night: Home Movies from American Archives.” All three programs will take place at the Academy.s Linwood Dunn Theater in Hollywood.

Home Movie Day is a celebration of amateur films and filmmaking held annually on the third Saturday in October at many venues worldwide. These local events provide an opportunity for individuals and families to see and share their own home movies with an audience of their community, and to see their neighbors’ in turn. The Academy Film Archive organizes the Los Angeles-area event, »

- Michelle McCue

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The Camera Moves #2

5 October 2011 2:11 PM, PDT | MUBI | See recent MUBI news »

"Madame Bovary (1949) offers what is arguably the greatest of all of Minnelli’s parties, the musical and melodramatic set piece (over eight minutes long) of the ball at Vaubyessard.  The entire sequence is built upon a set of escalating visual and musical motifs: the play with fabric (with Emma’s ornate gown at the center of this), the contrasting rhythms and movements of the social dances (culminating with the eroticism of the waltz) and, most important, glass — the chandeliers, the glasses of alcohol, the mirror, and the windows.  In a moment of supreme delirium, these windows are eventually shattered by chair-wielding butlers in response to Emma’s anxiety about fainting due to the heat while she is waltzing.  In the midst of all this, Minnelli also establishes a contrast between the world of the visible (Emma as the center of attention, being looked at and admired by all, including herself »

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"The Complete Vincente Minnelli"

23 September 2011 1:18 PM, PDT | MUBI | See recent MUBI news »

Following its presentation in August, when the Ferroni Brigade was so taken with The Courtship of Eddie's Father (1963) they awarded it their Grey Donkey, Locarno's retrospective arrives in New York at BAMcinématek as The Complete Vincente Minnelli, opening today and running through November 2.

"Filmmakers as diverse as Chris Marker, Alain Resnais, Spike Lee, Terence Davies, Amos Gitai, Quentin Tarantino and Apichatpong Weerasethakul have expressed admiration for his work," writes Joe McElhaney in Alt Screen. "Richard Linklater has repeatedly stated that Minnelli's small-town melodrama, Some Came Running (1958), is his favorite film. A Personal Journey with Martin Scorsese Through American Movies (1995), a four-hour documentary tour of Scorsese's favorite American films, is filled with extended Minnelli excerpts, as is Jean-Luc Godard's far more ambitious project Histoire(s) du cinéma (ongoing since 1989), a complex video meditation on the very nature of the moving image." Overall, this series "is not really about being a completist, »

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‘So You Think You Can Dance,’ Season 8 Finale, Part One

10 August 2011 7:21 PM, PDT | Speakeasy/Wall Street Journal | See recent Speakeasy/Wall Street Journal news »

Fox Janette Manrara and Marko Germar on “So You Think You Can Dance

We’re down to the top four, and the final two shows! The four will dance solos, partner with All-Stars, dance with each other, and have mini-interviews with Cat.

Who will be crowned America’s favorite dancer? Tonight’s your last chance to vote!

Cat’s in a strapless, blingy, sparkly dress, with her hair up and red lipstick. And, for once, even the hemline is very nice. »

- Gwen Orel

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Judy Fest: "The Harvey Girls"

8 August 2011 4:15 PM, PDT | FilmExperience | See recent FilmExperience news »

Silly me. I had the greatest time at the Judy Garland festival at Lincoln Center this week and the movie I didn't write about Presenting Lily Mars was probably my favorite viewing experience. Rent it! Judy was just so funny in it, it was really charming and I liked her chemistry with Van Heflin (I confess I had to look him up since Shane had slipped my mind and I'd never seen his Best Supporting Actor Oscar performance for Johnny Eager (1941). Have any of you seen that one? Is it worth checking out?

But enough about Lily Mars... on to Judy in another incarnation. The Lincoln Center portion of the festival ends tomorrow though the celebration continues at the Paley Center for Television (since Judy did a lot of variety work on TV in the 50s). The last two films I caught were period musicals and here's the first of them. »

- NATHANIEL R

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Annette Charles, Cha Cha from 'Grease', is Dead

4 August 2011 2:22 PM, PDT | Extra | See recent Extra news »

Sexy and energetic dancer Annette Charles from the 1978 film "Grease," died Wednesday night. Her rep says the 63-year-old passed away in her L.A. home due to complications from cancer.

"Annette had recently had difficulty breathing and when she went to the doctor she learned that she had a cancerous tumor in one of her lungs," Charles' family member revealed to TMZ. Doctors had learned about her serious condition only a few months ago, and »

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10 Unrealised Films We Wish Had Been Completed!

25 July 2011 2:57 AM, PDT | Obsessed with Film | See recent Obsessed with Film news »

 

(As our editor Matt Holmes turns 25 today, he’s out of office and we are going to re-publish some old favourites.)

With the frustrating news breaking last week that Guillermo Del Toro’s adaptation of At the Mountains of Madness (based on an H.P. Lovecraft story) is ‘dead’, I began thinking about some of the other potentially great projects that audiences were tragically destined to never see. From further research it’s clear that the major directors that have worked within the industry have abandoned vast numbers of productions that would have easily been big money makers and both critical and financial successes. Indeed, filmmakers like Alfred Hitchcock, David Lynch and Orson Welles have abandoned dozens of projects, even after beginning production on some of them!

Read on to discover the ten unrealised features that we’d love to have seen completed…

10. George Sluizer’S Dark Blood

George Sluizer’s »

- Stuart Cummins

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‘So You Think You Can Dance’: The Top 12 Perform

13 July 2011 7:36 PM, PDT | Speakeasy/Wall Street Journal | See recent Speakeasy/Wall Street Journal news »

Adam Rose/Fox Cat Deeley hosts “So You Think You Can Dance

It’s down to the final 6 couples, and next week they will break up the pairs. So tonight, the couples dance twice! The judges give specific critiques and say interesting and useful things, overall. And if you were waiting for it, tonight’s the night Ryan got told.

Next week will be the top 10—those are the ones who tour. They’ll also announce who the All-Stars »

- Gwen Orel

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Roland Petit obituary

11 July 2011 4:06 PM, PDT | The Guardian - Film News | See recent The Guardian - Film News news »

Choreographer and dancer who created stunning roles for his wife, Zizi Jeanmaire

When Roland Petit's Les Ballets des Champs Elysées opened its first London season in 1946, the company brought to the British dance scene an explosion of chic and excitement which had long been missing. Not only was the standard of male dancing from Petit and his fellow dancer Jean Babilée better than anything for many years, the enthusiasm of the young company was a contrast to the restrained correctness of the Sadler's Wells dancers. Les Forains, a piece about a troupe of strolling entertainers, distinguished by beautiful decors and costumes by Christian Bérard, was the triumph of what the critic Richard Buckle described as "an evening of wonderful surprises".

Petit, who has died from leukaemia aged 87, was capable of tailoring a role so that it perfectly reflected the abilities of the dancer on whom it was made, often »

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Elaine Stewart obituary

8 July 2011 5:43 AM, PDT | The Guardian - Film News | See recent The Guardian - Film News news »

Alluring actor in a string of glossy Hollywood movies in the 1950s

The seductive brunette Elaine Stewart, who has died aged 81, may have lacked that ineffable essence that makes up star quality, but she had enough allure to attract attention in several glossy Hollywood movies in the 1950s, both in leading parts and noteworthy supporting roles. Among the best of the latter were her brief though memorable appearances in two films directed by Vincente Minnelli.

She was both bad and beautiful in The Bad and the Beautiful (1952) as Lila, a wannabe film star, hoping to make it by sleeping with Jonathan Shields (Kirk Douglas), the studio head. When told that Shields is a great man, Lila responds, "There are no great men, buster. There's only men." The scene which lingers most in the mind is when Georgia Lorrison (Lana Turner), who has just triumphed in a Shields movie, leaves a »

- Ronald Bergan

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‘So You Think You Can Dance’: The Top 20 Compete

22 June 2011 7:31 PM, PDT | Speakeasy/Wall Street Journal | See recent Speakeasy/Wall Street Journal news »

Adam Rose/Fox Cat Deeley hosts “So You Think You Can Dance.”

It’s the top 20 again—all of them, since nobody went home last week!

We welcome them in pairs.

Almost every girl decides to do a midair split in the opening. We get it. You’re all very limber.

Cat, pretty in yellow, says she’s been dreaming of keeping all 20 ever since the show started, but warns us that four people will be cut tomorrow. Judges are Nigel Lythgoe, »

- Gwen Orel

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Modernist America by Richard Pells – review

4 June 2011 8:00 PM, PDT | The Guardian - Film News | See recent The Guardian - Film News news »

Us art and music may have embraced the European avant garde, but how big was its impact on Hollywood?

On the cover of Richard Pells's Modernist America are pictures of George Gershwin, Marlon Brando, the Eiffel Tower and the Empire State Building – a Dadaist litany that quite fails to do justice to the book's capacious grasp. Everyone from Bardot to Bartók, from Le Corbusier to Le Carré, from Tennessee Williams to Indiana Jones is crammed into its pages. Not even the kitchen sink is missing. Having discussed the neo-realism of Fellini and Bertolucci, Pells moves straight on to analysing Saturday Night and Sunday Morning and other kitchen-sink classics of half a century ago.

The book's thesis is that fears of Us cultural imperialism are overblown. If the modern world has been taken over by American art, then that is only because American artists have taken so much from modernists around the world. »

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10 Unrealised Films We Wish Had Been Completed!

15 March 2011 7:40 AM, PDT | Obsessed with Film | See recent Obsessed with Film news »

With the frustrating news breaking last weak that Guillermo Del Toro’s adaptation of At the Mountains of Madness (based on an H.P. Lovecraft story) is ‘dead’, I began thinking about some of the other potentially great projects that audiences were tragically destined to never see. From further research it’s clear that the major directors that have worked within the industry have abandoned vast numbers of productions that would have easily been big money makers and both critical and financial successes. Indeed, filmmakers like Alfred Hitchcock, David Lynch and Orson Welles have abandoned dozens of projects, even after beginning production on some of them!

Read on to discover the ten unrealised features that we’d love to have seen completed…

10. George Sluizer’S Dark Blood

George Sluizer’s Dark Blood starred River Phoenix as Boy, a widower who lives as a hermit on a nuclear testing site. In this tale of a dystopian future, »

- Stuart Cummins

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Five Insanely Romantic Fred Astaire Dances

14 February 2011 12:44 PM, PST | ifc.com | See recent IFC news »

Call me old-fashioned, call me an insanely committed movie dork; hell, call me an insanely committed, old-fashioned movie dork but there's nothing I like better on Valentine's Day than a quiet night in with my wife, a home-cooked meal and great old films. Our favorites are the classic MGM musicals. You can't go wrong with Gene Kelly, of course, but I think Valentine's Day belongs to Fred Astaire, who produced many of his best onscreen moments with a woman at his side. The air of romance in Astaire's best films is so thick it's beyond intoxicating: it's positively infectious. Here are five of his most insanely romantic dance numbers.

"I'll Be Hard to Handle"

From "Roberta" (1935)

Featuring Astaire and Ginger Rogers

The first image we think of when we think of Astaire is the elegant gentleman in top hat and tails, squiring Ginger Rogers to some impossibly lavish Depression-era ball. »

- Matt Singer

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[DVD Review] Two Weeks In Another Town

27 January 2011 5:00 AM, PST | JustPressPlay.net | See recent JustPressPlay news »

Everyone has a breaking point and for actor Jack Andrus, that point was when his wife, Carlotta, had an affair with his best friend, filmmaker Maurice Kruger. The affair landed Jack in a mental institution and ended his bright Hollywood career. When his old friend, director Maurice Kruger (Edward G. Robinson) offers him a role in his latest production, Jack, played by Kirk Douglas, leaves the institution and travels to Rome to spend Two Weeks In Another Town, working, living and trying to find his feet in the industry once again.

When he arrives on set, Jack learns that  there isn’t a role for him in the film, as Kruger had promised him. The director simply wanted to get him out of the institution and back into the real world, and knew that a potential job was the only way to lure him out. To make matters worse, he discovers that his ex-wife Carlotta, »

- Melissa Kovner

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20 items from 2011


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