5 items from 2015
Rex Ingram in 'The Thief of Bagdad' 1940 with tiny Sabu. Actor Rex Ingram movies on TCM: Early black film performer in 'Cabin in the Sky,' 'Anna Lucasta' It's somewhat unusual for two well-known film celebrities, whether past or present, to share the same name.* One such rarity is – or rather, are – the two movie people known as Rex Ingram;† one an Irish-born white director, the other an Illinois-born black actor. Turner Classic Movies' “Summer Under the Stars” continues today, Aug. 11, '15, with a day dedicated to the latter. Right now, TCM is showing Cabin in the Sky (1943), an all-black musical adaptation of the Faust tale that is notable as the first full-fledged feature film directed by another Illinois-born movie person, Vincente Minnelli. Also worth mentioning, the movie marked Lena Horne's first important appearance in a mainstream motion picture.§ A financial disappointment on the »
- Andre Soares
Songs On Screen: HitFix recurring feature of tributes by writers to their favorite musical moments from TV and film. Check out all the entries in the series here. There are three great songs from American film, and they are all about rainbows. “Over the Rainbow,” “Moon River” and “The Rainbow Connection” – are the three most quintessentially American songs ever to appear on screen, sung by three quintessentially American characters; and all three stand apart as plaintive cries of lonely souls dreaming of someplace far away..”Waiting round the bend” ”where troubles melt like lemondrops” for “the lovers, the dreamers and me” The things these songs share tell you everything needs to know about the character of 20th Century America. The things they don’t share tell you everything you need to know about how that character changed as the era wore on. Let’s start at the top, and the very top it is. »
- Richard Rushfield
Vincente Minnelli, Arthur Freed and Comden & Greene’s timeless classic is the musical for people who don’t like musicals: so clever, so witty and so brilliantly executed that the usual objections to musical numbers “stopping the story” don’t apply. The music is the story, a sophisticated backstage Broadway trifle steeped in artifice but fabulously entertaining. After all, “That’s Entertainment!" »
- Trailers From Hell
The Musicals Collection Blu-ray set from Warner Home Video contains four Hollywood classics of the genre, at least two of them among the greatest of all time: Kiss Me Kate, Calamity Jane, The Band Wagon, and Singin’ in the Rain. And all except for Singin’ in the Rain are making their Blu-ray debut. While the films may not rank equal in terms of quality—those latter two titles are the all-time greats—each of the transfers are outstanding, the movies themselves are still nevertheless enjoyable, and the set is a terrific bargain.
Kiss Me, Kate
Written by Dorothy Kingsley
Directed by George Sidney
Kiss Me, Kate is offered in 2-D and 3-D versions. Though the 3-D is certainly not the best to grace a Blu-ray, it’s still the version to watch, even with the clichéd, though occasionally amusing gimmick of characters throwing things at the camera. However, it »
- Jeremy Carr
If you’re going to make a musical in Hollywood, Rob Marshall is sure to be at the top of your director wish list.
He almost single-handedly reintroduced the tuner as a mainstream commercial genre with his 2002 Oscar winner “Chicago,” and his list of accolades includes a DGA Award for that film, an Emmy for choreographing the 1999 telepic “Annie” (which also landed him a director nom) and now Variety’s Creative Impact in Directing Award, which he receives Jan. 4 in Palm Springs.
Marshall’s latest project, “Into the Woods,” finally brings Stephen Sondheim and James Lapine’s 1987 Tony-winning fairy tale mashup to the bigscreen after two decades of false starts. Which raises the question: Even after recent B.O. successes like “Mamma Mia” and “Les Miserables,” why aren’t more musicals being made?
“They’re fragile. When they don’t work, they really don’t work,” Marshall says. “It’s such a hard thing. »
- Geoff Berkshire
5 items from 2015
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