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‘How to Succeed’ – Take 2

Not so fast Savant — with the help of correspondent input, DVD Savant presents more information on David Swift’s adaptation of How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying — correcting and modifying some assumptions in my first review. Don’t worry — it’s good reading.

A Savant article

This is an odd circumstance. I routinely update, modify, correct and de-stupidify DVD Savant reviews, but this time I’m taking a more radical step. In my March 25 coverage of Twilight Time’s Blu-ray of How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying, I made a big point of the fact that David Swift’s film adaptation had not made many changes. Several songs were dropped, but that would seem the right thing to do considering that the movie wasn’t planned as a Road Show — it’s only 121 minutes in duration and has no break for an intermission. The much missed
See full article at Trailers from Hell »

New Release: Meet Me in St. Louis Blu-ray

Release Date: Dec. 13, 2011

Price: Blu-ray $35.99

Studio: Warner Home Video

Judy Garland sings a song about a trolley in Meet Me in St. Louis.

The 1944 Technicolor Hollywood musical classic Meet Me in St. Louis, starring Judy Garland (A Star is Born), will surely shimmer in its Blu-ray debut.

The fan-favorite film, which was nominated for four Oscars, was directed by Vincente Minnelli (An American in Paris) and co-stars Margaret O’Brien (1943′s Jane Eyre) and Mary Astor (The Maltese Falcon).

The movie offers a slice of Americana as it deals with the lives and loves of the irrepressible Smith family during the year of the St. Louis World’s Fair.

“The Boy Next Door,” “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas” and “The Trolley Song” are a handful of the standards from the film, which was one of the two highest-grossing MGM theatrical releases of its time.

Meet Me in St. Louis
See full article at Disc Dish »

Janet Leigh, Dick Van Dyke, Ann-Margret: Restored Bye Bye Birdie Academy Screening

Bye Bye Birdie lobby card (top); Bobby Rydell, Ann-Margret, Bye Bye Birdie (bottom) A digitally restored print of George Sidney's 1963 Elvis Presley-inspired satirical musical Bye Bye Birdie, starring Janet Leigh, Dick Van Dyke, Bobby Rydell, Maureen Stapleton, Jesse Pearson, and an explosive Ann-Margret, will have its premiere on Wednesday, April 27, at 7:30 p.m. at the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences' Samuel Goldwyn Theater in Beverly Hills.  Hosted by film critic Stephen Farber, the evening will feature a Digital Cinema presentation with a newly restored 4-channel stereo soundtrack, followed by an onstage discussion with Ann-Margret (who would star with Presley in Viva Las Vegas! the following year) and Bobby Rydell. Written by Irving Brecher from Michael Stewart's book and the ensuing Broadway musical, Bye Bye Birdie follows singing sensation Conrad Birdie (Jesse Pearson), who, after being drafted, is scheduled to perform a composition by songwriter
See full article at Alt Film Guide »

Meet Me in St. Louis (1944)

To honor the passing of the great songwriter Hugh Martin Friday at 96 years of age, a repost of a review of one of my 100 favorite movies, a member of my personal canon. (If you joined us after 2008 you can pretend it's a new essay!) Imagine giving the world such perfectly crafted enduring gifts as "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas" and "The Trolley Song". R.I.P. Mr. Martin.

Meet Me in St. Louis "The Blossoming of Judy Garland"

Meet Me in St. Louis (1944)

Directed by Vincente Minnelli; Written by Irving Brecher and Fred F Finklehoffe from the novel "5135 Kensington" by Sally Benson; Starring Judy Garland, Mary Astor, Leon Ames, Margaret O'Brien, Lucille Bremer, Harry Davenport, June Lockhart, Tom Drake and Marjorie Main; Production & Distributor Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM); Released 11/28/1944

It's Summer 1903 in Missouri and the Smith family are buzzing about the World's Fair coming to their town the following spring. Teenage
See full article at FilmExperience »

Cinema Retro Exclusive Interview With Bill Marx, Son Of Harpo Marx

  • CinemaRetro
The legendary Harpo with his son Bill.

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Interview by Nick Thomas

It’s been 60 years since the Marx BrothersGroucho, Chico, Harpo – officially appeared together in their last feature film, Love Happy. Although fans have little “love” for it and the brothers were not “happy” making it, the film did provide some enjoyable moments showcasing Harpo’s silent talents.

Along with brothers Zeppo and Gummo, the five Marx Brothers grew up in New York. Gummo dropped out of the act and the four brothers traveled the country as stage performers before taking Hollywood by storm, starting with Cocoanuts in 1929. Straight man Zeppo eventually bailed too, and the three remaining brothers went on to become arguably the greatest comedy team ever.

Between them, the five brothers raised a dozen children and a few went into the entertainment business. Now 72, Bill Marx (one of
See full article at CinemaRetro »

Musical Theatre West Presents Meet Me In St. Louis, Oct. 31 - Nov. 15

Long Beach, CA—Musical Theatre West opens its 57th season with Meet Me In St. Louis, the stage adaptation of the beloved Judy Garland classic. Previews of this production begin on October 30th and opens October 31, 2009 and runs through November 15, 2009 at the Carpenter Performing Arts Center in Long Beach.

Meet Me In St. Louis is a rare treasure in musical theatre and is based on the heartwarming 1944 MGM film starring Judy Garland. This show harkens back to a simpler, sepia-tinted time as the story follows the Smith family at the 1904 World's Fair. We see how their love and respect for each other is tempered with the genuine humor that can only be generated by such a close family. According to Mtw producers, Meet Me In St. Louis is "perfect for the entire family!" This production with lavish costumes and Victorian sets also includes classic musical numbers, "The Boy Next Door,
See full article at BroadwayWorld.com »

Irv Brecher's Comedy Advice From Beyond the Grave

For Mike Sacks, finding out how comedy writers do what they do was no joke. It’s a task he took seriously enough to interview 21 writers (including David Sedaris, Harold Ramis, Alison Silverman, and Dan Mazer) in depth about their craft for his new book, And Here’s the Kicker, out today from Writers Digest Books. He was so thorough, in fact, that he kept one of his subjects—93-year-old Irv Brecher—on the phone long enough that he accused Sacks of “killing” him. As it happens, it would be Brecher’s last lengthy interview before he died, several months later. But in the following excerpt from the book, the back-room comedy legend, who wrote for Milton Berle and the Marx brothers and polished up The Wizard of Oz (“Put ‘em up, put ‘em up,” is his touch), is lucid enough to take razor-sharp potshots at both modern comedy writers
See full article at Vanity Fair »

R.I.P. 2008: A Rough Year For Hollywood

For me, the only part of the Oscars worth watching every year is their tribute video, highlighting those in the movie industry that passed away in the previous year. It always puts a lump in my throat and often surprises me due to the passing of people I hadn’t heard about. And with the actors who were popular decades ago, it gives me a sense of melancholy nostalgia.

TCM (Turner Classic Movies) has put together their version of a tribute video which you can watch below, and it gave me the same feelings I just mentioned (I wasn’t aware they do one every year). It’s a beautiful video and very classy. They did miss a couple of people which I mention below.

I would suggest you watch the video before moving on to the list of names below it. It includes actors, directors, composers, screenwriters, animators, etc.
See full article at Screen Rant »

Comedy Scriptwriter Brecher Dies

  • WENN
Comedy scriptwriter Irving Brecher has died at the age of 94.

He passed away on Monday in Los Angeles after a series of heart attacks last week (beg10Nov08).

His most notable work included the vaudeville sketches he penned for Milton Berle and comedies he wrote for the Marx Brothers - including a solo credit on 1940 film Go West.

Early in his career, Brecher was an uncredited script doctor on The Wizard of Oz, leading Groucho Marx to call him The Wicked Wit of the West - the title of his autobiography, which is scheduled to hit shelves in January.

His film credits came to include Shadow of the Thin Man in 1941, 1943's Du Barry Was a Lady, starring Lucille Ball, Gene Kelly and Red Skelton, Yolanda and the Thief in 1945, starring Fred Astaire, and 1963 classic Bye Bye Birdie.

Brecher was also nominated for an Academy Award for his screenplay for Meet Me in St. Louis, starring Judy Garland.

In addition to the silver screen, Brecher also turned his talents to radio, creating long-running series The Life of Riley - later adapted into a feature film and TV series in 1949.

He is survived by his wife, Norma, and three stepchildren.

See also

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