Sunday, February 21, 2016

A Birthday Tribute to Lucille Bremer

Beautiful and talented dancer Lucille Bremer was born in New York 99 years ago today, on February 21, 1917.


Bremer had a brief but memorable run in films in the 1940s, appearing in eight feature films and a pair of shorts.


Her first big role was as Rose, Judy Garland's gorgeous older sister in MEET ME IN ST. LOUIS (1944). It was a spot-on performance in a perfect movie.


With her MEET ME IN ST. LOUIS sisters Joan Carroll, Judy Garland, and Margaret O'Brien:


With her MEET ME IN ST. LOUIS beau Robert Sully:


She performed "This Heart of Mine" and "Limehouse Blues" opposite Fred Astaire in ZIEGFELD FOLLIES (1944), and she also starred opposite Astaire in YOLANDA AND THE THIEF, seen below. I wrote more about YOLANDA when I recently chose it as one of my "Underrated Films of 1945."



YOLANDA contains one of my all-time favorite dance numbers, "Coffee Time"; the music, set design, costumes, and of course the dancing make it a very memorable sequence. Check it out here:



Bremer also appeared in the MGM musical TILL THE CLOUDS ROLL BY (1946) and the Dr. Gillespie film DARK DELUSION (1947), then left the studio.

Her last films were ADVENTURES OF CASANOVA (1948) with Arturo de Cordova, RUTHLESS (1948) with Zachary Scott, and BEHIND LOCKED DOORS (1948) with Richard Carlson, seen below.


There are those who like to downplay Bremer's talent, calling her "aloof" or alluding to rumors that her career was propelled due to a studio relationship, but I have always very much liked and appreciated her. She was a distinctive personality, a graceful dancer, and an exceptionally beautiful woman.

I thought she was quite good in both ADVENTURES OF CASANOVA (seen below) and BEHIND LOCKED DOORS, and I believe she could have had a great career as a leading lady in film noir. However, in 1948 she married Abelardo Luis Rodriguez, the son of a former President of Mexico, and she retired from the screen.


The Rodriguezes created the Rancho Los Cruces resort in Baja California Sur, and her memorial service was reported to be held in the resort chapel.



Although some sources say that Bremer and her husband had five daughters, it appears that they actually had two sons and two daughters.


Lucille's marriage eventually ended, and at one point in her life she ran a children's dress shop in the San Diego area.


Lucille Bremer died in La Jolla, California, on April 16, 1996. She was 79.

2 Comments:

OpenID vienna said...

Lovely tribute. And I agree that Lucille proved she could have had a career not just in musicals.
Thanks for that Yolande and the Thief link which was new to me. For an Astaire fan, I have to admit I have never seen this film.

11:41 PM  
Blogger Laura said...

Thanks, Vienna!

I'd love to know what you think of YOLANDA. It's always been a favorite of mine despite not having a great reputation. Please let me know if you get a chance to see it.

Best wishes,
Laura

3:00 PM  

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