Saturday, October 31, 2020

Tonight's Movie: The Ghost Breakers (1940) - A Kino Lorber Blu-ray Review

Bob Hope and Paulette Goddard star in THE GHOST BREAKERS (1940), newly released on Blu-ray by Kino Lorber.

THE GHOST BREAKERS was released simultaneously with another spooky comedy starring Hope and Goddard, THE CAT AND THE CANARY (1939), which I reviewed earlier this month.

I first saw THE GHOST BREAKERS close to a decade ago, back in September 2011, and I'd forgotten just how much fun it is. It made perfect Halloween Night viewing.

Vivacious Paulette Goddard is absolutely delightful as Mary Carter, who inherits a haunted castle in Cuba.

It's a dark and stormy night as Mary packs to sail from New York to Cuba. Radio broadcaster Larry Lawrence (Hope) suddenly invades her room, on the run after mistakenly thinking he's shot a mobster. (It's a long story...)

Mary, Larry, and Larry's valet Alex (Willie Best) are soon headed together to Cuba, where they will meet up with an assortment of characters played by Paul Lukas, Anthony Quinn, and Richard Carlson, not to mention ghosts and a zombie...

I'd honestly forgotten how enjoyable this film was. The "spooky" stuff, which I don't particularly enjoy, had stuck in my mind, but I discovered on reacquaintance that those scenes are only about a third of the 85-minute movie.

What comes before the "haunted house" section of the film is very enjoyable; in fact, some moments are laugh out loud funny. There was a political joke I'd completely forgotten which was particularly hilarious to hear the weekend before a big election.

Hope and Goddard are well-matched; she's spunky and game for adventure, while he's a little more nervous but determined to protect the beautiful new lady in his life. Hope strikes a good balance between letting loose with some good one-liners while still playing a "real" character who's a little more toned-down than he was in some of his later films.

They're matched by Willie Best, who has impeccable comic timing and, as I noted back in 2011, really deserved to be billed third. He's terrific.

All in all, this film was a pleasant rediscovery for me, and I suspect viewers who don't share my aversion for horror scenes will like it even more than I did.

The supporting cast includes Lloyd Corrigan, Paul Fix, Tom Dugan, Pedro De Cordoba, Virginia Brissac, and Noble Johnson.

THE GHOST BREAKERS was directed by George Marshall. Like THE CAT AND THE CANARY, it was filmed in black and white by Charles Lang. Walter DeLeon's screenplay was based on a play by Paul Dickey and Charles W. Goddard.

Kino Lorber's good-looking Blu-ray print is from a brand-new 2K master. The disc includes a new audio commentary track by Lee Gambin, a Trailers From Hell featurette with Larry Karaszewski, the trailer, and four additional trailers for films available from Kino Lorber; the quartet of trailers includes a trio of films with Hope or Goddard plus another comic spooky film, MURDER, HE SAYS (1945).

Thanks to Kino Lorber for providing a review copy of this Blu-ray.

Around the Blogosphere This Week

Miscellaneous bits of news and fun stuff from around the internet...

...Coming from Olive Films in December: An Olive Films Signature Blu-ray release of John Ford's RIO GRANDE (1950), loaded with extras.  This film is a big favorite of mine so needless to say I'm quite enthused about this release.

...Netflix has increased the fee for its standard plan from $12.99 to $13.99.

...Here's another story underscoring that digital "purchases" from Amazon (or anyone else) are not actually purchases, but temporary licenses to use the material.  If it's important to you, purchases should always be physical media.

...Coming to Blu-ray from Kino Lorber Studio Classics in early February, all with extras: 

*THE KISS BEHIND THE MIRROR (1933), starring Nancy Carroll and directed by James Whale

*Charles Laughton and Ella Raines in THE SUSPECT (1944), directed by Robert Siodmak, which I first reviewed in 2013

*SO EVIL MY LOVE (1948) with Ray Milland and Ann Todd, directed by Lewis Allen, which I reviewed in 2010

*An Anthony Quinn Westerns double feature with MAN FROM DEL RIO (1956) and THE RIDE BACK (1957)

...The AFI in Maryland will be hosting a virtual edition of Noir City International from November 13-29, with video introductions by Eddie Muller.

...Last week's latest edition of "Ask Eddie," an hour-long interview with Eddie Muller recorded on October 29th, is now available to watch on YouTube.

...Now available from Flicker Alley: The silent version of CHICAGO (1927) on Blu-ray, starring Phyllis Haver, Eugene Pallette, and Robert Edeson.  Once believed lost, it was found in the collection of Cecil B. DeMille and restored by UCLA in 2006.

...Historian James L. Neibaur has reviewed the new Kino Lorber Blu-ray release of OUTSIDE THE LAW (1920) starring Lon Chaney Sr. and Priscilla Dean.  I reviewed it after seeing it at the 2018 Cinecon Film Festival.

...The first episode of the new season of THE MANDALORIAN began airing yesterday on Disney+, and it was delightful.  This show is basically a STAR WARS Western, and I couldn't enjoy it more.

...The Walt Disney Family Museum in San Francisco is reopening November 5th.

...Jessica Pickens recommends June Allyson films for DVD Netflix.

...Disney's been hit with more bad news, as Disneyland Paris was required to shut down again as France brings back lockdowns.

...Jerry's Deli in Studio City is closing after decades, another victim of California lockdowns.

...For additional recent links of interest to classic film fans, please check out my October 24th roundup.

Have a great week! 

Sean Connery, 1930-2020

The great Sean Connery has passed on at the age of 90.

Connery's son Jason announced his father died today at his home in the Bahamas.  Variety and The Hollywood Reporter are among the outlets which have posted obituaries.

Connery of course will be forever remembered as the first and best James Bond on screen -- he's seen above in his first Bond film, DR. NO (1962) -- but he had a rich film career beyond his seven films as 007.

My favorite Connery roles are his Oscar-winning performance in THE UNTOUCHABLES (1987), with his unforgettable "Chicago way" speech (seen above, with Kevin Costner)...

...and THE HUNT FOR RED OCTOBER (1990), a perfect film excepting the casting of colorless Alec Baldwin, in a role which appeared to have been tailor-made for Kevin Costner.  Connery, Sam Neill, and Scott Glenn are superb and offset Baldwin's casting misfire.  Both these films hold up to multiple repeat viewings thanks largely to Connery's outstanding performances.

Though many consider it one of Hitchcock's lesser films, I also really enjoy him in MARNIE (1964), seen above with Tippi Hedren. He's tremendously handsome and charismatic.

He was downright adorable singing in Disney's DARBY O'GILL AND THE LITTLE PEOPLE (1959):

And although the movie was only middling, he was supremely enjoyable as Professor Henry Jones, the father of Indiana Jones (Harrison Ford), in INDIANA JONES AND THE LAST CRUSADE (1989):

Over the years I've enjoyed Connery in several other films, though relatively few have been reviewed here.  In addition to all his 007 films and the titles cited above, I've also enjoyed Connery in HELL DRIVERS (1957), THE LONGEST DAY (1962), THE WIND AND THE LION (1975) (seen below), TIME BANDITS (1981), THE PRESIDIO (1988), THE RUSSIA HOUSE (1990), and ENTRAPMENT (1999).  Click any hyperlinked title for a full review.

What a grand career!  Rest in peace, Mr. Connery, and thanks for the many hours of movie happiness.

UpdateTCM Remembers Sean Connery.

Happy Halloween

Happy Halloween! 

One of the amusing things about '40s-'50s studio holiday stills is how many times the same costumes and props appear.  This is especially the case for Halloween!

For instance, here we have Martha Vickers dressed for the holiday...
...and Gale Robbins in the same outfit...

and finally, Barbara Bates and Penny Edwards:

Have a fun holiday!

Previous Halloween posts, in reverse chronological order: Ann Rutherford (2019), Janis Paige (2018), Ella Raines (2017), Veronica Lake (2016), Barbara Bates (2015), Marsha Hunt (2014), Linda Darnell (2013), and the BEWITCHED cast (2012).

Friday, October 30, 2020

Tonight's Movie: The Opposite Sex (1956) - A Warner Archive Blu-ray Review

The MGM musical THE OPPOSITE SEX (1956) was released on Blu-ray earlier this week by the Warner Archive.

THE OPPOSITE SEX remakes the studio's all-female comedy-drama THE WOMEN (1939), adding Metrocolor, songs, and perhaps most notably, men.

Unlike most people, I wasn't an especially big fan of THE WOMEN. I found it entertaining enough, thanks to its strong cast, but the memories haven't worn well over time.

Let's face it, THE WOMEN has an inherently downer plot, with so-called gossipy "friends" circling like vultures around the breakup of a previously happy marriage. There's only so much pleasure which can be had watching as a nice woman experiences what she thought was her life circling the drain.

Although THE OPPOSITE SEX lacks the glamorous silver screen sheen of THE WOMEN, I think I actually enjoyed it more. While acknowledging it's not a better film than the original and also not top-drawer '50s MGM, I nonetheless found that the fun cast, bright colors, Helen Rose fashions, and music (including a number with Harry James!) helped to offset the depressing story.

I also appreciated that the cast of the remake featured several faves including June Allyson, Ann Sheridan, Joan Blondell, and Ann Miller. There's also a small but noticeable good role for Carolyn Jones as a friend of homewrecker Joan Collins; honestly, Jones was way more interesting to me than Collins!

For those who haven't yet made the acquaintance of the story, based on a play by Clare Booth Luce, it's the tale of Mary (Allyson), who is happily married to Stephen (Leslie Nielsen). They have a young daughter, Debbie (Sandy Descher).

(As a trivial aside, Debbie was called Little Mary in the original, played by Virginia Weidler. Curiously, another Weidler role from that era, Dinah in THE PHILADELPHIA STORY, was also renamed in that film's 1956 musical remake, HIGH SOCIETY.)

Mary learns that Stephen's eye had wandered a bit to predatory chorus girl Crystal (Joan Collins); it wasn't serious and initially Mary decides to make a go of things, but later circumstances put her on the train to Reno for a divorce.

The Reno scenes are fun thanks to the additions of Miller, Agnes Moorehead, and Charlotte Greenwood at that juncture, and Mary's ultimate plot to jettison Crystal from Stephen's life is enjoyable as well.

The movie is a little long at 117 minutes, but at the same time I have to wonder about a musical which doesn't spend any of its running time taking advantage of the talents of Miller and Dolores Gray! What a missed opportunity. Instead we get a pointless number with guest stars Dick Shawn and Jim Backus and a cowboy rock 'n' roll number with a dubbed Jeff Richards; these should have been skipped to make room for the talented ladies in the cast.

On the plus side, the best change to this version of the story was the addition of Ann Sheridan's character as Mary's best friend. Sheridan is warm and drop-dead gorgeous, a pleasure in every scene.

Blondell, who had been off screen 5 years, is slightly too old at 50 to play the extremely fertile Edith Potter, but it's good to see her in a relatively small role. I also especially enjoyed Barbara Jo Allen as gossip columnist Dolly DeHaven.

The cast also includes Sam Levene, Jonathan Hole, Bill Goodwin, Maidie Norman, and Barrie Chase.

Allyson is sympathetic as usual. Unfortunately, though she has some gorgeous Helen Rose gowns, she's also got some real wardrobe flops in this, including an unattractive traveling outfit and a blue pantsuit worn during what's supposed to be a torchy-type number. At times in the '50s MGM's hair and costume department didn't know quite what to do with her; THE REFORMER AND THE REDHEAD (1950) and RIGHT CROSS (1950) are the most notable examples of MGM doing their worst to a lovely woman.

She's also stuck with a strange moment when she sings a quiet ballad, "A Perfect Love," and is noticeably dubbed (by Jo Ann Greer).

Curiously, the film's best number, "Young Man With a Horn" with Harry James, had also been performed by Allyson and James a dozen years earlier in TWO GIRLS AND A SAILOR (1944).

All in all, THE OPPOSITE SEX is lightweight fluff with enough going for it to compensate for the moments it misfires. Fans of the cast will probably want to check it out; the less that's expected, the more it's likely to be enjoyed.

THE OPPOSITE SEX was directed by David Miller. It was filmed in CinemaScope by Robert Brenner (aka Robert J. Bronner).

The Warner Archive Blu-ray print and sound are excellent. Disc extras consist of the trailer and a song selection menu. I'll be revisiting "Young Man With a Horn" in the future!

Thanks to the Warner Archive for providing a review copy of this Blu-ray. Warner Archive Blu-rays may be ordered from Amazon or from any online retailers where Blu-rays are sold.

Tuesday, October 27, 2020

The 2020 World Champion Los Angeles Dodgers!

"In a year which has been so improbable..."

The last time the Dodgers won the World Series was the week our oldest daughter was born.  Feeling pure joy tonight!

Classic Movie Hub: The 2020 Virtual Lone Pine Film Festival

This year, like so many other events, the 2020 Lone Pine Film Festival went "virtual."

This month at Classic Movie Hub I've written about my experience spending a weekend enjoying the online festival.

After the festival concluded I interviewed Shawn Lum, Director of the Museum of Western Film History, about how the festival went and what it might mean for the future.  Her comments are also included in my column.

Please click over to Classic Movie Hub to check it out.  As always, thanks for reading!

Previous Classic Movie Hub Western Roundup Column Links: June 2018; July 2018August 2018September 2018October 2018November 2018December 2018January 2019February 2019April 5, 2019April 30, 2019May 2019June 2019July 2019August 2019September 2019October 2019November 2019December 2019January 2020February 2020March 2020April 2020May 2020June 2020July 2020August 2020September 2020.

Saturday, October 24, 2020

Tonight's Movie: Disputed Passage (1939) - A Kino Lorber Blu-ray Review

DISPUTED PASSAGE (1939) is one of two Dorothy Lamour films for Paramount Pictures which were recently released on Blu-ray by Kino Lorber.

The second film, SPAWN OF THE NORTH (1938), will be reviewed here at a future date.  (Update: The review may now be found here.)

DISPUTED PASSAGE is a melding of medical melodrama and love story based on a novel by Lloyd C. Douglas, who appears on screen briefly during the opening credits to express his satisfaction with the movie.

John Howard plays John Wesley Beaven, a medical student studying surgery under the demanding, difficult Dr. Tubby Forster (Akim Tamiroff).

As time goes on and he becomes more immersed in his work, Dr. Beaven puts aside all thoughts of any life outside of medicine; he begins teaching in the medical school as he continues to absorb Dr. Forster's knowledge.

Then Dr. Beaven meets beautiful Audrey Hilton (Dorothy Lamour), an American woman raised in China by Chinese foster parents, and realizes he wants a fully rounded life which makes room for love...but Dr. Forster plots to stand in his way.

DISPUTED PASSAGE may not be a classic, but it's a solid and engrossing 87 minutes which I enjoyed.  I also found it interesting seeing John Howard as the leading man, when I've more often seen him in supporting parts such as George in THE PHILADELPHIA STORY (1940).  He's quite good as the doctor who goes through both a personal and a professional evolution.

Director Frank Borzage manages to bring some of his famed romanticism to what at times is a somewhat dry story, given the many medical scenes; the moments in which John and Audrey connect and discuss their attraction are both somewhat unusual and moving.  The scenes are different from the norm in that the characters so frankly express their feelings, but there's also an emotional depth which is touching as they recognize their love.  We believe these two souls were meant to find each other and will have a happy life.

I assume the fact that Audrey was Chinese in appearance and language only was due to the conventions of the times, when it was more acceptable for an "American" to marry another American.  To the movie's credit, though, it's clearly conveyed that John doesn't particularly care one way or the other if she's Chinese or American, once he gets over the surprise of learning about her background, and he goes out of his way to do things which honor her background, such as calling her by her Chinese name or providing her with an authentic Chinese meal.  (The latter is due to the help of one of his Chinese students, played by the always-engaging Keye Luke.)

Tamiroff's Dr. Forster is completely annoying; from the opening moments I questioned why being a jerk equated with being a great doctor.  However, as the film goes on the reasons for Dr. Forster's unpleasant, standoffish attitude are explained, and part of the story concerns his own journey back to being a decent human being.

Judith Barrett has a somewhat truncated role as a female medical student who loves medicine but also wants to experience life beyond the hospital.  The cast also includes William Collier Sr., Elisabeth Risdon, Gordon Jones, Victor Varconi, and Philip Ahn.  Look for a young Richard Denning as a student and Fay McKenzie as a nurse.

The movie was lushly shot in black and white by William C. Mellor (A PLACE IN THE SUN); at times he utilizes some offbeat angles and interesting fade-outs, with Lamour's face coming in and out of focus in scenes near the end.  

Lamour, incidentally, is exquisitely beautiful in this, with lovely gowns designed by Edith Head.  Other than when she's manipulated by Dr. Forster, I appreciated that behind the quiet demeanor was a woman who knew her own mind and, like Dr. Beaven, had things in her own life she needed to address before she could commit to a relationship.

As a side note, some of the Chinese exteriors near the end of the movie appeared to me to have been filmed at Iverson Ranch in Chatsworth.

Extras include trailers for three additional films available from Kino Lorber and a new audio commentary by Nick Pinkerton.  The Blu-ray picture and sound are excellent.

Thanks to Kino Lorber for providing a review copy of this Blu-ray.

Tonight's Movie: The Pied Piper (1942)

I had a nice surprise this morning, when I learned from a friend that THE PIED PIPER (1942), a film I've long wanted to see, would be streaming as part of a free online film festival.

It was shown by the 2nd Attaboy Clarence Film Festival, and as luck would have it, it fit perfectly into my schedule.

For reasons unknown to me this film from 20th Century-Fox is difficult to see, despite being nominated for three Academy Awards.  My movie viewing records show I saw this film on TV as a child, but it's a rare film which was pretty much a blank in my memories.  

I was chagrined to have missed a chance to see it on the big screen when it was unexpectedly shown at the 2018 Cinecon Film Festival; I had already left for the day when the projectionist opened up cans labeled ON THE AVENUE (1937) and it turned out to be THE PIED PIPER instead!  That made today an especially happy second chance to see the film.

Monty Woolley received a Best Actor nomination as John Sidney Howard, an Englishman who has the misfortune to be on a fishing holiday in France when the Germans invade.

Howard immediately makes plans to return to England, and he's persuaded by another couple at the lodge, the Cavanaughs (Lester Matthews and Jill Esmond), to take their children with him.  Mr. Cavanaugh is a diplomat headed for Geneva, and given the escalation into war, the Cavanaughs prefer that Ronnie and Sheila (Roddy McDowall and Peggy Ann Garner) go stay with their aunt in the relative safety of England.

Crochety Howard insists he doesn't like children but acquiesces to chaperoning them for what should be a straightforward trip of less than a day.  That's before the trains stop running and their bus is strafed...

As circumstances become more precarious, Howard and the children doggedly make their way toward the British Channel, unexpectedly picking up more children (Fleurette Zama, Maurice Tauzin, and Merrill Rodin) along the way.

Howard seeks refuge with a French family he knows in Chartres, and their adult daughter Nicole (Anne Baxter) volunteers to help get Howard and his young charges to the channel.  The challenges include trying to keep Ronnie and Sheila from speaking and calling attention to the fact that they're English, as they try to blend in and not attract the notice of Nazi soldiers.  

A fisherman (Marcel Dalio) is set to ferry the little group over to England when they are unexpectedly detained by a Nazi major (Otto Preminger).

THE PIED PIPER might be one of the least-known films ever nominated for Best Picture.  I found it to be quite engrossing, with the performances and a strong script by Nunnally Johnson (from a novel by Nevil Shute) overcoming the studio-bound sets.

The movie, sensitively directed by Irving Pichel, is an unflinching and unsentimental look at war and its impact on children; in that regard it would be well-paired on a double or triple bill with MGM's JOURNEY FOR MARGARET (1942) or Universal Pictures' THE AMAZING MRS. HOLLIDAY (1943).  It's not graphic, but it doesn't need to be in order to convey the horrors of war.

One scene in which Howard is threatened by the Nazi major is particularly disturbing, yet there's a fascinating and unexpected payoff after Howard proves his dedication to protecting the children in his charge.  (Clearly he doesn't really hate children, as his actions consistently prove.)  I won't share that plot twist here, other than to say it was reminiscent of another excellent Fox war film, THE MAN I MARRIED (1940).

I have a soft spot for Monty Woolley, who was so good in films like THE MAN WHO CAME TO DINNER (1942), SINCE YOU WENT AWAY (1944), and THE BISHOP'S WIFE, and McDowall and Garner were two of the finest child actors of the '40s.  While she's not especially French, Anne Baxter is fine as the brave young woman who comes to Howard's aid.

The cast also includes Helmut Dantine, noticeable in a small role as a Nazi soldier, and J. Carrol Naish, Ferike Boros, Odette Myrtil, and Marcelle Corday.  The movie was filmed in black and white by Oscar-nominated Edward Cronjager, with a score by Alfred Newman.

IMDb lists the running time as 87 minutes; the print I watched was a couple minutes shorter, but since it was shown from the UK it's possible this was due to "PAL speedup."

I really enjoyed the chance to see this film at long last.  Given its multiple Oscar nominations, it's a bit baffling that it hasn't been released on DVD; if nothing else, it seems as though it would be a good candidate for the Fox Cinema Archives DVD-R line, but perhaps there are rights issues.  Hopefully at some point in the future this movie will be more easily available for viewing, as it deserves to find wider audiences.

Around the Blogosphere This Week

Miscellaneous bits of news and fun stuff from around the internet...

...The Warner Archive has announced that LIBELED LADY (1936) and THE PIRATE (1948) will be released on Blu-ray in November.  A pair of excellent choices!

...The Academy Museum has named University of Chicago professor and TCM Silent Sunday Nights host Jacqueline Stewart as its Chief Artistic and Programming Officer.  Stewart gave an interview to the Los Angeles Times.

...Newly released by Critics' Choice on DVD: A "two-fer" of  THE TROUBLE WITH ANGELS (1966) and WHERE ANGELS GO, TROUBLE FOLLOWS (1968) starring Rosalind Russell.

...I came across a brief  Variety article from last month about the restoration of ROMAN HOLIDAY (1953).

...Annette Bochenek of the Hometowns to Hollywood blog is hosting the Celluloid Road Trip Blogathon from December 9th through 11th.  Details at the link.

...AMC Theatres may be looking at declaring bankruptcy.

...The Fast and Furious franchise will wrap up with two additional films after F9 (2021), which is currently in postproduction.

...A couple summers ago I enjoyed the Jason Statham ocean adventure film THE MEG (2018).  A sequel is on the way.

...Thanksgiving week Netflix will be debuting a sequel to the entertaining THE CHRISTMAS CHRONICLES (2018), which starred Kurt Russell as Santa.  A trailer is now on YouTube.  This time around Goldie Hawn, who had a cameo in the prior film, will costar as Mrs Santa.

...I loved reading about the restoration of the neon signs in Lone Pine, California.

...With the governor of California finally making clear this week that he will not allow Disneyland and other amusement parks to reopen for many more months, yesterday Disney announced that its Downtown Disney shopping and restaurant district will soon extend into Disney California Adventure's Buena Vista Street, providing additional shopping and dining locations.  (I anticipate that the wait times to get into a socially distanced, decorated-for-the-holidays Buena Vista Street will be long.)  Meanwhile, a lawsuit against the state by either Disney or the California Attractions and Parks Association is expected in the coming days.

...Notable Passing: William Blinn, whose long career writing for television included BRIAN'S SONG (1971), has died at 83.

...For additional recent links of interest to classic film fans, please check out my October 17th roundup.

Have a great week, and Go Dodgers!

Friday, October 23, 2020

Dancing Great Marge Champion Dies at 101

The wonderful Marge Champion has died at the age of 101.

Champion, who was born in Los Angeles on September 2, 1919, passed away in the same city on October 21st.

Her death comes a little over two weeks after the recent passing of fellow '50s MGM musical dancer Tommy Rall.  

Champion, seen above and below with longtime husband Gower Champion, was the younger half-sister of actress Lina Basquette; her father was well-known dancing teacher Ernest Belcher, who instructed a number of future dancing stars.

Champion was a significant contributor to two different, equally notable phases in film history.  As a teenager married to Disney animator Art Babbitt from 1937-41, Champion worked on the first full-length animated film, SNOW WHITE AND THE SEVEN DWARFS (1937), modeling Snow White for the animators.

She also modeled the Blue Fairy in PINOCCHIO (1940), seen below, and minor characters in FANTASIA (1941) and DUMBO (1941).

She was named a Disney Legend, the studio's highest honor, in 2007.  Disney's D23 website posted an obituary with a look at her career which included this terrific photo of her with a statue of Walt Disney in the Disney California Adventure theme park.

In 1947 she married Gower Champion, to whom she was married for over a quarter century.  Champion had interesting family connections of his own; his brother was writer-director-producer John Champion, whose Western credits included work on PANHANDLE (1948), SHOTGUN (1955), and MUSTANG COUNTRY (1976).

The Champions were teamed in several MGM musicals: SHOW BOAT (1951), LOVELY TO LOOK AT (1952), EVERYTHING I HAVE IS YOURS (1952), GIVE A GIRL A BREAK (1953), and JUPITER'S DARLING (1955).  "Smoke Gets In Your Eyes" from LOVELY TO LOOK AT, seen above, is in my Top 5 favorite musical numbers ever put on film.

I was very fortunate to see her speak at Disney's 2012 Destination D event in Anaheim, which celebrated the 75th anniversary of SNOW WHITE.  She was then 93.

For much more regarding this very special performer, please visit the links below.

As someone who loves both MGM musicals and Disney animation, I feel deep gratitude for the many happy hours Marge Champion's work has given me.  My sincere condolences to her family and friends.

Previously reviewed Marge Champion films: SORORITY HOUSE (1939), EVERYTHING I HAVE IS YOURS (1952), and GIVE A GIRL A BREAK (1953).

Additional previous links: Destination D: 75 Years of Disney Animation (2012), Happy Birthday, Marge Champion! (2014), and The Marge Champion Centennial (2019).

Newer›  ‹Older