Catherine Herbert

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  1. The opening scene sets the stage for viewers to understand the movement was going to be in a sports environment.
  2. 1.What was the first Judy Garland film you recall watching? What was your impression of her? When I was around 5 or 6, we went to my aunt's house for a holiday (I believe it was Easter, but I'm not positive), to watch The Wizard of Oz. My aunt and uncle were the only people in our family that had a color tv! I still remember "gasping" as it went from B&W to color. We did this a few years in a row, and I just remember thinking what a beautiful voice she had. 2.How do you view her differently after viewing these clips than you might have viewed her previously? This is difficult for me, because I've been watching Judy for years! She was my step-dads' favorite actress and singer. I remember seeing her acting depths more clearly in her later dramatic roles. 3. What films in her later career come to mind as examples of her increasing ability to capture an audience's imagination as a storyteller when she sings a lyric? I've always loved "Get Happy" from Summer Stock, which is one of her later musicals that I love!
  3. This movie has always been a favorite of mine, and I make sure I watch it every 4th of July! Describe how the scenes in today’s Daily Dose were designed to promote American values for audiences during World War II. Be specific. Refer to props, set design, settings, etc. in your answer. Aside from the plethora of US flags and banners, they carefully show pictures of presidents as Cagney ascends the staircase up to the Oval Office. There sure were a ton of paintings of ships in the room, over the fireplace! Listen carefully to the dialogue in these scenes. In what ways does the dialogue and/or the screenplay work to boost American morale? Quote specific lines of dialogue in your response. References were made to "Republicans" (FDR was a Democrat) and “That’s what I like about you Irish Americans, you carry your love for your country around with you like a flag" was a direct reference connecting one main segment of American society to the positive influence in American patriotism. Since this is the opening of a biographical musical, how differently do you feel this film would be if it opened with the Fourth of July Parade scene in Providence, Rhode Island vs. the opening with FDR in the Oval Office? Defend your answer. I think having the opening scene where Cohen is explaining his beginnings to FDR, "cuts to the chase" and alleviates the film watcher from guessing and putting it into context, also "easing" into the full-blown patriotic symbolism of the movie (rather than just "blasting" it in).
  4. Catherine Herbert

    DAILY DOSE OF DELIGHT #4 (FROM TOP HAT)

    Top Hat was different for many reasons, I actually think it's one of those movies that makes a "turning point" in the genre and for the decade (1929-1939). While the sets are lavish and reminiscent of previous musicals, Top Hat adds a definitive degree of panache and class. You can tell that Rogers is no shrinking violet to Astaire, which when you put things into perspective (women winning the right to vote in 1919, so their daughters have grown up with mom having "equal rights") is a sharp contrast to previous musicals (and even many future ones!) Top Hat was one of my first musicals I saw, and it impressed me then and puts a girlish smile on my face now! Also, there was a strong resemblance to Fred Astaire and my father...so that makes it even more special!
  5. I was surprised to see some of the "loose" women in the saloon scene, but Production Code was in it's infancy, so maybe it got passed the censors. I can't imagine being employed as one and wonder how they went about advertising for this job....I mean, what qualifications did you have to have? I loved watching Jeanette "mocking" the singer....wonder if she began ad libbing and they kept it in?
  6. So, in watching the movie The Great Zeigfield, it seems they dubbed Dennis Morgan's voice, which I know they often did, but he has a perfectly fine voice on his own, so just curious about it. Quite a lavish production, but then Zeigfield was no slouch in the over the top factor!
  7. I never get tired of watching The Band Wagon (and next would be Seven Brides for Seven Brothers). I have wondered why this particular movies always catches my fancy, but here are a few items I believe explain: 1. The beauty of watching Fred Astaire dance! 2. The beauty of watching Fred Astaire dance with Cyd Charisse! 3. The chaos that ensues with putting on a mess of a play. 4. The comedic underpinnings of many actors comments and such. 5. The awesome music/lyrics of Schwartz and Dietz! 6. The dazzling sets.... It's just a fun, charming, movie that shows the theater behind the scenes (or so one believes) and just pulls you into it as though you were sitting back there in 1953, trying to "put a show on"! Dr. J. Catherine Herbert
  8. Most definitely, many movies, especially musicals were "sweetened" for the audience, especially after the Code was enforced. I've often wondered what would have happened if there had never been a Code, especially since so often movies reflect societal issues (and society is changed by movies). I often explain the "Code" to my students by stating "Pre-code presents life in America closer to reality than movies made after the Code". It's an oversimplification, but it helps to give them perspective on a 80-year-old doctrine. Dr. J. Catherine Herbert

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