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About captpenguin

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  1. I remember that seeing "Thanks for the Memory" in it's original context was a revelation to me. It's a touching number that gives us character background. I have recently become interested in exploring the non-MGM musicals. We see the Astaire-Rogers films from RKO and the Busby Berkeley films from Warner Brothers but there are other musical films from other studios out there that not on our radar. If anyone has other Paramount musicals to recommend, I'd be interested in hearing about them.
  2. We are seeing a "brighter side", but that is because we are doing a historical, biographical film. This is the turn of the century we see in this clip. We have extravagance all around The audience doesn't need to consider the Crash or the Depression - at least not until the last reel! For the moment, there is plenty of cash to tip, buy orchids, and woo the lady professionally and personally. We have the elements that will make up many depression-era musicals in The Great Ziegfeld; glamorous costumes, beautiful girls, opulent settings, romance, infectious songs. But in this film, we have more than that. We have drama. We have issues that don't get worked out by the final scene. Even though it's the "Hollywood" version, this is a true story. Anna Held does not get her man back. Everyone doesn't live happily ever after. In a pre-code version, we would probably have stripped Anna Held out of her costume right away for the dressing room scene. The film might have dealt a bit more frankly with the more lurid side of show business. We might have had some racier costumes while we glorified the American girl. As far as the portrayal of Ziegfeld in the script, I suspect that the watchful eye of Billie Burke had as much influence as the code. "A Pretty Girl is Like a Melody" is so overwhelming that I almost always get choked up when I watch it.
  3. Most of us seem to agree that picking a favorite is a painful process. I'm just going to focus on what I return to over and over. Meet Me in St. Louis is a joy. A wonderful cast with Garland at the top of her game directed by Minnelli with attention to every detail and filmed in glorious Technicolor! I love the Busby Berkeley films at Warner Bros. and am compelled to show the production numbers to anyone who isn't familiar with them. The Gay Divorcee...Till the Clouds Roll By...The That's Entertainment! Trilogy.

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