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johnm001

Your Favorite Dance Numbers

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"He's My Friend" from MOLLY BROWN is my favorite number from any MGM musical. I spoke to Grover Dale about it.

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No, if anything was to take the thread off-topic it would be your rude and hostile behavior, which you should be ashamed of -- if you truly were once in show-business, it only gives a very negative impression of the kind of people that end up being actors and/or aspiring dancers.

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I am not an industry insider, or don't recognize the reference.

Who is Grover Dale?

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I spoke to Grover Dale about it.

 

So what if you spoke to Grover Dale about it? Does it make it a better number because you speak with someone? Why should anyone give a rat's behind? Or was it just such a significant event in your life that you felt it was worthy of some name-dropping in a bulletin board?

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I am not an industry insider, or don't recognize the reference.

Who is Grover Dale?

 

 

Actually, I meant to finish that post, and I got called away. I hit post by mistake. Grover Dale was one of the three main dancers in that number, along with Gus Trikonis and Debbie Reynolds. They did the number on 2 takes, which is really amazing, for how complex the steps are. Everyone on the set was told to just get out of their way, and they just had fun. It was the last thing they filmed, and they were in a rush to get it done. He said it was among the most difficult choreography he's ever done (and he was in the original WEST SIDE STORY, among other things).

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So you spoke with someone in a musical. That's absolutely wonderful, really. If anything, it lets me know the kind of people that unfortunately get mixed up in the industry -- men who think nothing of insulting women over simple bulletin-board disagreements. Did all your industry friends also have filthy mouths like your own?

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John:

 

Did he say anything about the feathers on her dress? I read or heard somewhere that those feathers on that red dress kept flying into her mouth, Presnells' and probably the guys dancing with her. The costumer had to come on the set to sew them on with heavy duty thread to keep them in place. I too, thing that was a great number. Debbie had to be as fit as a boxer to do it. She was always running, or jumping or something.

 

Anne

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Debbie always put a lot of energy into everything she did. And I think she worked twice as hard once the studio system collapsed, because actors no longer had a secure place where the projects would be taken care of for them.

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Anne, I recall that about Debbie's dress, as well, yet I don't remember hearing it from Grover. He did say that he found Debbie an incredible talent, and highlighted the fact that she did the number in heels. If you ever see it, again, Grover Dale is the taller of the two guys. Gus Trikonis, the other guy, was Goldie Hawn's first husband.

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Oh, yeah, nothing like some more name-dropping to try to impress people in a bulletin board. Particularly when there's nothing to stop someone from making up stuff that never actually happened!

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I can't think of ten now, but I'll start with these two:

Lonesome Polecat in 7 Brides (real subdued) and

and in Funny Face, the one where Audrey is all in

black with white socks, in the "beatnik cafe".

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Yes, John:

 

I know for a fact that Gus Trikonis was Goldies husband, and also noted the fact that Debbie did the 'friends' number in high heels.

 

Don't get mad at me but, maybe Gene Kelly's incessant rehearsals weren't all that vital to putting on a good musical act. We all know Judy Garland walked on the set and did the 'Atchison, Topeka, and Santa-fe' number on the first take.

 

Anne

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Gene Kelly wasn't the only dancer who believed in heavy rehearsals, Fred Astaire did, too. And I guess they were both talented enough to have probably danced better than 95% of other dancers even without a rehearsal -- that's all the more reason to admire their deep professionalism! B-)

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I love the 'Polecat' number. I think it may be my favorite from the film. FUNNY FACE, I don't like, at all. I know a lot of people love it, though. I always found the Astaire/Hepburn relationship a bit creepy; and I just think the film really appeals more to women, anyway. I really like Auredy Hepburn in everything, especially THE NUN'S STORY, but the two musical films she did, leave me cold.

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Audrey Hepburn was fabulous in My Fair Lady and did a great job with Funny Face, she was very talented with both comedy and drama, and she didn't do all that bad with musicals even if that wasn't her forte!

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Don't get mad at me but, maybe Gene Kelly's incessant rehearsals weren't all that vital to putting on a good musical act.

 

Well, he did what worked for him. Although, I wouldn't list any number he choreographed as one of my favorites, other than perhaps, "Singin' In The Rain".

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Nah, I liked her as the 'Lady' as long as JA wasn't asked. But I'm with you on Funny Face, it's just a fashion show and you're right, I thought Gary Cooper was too old in Love in the Afternoon, but Fred was definitely wrong for Funny Face. She was absolutely perfect for the Nun's Story.

 

Well, I'm off to crochet. Some dippy lady want me to make an Easter Bunny doll like my Santa Claus ones. Geez! How in the heck do I make the frippin' ears?

 

Anne

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Well, I can't possibly know what it was to experience Funny Face when it was brand-new, but by all evidence available to me from the present, it does seem to have been fairly well received, and greeted with fairly enthusiastic comments as well!

 

FUNNY FACE

 

By BOSLEY CROWTHER

Published: March 29, 1957

 

Spring flounced her skirts and breezed blithely into the Music Hall yesterday with as truly appropriate a seasonal program as has been there in many a year. Along with the annual Easter pageant and other cheery entertainment on the stage, there is Paramount's conspicuously vernal musical picture, Funny Face, which teams Fred Astaire and Audrey Hepburn in a delightfully balmy romance. Nothing so colorful and glittering is likely until the bunny lays its eggs.

 

Indeed, it is reasonable to reckon that you won't see a prettier musical film?or one more extraordinarily stylish?during the balance of this year. If you do you may count yourself fortunate, for this is a picture with class in every considerable department on which this sort of picture depends.

 

Let's begin with the songs of George and Ira Gershwin, which are from their musical comedy of the same title, produced thirty years ago. That's the oldest thing in the picture, barring Mr. Astaire and perhaps the simple Cinderella story, which is basically as old as the hills. Yet they have more lilt and frolic in them than if they had been written last year. And even the Cinderella story has its contemporary charm.

 

It is (this comes after the music) a purely coincidental tale of a drab little Greenwich Village salesgirl who is grabbed by a pertinacious troupe of style-magazine super-worldlings, whisked off to Paris, and turned into a dazzling super-dress model, with whom the blas? photographer falls in love. But she can't stay out of those smoky cellars where the long-haired intellectuals hive?not until one bearded cultist shows he's interested in more than her mind.

 

For all the simplicity of that fable, Leonard Gershe, who prepared the script, has made it spin by being lightly satiric of all the la-de-da of the dress trade, while taking a few good-natured tumbles out of the breast-beating Existentialists. And Roger Edens, the talented producer, and Stanley Donen, the director, have turned the whole thing into a lovely phantasm made up of romance, tourism, and chic.

 

This is its major magnificence?appropriate decor and visual style that lend to the Cinderella story a modern-Cinderella atmosphere. The gentlemen have figured, probably rightly, that there is nothing more illusory in our times than the costly adornment of females. And from that they have taken their cue.

 

The eye is intoxicated with exquisite color designs and graphic production numbers that are rich in sensory thrills. There's one done by the principals in a darkroom, with the faint cherry-red glow of a ruby light keying the shadowy movement that goes with the singing of the title song. (The final shot is a dazzling close-up of Miss Hepburn's face against the dead-white negative frame.) And there's another tenebrous number done in a Paris dive, with red and green lights blotching the darkness, that has a terrific mood.

 

Finally we come to the acting (and singing and dancing), which are elegant, too, but not quite as elegant as the rest of it, due partly to a certain gentleman's age. Miss Hepburn has the meek charm of a wallflower turned into a rueful butterfly, and Mr. Astaire plays her lens-hound suitor softly, as if afraid to turn on too much steam. Even so they make very nice music with such graceful Gershwin numbers as "He Loves and She Loves," "'S Wonderful," and the title song.

 

Kay Thompson, the brittle caf? singer, is fantastic and fun as a style-magazine director, and Robert Flemyng and Michel Auclair are good as a couple of Paris characters in the only other roles that amount to anything.

 

A lot of fine outdoor shots were made in Paris?in the springtime and in the rain. If you try hard, you can smell horse-chestnut blossoms. That is the sort of film this is.

 

FUNNY FACE (MOVIE)

 

Directed by Stanley Donen; written by Leonard Gershe, based on his musical Wedding Day; cinematographer, Ray June; edited by Frank Bracht; music by George Gershwin, Ira Gershwin, Roger Edens, and Mr. Gershe; choreography by Fred Astaire and Eugene Loring; art designers, George W. Davis and Hal Pereira; produced by Mr. Edens; released by Paramount Pictures. Running time: 103 minutes.

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re: Funny Face

I agree, the relationship was a little creepy, but that

dance was great! When Stanley Donen was

interviewed, he said that Audrey did not want to wear

the white socks, she thought it was a fashion no no.

He insisted, and she was very pleased with the results.

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