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Cinemascope

Alice Faye

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One of the classes that I took in college was a course in movie musicals. We saw an Alice Faye musical -- I can't remember which one now -- and before the screening the professor built up everyone in the cast with the exception of Alice Faye. He thought she was a minor figure; who was admittedly cute, but couldn't really sing. I remember my feathers were a little ruffled, as I always admired her smoky contralto. After the movie finished, the professor walked up to the podium and confessed that he was wrong. He saw Ms. Faye with new eyes, and thought she effectively "sold" the ballads that she sang. He was her newest fan.

 

Hopefully her new box set with remind old fans of her worth, and introduce her to new audiences as well.

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As a child, I remember hearing about musical stars like Gene Kelly, Fred Astaire, Judy Garland, Bing Crosby, heck, even Mickey Rooney, from very early on.

 

Oddly enough, I have no recollection of having heard of Fox stars like Alice Faye or Betty Grable almost until the time I really became a serious movie buff.

 

I don't know why their names aren't quite as well-known as some of the other stars of their time even though from what I understand, they were extremely popular back then.

 

I'm not sure if I understand the appeal of Faye and Grable. Aside from their obvious artistic talent and nice looks, I don't know or can't be sure that I know what the audiences of their time saw in them that set them apart from lesser-known musical performers.

 

The next few weeks will hopefully give me a chance to become better acquainted with both stars, I'm starting to study the Fox musicals since I usually didn't watch many of them, having always been partial to MGM musicals.

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I didn't know there was a thread on Alice Faye. I have been a fan of hers for years.

Unfortunately, she's not as well known as Betty Grable. Betty was the number one WWII pin-up girl and continued making movies thru the mid 1950's. I believe she even contimued in theatre and stage till her death, Alice, however, retired from the screen in 1945 (other than her appearance in 1962's State Fair) after her screen time was severely cut in "Fallen Angel".

I really got to like her. Not only was she very pretty but she was a wonderful singer. I recently read her bio. It was nice to hear that a former famous female movie star was able to marry, have a family and live happily married for over 50 years. You rarely hear of such happy endings. She had a happy contented and satisfying life.

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The Biography channel went into a lot of detail about her retirement from Hollywood, it must have been really harsh on her to see what they did on Fallen Angel behind her back, after all she had done for the studio.

 

So smokey, how would you characterize and contrast Faye's appeal to that of other musical stars from the time? How would her presence have been different in movie goers' eyes from what other stars in musicals had to offer?

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Most performers were contract players for a studio. Once in a while a studio could loan a star to another studio, which is how Gene Kelly did Cover Girl with R. Hayworth at Columbia. I don't really think Fox lent its stars very much.

 

I do suppose however RH was on loan from Columbia to Fox for My Gal Sal.

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She gave an interview at the NFT in London around 10 years ago.Everything she said was so bland.Everyone was so lovely,that is till i asked her about working with Al Jolson.She was quite scathing about him.All round though an unsatisfactory experience

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I love her films. She is my favorite, of all the early musical stars. I saw her interviewed one time on television, and it was wonderful. She still choked-up when asked about Betty Grable. She couldn't speak about her. She made a comment like, "she's a great big star up in heaven", or something like that. I just think she's so unique.

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It's really hard to tell, some insisted that there was a great deal of rivalry between Faye and Grable, but as far as I know they themselves never said anything. So sad she had to retire while still in her prime! :(

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Well I didn't mean anything about it being in the interview. It was was just something they mentioned in the Biography Channel special on AF that came with the DVD of "Alexander's Ragtime Band". B-)

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> As a child, I remember hearing about musical stars

> like Gene Kelly, Fred Astaire, Judy Garland, Bing

> Crosby, heck, even Mickey Rooney, from very early

> on.

>

> Oddly enough, I have no recollection of having heard

> of Fox stars like Alice Faye or Betty Grable almost

> until the time I really became a serious movie buff.

>

> I don't know why their names aren't quite as

> well-known as some of the other stars of their time

> even though from what I understand, they were

> extremely popular back then.

>

> I'm not sure if I understand the appeal of Faye and

> Grable. Aside from their obvious artistic talent and

> nice looks, I don't know or can't be sure that I know

> what the audiences of their time saw in them that set

> them apart from lesser-known musical performers.

>

> The next few weeks will hopefully give me a chance to

> become better acquainted with both stars, I'm

> starting to study the Fox musicals since I usually

> didn't watch many of them, having always been partial

> to MGM musicals.

 

 

Cinemascope, I don't know how old you are, but, I grew up in the 1970's and I had never heard of Alice Faye until I was in my 20's. And I am a HUGE fan of musicals! I think that for me it was because the Fox films were rarely shown on our local tv stations, with the exception of Shirley Temple films. I knew who many of the MGM stars were because of

That's Entertainment!, which came out in the 1970's. I also watched any musical films that were adaptations of Broadway shows, like West Side Story, 1776, Oklahoma!, South Pacific, The Sound of Music, The Music Man, and such. Our local library had many Original Cast albums of Broadway shows, and that's how I became familiar with lots of shows.

 

I have to wonder, though, if I HAD seen any Alice Faye films as a child, if I would've appreciated her smoky style. She seems like an adult taste, unlike Garland, Rooney, Julie Andrews, Shirley Temple or Shirley Jones, who were all childhood favorites of mine.

 

Sandy K

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> > As a child, I remember hearing about musical stars

> > like Gene Kelly, Fred Astaire, Judy Garland, Bing

> > Crosby, heck, even Mickey Rooney, from very early

> > on.

> >

> > Oddly enough, I have no recollection of having

> heard

> > of Fox stars like Alice Faye or Betty Grable

> almost

> > until the time I really became a serious movie

> buff.

> >

> > I don't know why their names aren't quite as

> > well-known as some of the other stars of their

> time

> > even though from what I understand, they were

> > extremely popular back then.

> >

> > I'm not sure if I understand the appeal of Faye

> and

> > Grable. Aside from their obvious artistic talent

> and

> > nice looks, I don't know or can't be sure that I

> know

> > what the audiences of their time saw in them that

> set

> > them apart from lesser-known musical performers.

> >

> > The next few weeks will hopefully give me a chance

> to

> > become better acquainted with both stars, I'm

> > starting to study the Fox musicals since I usually

> > didn't watch many of them, having always been

> partial

> > to MGM musicals.

>

>

> Cinemascope, I don't know how old you are, but, I

> grew up in the 1970's and I had never heard of Alice

> Faye until I was in my 20's. And I am a HUGE fan of

> musicals! I think that for me it was because the Fox

> films were rarely shown on our local tv stations,

> with the exception of Shirley Temple films. I knew

> who many of the MGM stars were because of

> That's Entertainment!, which came out in the

> 1970's. I also watched any musical films that were

> adaptations of Broadway shows, like West Side

> Story, 1776, Oklahoma!, South Pacific, The Sound of

> Music, The Music Man, and such. Our local library

> had many Original Cast albums of Broadway shows, and

> that's how I became familiar with lots of shows.

>

> I have to wonder, though, if I HAD seen any Alice

> Faye films as a child, if I would've appreciated her

> smoky style. She seems like an adult taste, unlike

> Garland, Rooney, Julie Andrews, Shirley Temple or

> Shirley Jones, who were all childhood favorites of

> mine.

>

> Sandy K

 

 

Well I was kind of in the same situation, and even my parents seemed to know a lot of the more popular performers, but AF and BG were not among the ones whose names would come up.

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Yes, interesting point about your parents--had my mother been an Alice Faye fan, maybe I would've known who Faye was. My mom was a fan of Shirley Temple, so she would watch those films with me.

 

As for Betty Grable, I knew who she was because of her famous pin-up pose. We had a book called "Life Goes to the Movies" that had that photo in it. But I didn't see a Grable film until some of them came out on VHS in the late 1980's.

 

I like Grable better than Faye. Faye is the better vocalist, IMO, but Betty's joie de vivre is so apparent on screen, that I can't help but like her. She seems like a girl that could be your best friend.

 

Sandy K

 

Message was edited by:

sandykaypax

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I like that quality about Grable, too, and find it sadly missing in Alice Faye even as I appreciate her talent! :(

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I always preferred Faye to Grable, ever since I saw a clip of Alice singing "You'll Never Know" when I was about 10. Even in those ridiculous "Ricola Bugle Horn" blonde curls, she made you feel she was singing the song just for you.

 

I also find Faye much more accessible than Grable. I like Grable's energy, but since she's almost always yelling at, insulting or beating on her male co-stars, I could never figure out why they were all so crazy about her. Betty's tendency to almost always sing slightly under pitch also grates on me, and she seems to have a harder "shell" than Alice. Alice could always make me feel for her when her boyfriend double-crossed her (or she thought he had), whereas I always felt Betty would just move on to the next guy if she lost the one she was interested in.

 

You're right that the Fox films of Faye and Grable were almost never shown on television in the 1970s and 80s. Neither were the Universal films (except for Abbott and Costello). MGM and Warners seemed to pretty much have a lock on the "classic film" broadcasting market during this time. Small wonder that many people seem to think the "Movie Musical" begins and ends with the MGM musical.

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MGM and Warners seemed to pretty much have a lock on the "classic film" broadcasting market during this time. Small wonder that many people seem to think the "Movie Musical" begins and ends with the MGM musical.

 

Well, it does, really. I mean, I'm catching up on Fox musicals and stuff, but at the end of the day, nearly all the greatest musicals ever made were made by MGM and WB.

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I just found this thread and wish to state my two cents.

 

I have been a fan of Alice Faye since the early 1970s. As a young teenage girl at that time, I saw several of her films, including one with Shirley Temple, on Sunday afternoons broadcast by the WKRC television station out of Cincinnati, Ohio.

 

I love all of Alice Faye's films (despite her shortened screen time in "Fallen Angel") but I would have to say that my favorite is "Lillian Russell".

 

I also became a fan of June Haver in the 1970s. I have always felt I was born in the wrong era, as my movie preferences include such bio-pics as "Lillian Russell", as well as June Haver's "The Dolly Sisters" and "Look for the Silver Lining". I have since read about the real Dollies and felt such a connection. The story of Marilyn Miller's life was quite cleaned up for "...Silver Lining" but I also feel such a connection to her. There are others with whom I identify, and I do not understand it as I was born in the late 1950s and grew up in a small mideastern USA town.

 

To me, Alice Faye was such a pure actress and singer. Besides that, the twinkle and sparkle in her eyes were entrancing and her smile and laugh were infectious. She played opposite each leading man so well in her films, that I cannot decide which actor would be favored.

 

I never had the opportunity to meet her in this life, but enjoy every bit of conversation with her or about her from those who admired her which has been captured on film.

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