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Rhapsody in Blue [and maybe Lavender?]


CaveGirl
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Tomorrow is seemingly composer day at TCM with biopics on Gershwin, Liszt, Schumann, Brahms, Kern and Chopin but only the one about Georgie-Porgie has the tagline, the "fictionalized" biography mentioned in the synopsis.

 

Now I've read that in many movie books with small descriptions of films, and I've always wondered why they would have to fictionalize his life. I've read books on his life and it seemed quite interesting to me, so any thoughts on why there is such a consensus that the film had to be fictionalized?

 

Just now in researching it a bit, I saw some comments about George perhaps being gay, though I've never read anything before about that being the case [not that there's anything wrong with that if he was!].

 

But I'm still curious why there would not be enough interesting about his life, to make a non-fictional biopic. I can understand why when they made the film about Cole Porter, with Cary Grant that they wanted to obscure the real meaning of Cole's marriage to Linda, but such was not the case with Gershwin anyway.

 

I just don't get Hollywood sometimes...

 

Your thoughts would be appreciated!

 

They did the same thing with "Song of Norway" to poor old Grieg.

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As a tap dancer, I did a fair amount of research on George and Ira Gershwin. A lot of a primary sources including some eyewitness accounts would substantiate that there's no evidence of any kind to suggest that he was anything but heterosexual. In fact there's a lot of evidence to suggest that he was somewhat of a ladies man, although he never married.

 

In the case of the Gershwin biopic, the only thing I can suggest is that Ira Gershwin and his wife Lenore took very seriously the legacy of the Gershwin music and the reputation of their brother and brother-in-law.

 

For whatever reason they simply refused to let it be otherwise than a fictionalized account. The Gershwin family was so close they may have had some issues with invasion of privacy or simply they were above all that sort of thing.???

 

Ira never had any problems with using George's Music in the movies if it was done on the highest level and he had control of it or he had complete confidence in the people who were in charge of it-- like the MGM Arthur Freed unit making An American in Paris.

 

Now it's well-known that Larry Hart was a homosexual, and that he had personal anguish over this issue, which probably led to his serious alcoholism. But, the MGM film about his life with Dick Rodgers, Words and Music, does a complete cover of that.

 

However, it is still an interesting film in that somehow Mickey Rooney and the scriptwriters did express that there was some inner conflict within Larry Hart that more or less destroyed him as an artist and as a person.

 

But unfortunately since the movie couldn't Express that explicitly, it looks like he was more or less destroyed because he was short, and the girls don't like short guys. The one film role that Mickey Rooney was absolutely made for.

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Thanks much for your thoughts, Princess!

 

At one time I was reading everything I could too, about the Gershwins and also thought that he was depicted as a bit of a ladies man. In fact, just recently they had a lady on Antique Roadshow who had letters from him to her aunt, who had somewhat of a shipboard romance with him, and it was revealing.

 

But the idea that maybe it was just a family belief to keep anything personal out of the film, makes some sense.

 

Good old Larry Hart. Such a great talent!

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