“Forgotten Hollywood”- Anchor’s Aweigh…

Posted on February 23, 2019 by raideoman1 | No Comments

Manny P. here…

“`Director Stanley Donen contributed to the enhancement of the Hollywood musical and he gave us indelible images in cinema of the 1940s and 1950s. Donen, who often teamed with Gene Kelly, but also directed Cary Grant, Frank Sinatra and Fred Astaire. He was one of the last survivors of the era. His first directing assignment was the fabulous On the Town.

“`A product of Columbia, South Carolina, Donen often went to the movies, especially the ones with Astaire and Ginger Rogers. He enrolled in tap dancing classes in his teens and started his show business career as a performer, dancing in the initial Broadway production of  Pal Joey. The title role was played by Kelly, and the show’s success propelled the hoofer into films.

                     GENE KELLY    STANLEY DONEN

“`Donen received his Hollywood break when Kelly got him a job setting up the dance routines in 1944s Cover Girl. Stanley worked on choreography for such films as Take Me Out to the Ballgame and The Kissing Bandit.  He was part of the unit behind such memorable scenes as Kelly dancing with Jerry the mouse in Anchors Aweigh, Astaire’s gravity-defying number across the ceiling in Royal Wedding, and Kelly ecstatically splashing around as he performs the title number in Singin’ in the Rain. In the latter, he was credited as a co-director of the production with Kelly. Infamously, Gene was hard to work with. Stanley parted ways with the actor after the completion of It’s Always Fair Weather.

“`Other musical assignments included Damn Yankees, Seven Brides for Seven BrothersThe Pajama Game, and Funny Face. He transitioned to wry comedy, directing Indiscreet and Charade.

“`The filmmaker never received a competitive Oscar nomination and waited until 1998 for an honorary award, presented to him by Martin Scorsese. During his acceptance speech, Stanley explained how to make a musical:  Bring in songwriters like Adolph Green and Betty Comden, and performers like Kelly or Astaire or Sinatra. Then stay the hell out of the way!

“`Stanley Donen was 94.

Until next time>                               “never forget’

This entry was posted on Saturday, February 23rd, 2019 at 12:54 pm and is filed under Blog by Manny Pacheco. You can follow any comments to this post through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.


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