CAPRA,CAREFREE………

…….Why hasnt Fox released the terrific musical, THE BEST THINGS IN LIFE ARE FREE? It is just so good, with Gordon MacRae, Ernest Borgnine and Dan Dailey as the song writing team of De Sylva, Brown and Henderson.

…….In CAREFREE, Fred and Ginger have a reversal of roles – she pursues him! A pity Irving Berlin’s “Colour Blind” couldnt have been reflected in glorious technicolor as originally intended.  Critics always say Fred did his talking in his dances. In CAREFREE, he says to Ginger, “May I speak to you?”, and when she says no, he launches into dance with “Change Partners”.

……..Isnt it wonderful in THE RKO STORY tv series to see the colour footage of Fred Astaire rehearsing “Slap That Bass” – filmed by SHALL WE DANCE composer George Gershwin. Wow!

……..On Alice Faye’s “This Is Your Life”, June Haver  was praising Alice and said,”You’ve performed for hundreds of thousands of people..”  Alice laughed, “I thought you were going to say years!”

……..Amazing to read in Hugh Fordin’s THE WORLD OF ENTERTAINMENT, THE FREED UNIT AT MGM:

“Gene Kelly had started rehearsals for BROADWAY MELODY OF 1943 with Eleanor Powell, before he   was taken off to do COVER GIRL in a deal between MGM and Columbia.”

…….Frank Capra tried to interest Jean Arthur in the part of ‘Mary’ in IT’S A WONDERFUL LIFE, but Jean was preparing for the stage opening of “Born Yesterday” . Olivia De Havilland and Ann Dvorak were considered. Donna Reed made the part her own.

………I often wonder how Katharine Hepburn survived without injury, the push in the face she got from Cary Grant in THE PHILADELPHIA STORY.  She went down like a stone! – onto a soft mat I assume, but still….

……..Watching ROPE, I wondered if Jimmy Stewart realised that John Dall had the bigger and better role.

………As we know, practically every character in vintage movies smoked – a lot. It was a surprise therefore watching PRC’s PHANTOM OF 42ND STREET  to see that Dave O’Brien as a drama critic doesnt smoke at all! I loved Frank Jenks in this film – he plays a taxi driver called ‘Romeo’ – he was brought up on Shakespeare!

……..I wish someone would write a book about Bess Flowers.

…….Tippi Hedren, reflecting on Hitchcock, “It’s a terrible thing to be the object of someone’s obsession if you are not interested.”

…….However many times you see it, ANGELS WITH DIRTY FACES ‘s ending is still powerful as Pat O’Brien begs James Cagney to pretend he is scared as he goes to the electric chair for the sake of the boys who worship him, so they wont think of him as a hero  . Cagney’s screams arent easy to forget.

……..On a Frank Sinatra radio show, Bogie is looking for a bodyguard for Lauren Bacall – Sinatra is elected. Bogie says to him,”You’ll have a gun on each hip.” Sinatra says, “Why two guns?” Bogie replies,”One gun would tilt you!”

……..In HARVEY , James Stewart as Elwood P. Dowd, presents his card to everyone he meets, carefully pointing out which phone number on the card to use.

…….

2 responses »

  1. Good news: “The Best Things In Life Are Free” has recently been released on MOD (manufactured on demand) DVD in the US by Fox Archives.
    Bad news: It is a “pan and scan” 4:3 version of the original widescreen film.
    Why a major company like Fox can butcher a film like this in these days, when most consumers now have widescreen TVs is beyond me.

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