Monday, April 06, 2015

harvey's pseudomemory

Our favorite modern movie mogul, Harvey Weinstein, is making his debut as a Broadway producer with a musical staging of his hit 2004 film, "Finding Neverland," starring Matthew Morrison and Kelsey Grammer.

He  took time out from his busy prep work for a quick Q-&-A, titled ”What Harvey Weinstein Learned in ‘Neverland,’ with The New York Times' Lorne Manly. For the session, which ran yesterday in the Times' Arts & Leisure section, Weinstein opened with this reminiscence of his childhood encounter with a certain Julie Andrews movie musical from 1965. 

“When I was a kid, my mom and dad took me to see ‘The Sound of Music’ and the minute the nuns came on, I always say I fell in love with theater — the Rivoli Theater, where James Bond’s ‘Goldfinger’ was playing. The nuns came on, and I just flew [makes a whooshing sound] out of the theater. And my dad kind of had a sense that I was going to Bond, and he found me two hours later in the balcony of the Rivoli.”

This could not be.

”Goldfinger” opened December 22nd, 1964 at the DeMille and Coronet Theaters, while ”The Sound of Music” opened several months later in 1965 – on March 3rd  – as a roadshow attraction. It opened at ... the Rivoli.  It was “The Sound of Music” that played at the Rivoli Theater.  Exclusively.

The Bond film that was released in 1965 was ”Thunderball” but it didn't open until the end of the year, on  December 22nd, and it played at the Paramount, Sutton and Cinema II Theaters.

If Weinstein’s father found him in the balcony of the Rivoli in 1965, it was most likely during a performance of “The Sound of Music,” not “Goldfinger” (which was no longer playing in New York) or any other Bond movie.

But if that’s how Weinstein remembers things, well, to quote the famous newspaper line from John Ford's "The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance" (1962): "When the legend becomes fact, print the legend."

Note in Passing: I urge you to click on the above links for the three Times' reviews.  Bosley Crowther's take on "The Sound of Music" is priceless - and quite representative of the film's critical reception.


Alex said...

Harvey should have checked out the movies' dates before spinning that memory. It may be a silly piece of erratum but, hey, it makes good copy.

Brian Lucas said...

We all get a little fuzzy about childhood memories - what we saw, where we saw it, when we saw it. It's understandable. But I agree - given that Weinstein makes and releases movies, he could should double check dates when he knows that he's going to talk about old movies.

Sheila said...

Hey, it's a great "story." Whether it's true or not is beside the point. Everyone has a kid story about sneaking to a movie behind one's parents' backs. Happens all the time. I'm sure you did it, Joe. So what if Harvey got his facts mixed up?

joe baltake said...

Sheila- You are absolutely correct. In fact, in one of my introductory posts, titled the "film that defines me" (, I confess that I was a child sinner. I went to see the very adult "The Apartment" for the umpteenth time but told mom and dad that I was seeing the Biblical epic, "The Story of Ruth." Blasphemy!