Monday, April 09, 2012

beyond fred, ginger & gene

Unlike Warners, which fully respected his "The Music Man," Metro pretty much botched Meredith Willson's "The Unsinkable Molly Brown" in 1964.

Willfully so.

As thuddingly directed by Charles Walters and massacred by writer Helen Deutsch (working from Richard Morris's stage libretto), it dropped songs and truncated the plot. Ah, but the feeble film isn't a total loss.

Smack-dab in the middle is "He's My Friend," a production number that Willson wrote especially for the movie. Guided by choreographer Peter Gennaro, star Debbie Reynolds, Gus Trikonis (Goldie Hawn's first husband) and, again, the remarkable Grover Dale stomp their hearts out, mixing the Irish Jig with some incredible high kicks. It's one of the best.

The number: "He’s My Friend”

The composer: Meredith Willson

The singers: Harve Presnell and company

The choreographer: Peter Gennaro

The dancers: Debbie Reynolds, Grover Dale, Gus Trikonkis and company

The cinematographer: Daniel L. Fapp

The film editor: Fredric Steinkamp

The production designers: Preston Ames and George W. Davis

1 comment:

Kelly said...

Good day! This is my first visit to your blog! Love it! "Molly Brown" is my favorite musical film