So fake — and so fantastic. Marilyn’s porthole scene in ‘Gentlemen Prefer Blondes’

Film
I don’t make movies. I don’t know how. I just go see ’em. And our recent big-screening viewing, hosted by Laemmle Anniversary Classics, of the delicious Technicolor comedy, Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, had us chuckling, as ever, over the great comic scene played between Marilyn Monroe, George ‘Foghorn’ Winslow, and Charles Coburn. In the scene, La ...

Farber on Film: TCM Fest 2018 brings home the power of the press

Film · Language & ideas
by 
This year’s TCM Classic Film Festival, which opens in Hollywood tomorrow night, is divided into several theme-related programs. One of the most intriguing—and certainly the timeliest—is called “Power of the Press” and celebrates movies about journalists. All the President’s Men was the Festival’s opening night film in 2016, so this year’s selections are not such ...

William Friedkin reveals his French Connection

Film
Reverence reigned in the room; it was a stirring evening of movie worship. An enthralled, somewhat dazed, audience emptied onto Wilshire Boulevard only at 11:30 pm, following the 45th anniversary screening of THE FRENCH CONNECTION (1971) hosted by film critic Stephen Farber for Laemmle’s Anniversary Classics. In a post-screening Q & A, the movie’s director, ...

Jack Cole, Hollywood director 2

Dance · Film
On the camera crane works Jack Cole (in white sweater, click photo for detail), directing “Diamonds are a Girl’s Best Friend,” exactly as he did for all four GENTLEMEN PREFER BLONDES (1953) dance numbers (Two Little Girls From Little Rock, Ain’t There Anyone Here for Love, When Love Goes Wrong, Diamonds Are A Girl’s Best ...

Jack Cole & Marilyn Monroe reunite at Jacob’s Pillow

Dance · Film
It was my great honor to join a panel at Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival on Saturday, August 14, 2010, to honor the peerless jazz choreographer Jack Cole, whom I revere and about whom I have written. As a former Denishawn dancer, Cole had a distinct history at “The Pillow.” Here I contribute a snippet about Cole’s choreography for Marilyn Monroe ...

Jane Russell remembers “Gentleman” Jack Cole 2

Dance · Film
“Yes,” answered Jane Russell last Wednesday evening, nodding emphatically when asked if choreographer Jack Cole had directed the dance sequences in Howard Hawks’s “Gentlemen Prefer Blondes” (1953). Russell’s brown eyes flashed and she became animated on hearing Cole’s name. The brunette bombshell of the 1940/50’s, appearing at a Hollywood Heritage event this past week, chatted ...

Girl Power 2

Dance · Film
The home-run event of the summer was Howard Hawks’s comic masterpiece, Gentlemen Prefer Blondes (1953), projected on the humongous screen of the vintage Los Angeles Theater (1931) on Broadway in downtown L.A. Viewed as oversized fleshy Amazons whose umpteen parts miraculously move together, MM and Jane Russell cruise through this nutty film, singing, dancing, and ...