‘Comb-out’ cat fight in MGM hair salon

Fashion · Film
Memories of Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer film studio’s early-morning hair-and-makeup ritual as described by one of the era’s leading girls-with-curls, Leslie Caron.EXCERPTED FROM: Donald Knox, “The Magic Factory: How MGM Made An American in Paris” (New York: Praeger Publishers) 1973 One of the biggest fights between the ladies was in hairdressing. Sydney Guilaroff was the king of that ...

Singalong Saturday: He’s gone where the goblins go

As mayor of the Munchkin CityIn the County of the Land of OzI welcome you mostly regally(But we’ve got to verify if legally)To see … If she …Is morally, ethically, spiritually, physically, positively, absolutely, undeniably DEADAs Coroner, I must aver, I’ve thoroughly examined herAnd she is not merely dead, she’s really most sincerely dead.So this ...

A Jack Cole audition for KISMET (1944)

Dance · Film
The choreographer Jack Cole is most known for his Oriental dance numbers in KISMET (MGM, 1955) directed by Vincente Minnelli. But a decade prior, also at MGM, Cole choreographed KISMET (1944) starring the non-dancer, Marlene Dietrich. Dancer/ballet instructor Joan Bayley, who went on to become choreographer’s assistant to Robert Alton, auditioned for Cole as a ...

Bernstein’s gripping ‘Waterfront’ score to surge thru The Soraya

Film · Music
The American Film Institute ranks On the Waterfront (1954) as one of the best ten movies of all time. The searing indictment of union corruption on the New York docks was a landmark in social realism. Its greatness lies in the collaboration between the towering talents of director Elia Kazan, actors Marlon Brando, Karl Malden ...

Memo to L.B. from W.R. re: ‘hoodoo’ president

Film · Ideas & Opinion
Excerpted from “Lion of Hollywood,” by the award-winning film historian Scott Eyman, whose new book, “Hank and Jim” concerning the lifelong friendship between Henry Fonda and James Stewart will be out in November 2017. In his 2005 biography of MGM studio head Louis B. Mayer, Eyman captures a fascinating exchange between two prominent right-wingers of ...

God dances, courtesy of director Charles Walters, on TCM

Dance · Film
Fred Astaire wants to be a dancin’ man in THE BELLE OF NEW YORK (1952). Do you think he succeeds? Part of Turner Classic Movies Friday Night Spotlights devoted to the dancing movies, and more, of director Charles Walters.

Cecil B. DeMille’s “Madam Satan,” dance-dissected, March 15 5

Dance · Film
Delighted to announce my talk, “Theodore Kosloff & Cecil B. DeMille Meet Madam Satan” concerning the notorious early talkie-musical, co-sponsored by the American Cinematheque and the Art Deco Society of Los Angeles. The “illustrated lecture” is slated for Saturday March 15, 2 pm, coupled with a screening of MADAM SATAN (MGM, 1930), at the Egyptian ...

Jack Cole invites you to a ball 4

Dance · Film
From MGM’s “The Merry Widow” (1952) Jack Cole’s beautifully calibrated waltz sequence pours forth. Minutes and minutes of on-screen dancing. Audiences apparently used to like this; I guess they don’t anymore.  Enjoy! Cole’s gigs at MGM were fewer then at Columbia or Fox (at MGM: Kismet twice: 1944, 1955, Les Girls 1957, Designing Woman 1957). ...

The latest from Leo the Lion

I very much enjoyed seeing Jack Goldstein’s art film, “Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer” (1975) screened by LA Filmforum as part of  “Industry Town: The Avant-Garde and Hollywood,” one of Pacific Standard Time’s offerings around L.A. This journey through eight short experimental films amply showed the shadow side of filmmaking in Los Angeles. Directors as disparate as Kenneth Anger, ...