Jack Cole rehearses Marc Platt, Rita Hayworth in “Down to Earth”

Dance · Film
Jack Cole (seated, pointing) rehearses Marc Platt & Rita Hayworth for “Down to Earth” (Columbia, 1947) in the photo at left. Platt executes the move in costume and a (bad) wig, at right. Cole was very big on gladiators; judging by the look on Platt’s face, the dancer was perhaps less so.   [click on ...

Jack Cole’s mid-century-modern dance design 1

Architecture & Design · Dance · Film
A lost Jack Cole dance sequence from DOWN TO EARTH (Columbia, 1947). [click on the photo for detail.] Called the “New York number,” it used to be part of the larger “People Have More Fun Than Anyone,” number before it was cut from the film. It was absolutely common in Cole’s Hollywood career that his ...

Ballet dancer, movie star Marc Platt’s “Culture by the Mile” 2

Dance · Film
A marvelous Columbia Pictures publicity photo from 1947 features a rare creature: a ballet dancer who became a movie star — Marc Platt. And he’s still alive, with us, nearly 100 years old. Bravo Marc Platt, a beautiful American dancer! The touching, slightly potboiler “verso” text (posted below the photo) was written by a Columbia ...

Jack Cole rocks Rita Hayworth’s world in “Tonight and Every Night” (1945) 1

Dance · Film
The ditty she sings is inane (remember, it was the War!) and the costume is not her greatest. But Rita Hayworth does her thing prettily enough. Life changes when a monster-dancer joins her on stage — Jack Cole. Choreographers: Pay attention @ 1:43.  That is how to make an entrance — sliding in on your ...

John Singer Sargent dresses Rita Hayworth for “Put the Blame on Mame” 2

Dance · Fashion · Film
“The designer Jean Louis, supposedly inspired by John Singer Sargent‘s famous portrait of the décolleté Madame X, created for Miss Hayworth a fetishistic black satin strapless gown, with elbow-length gloves, and the dance director Jack Cole devised the strip-tease routine in which she flung those gloves to her audience. The director, Vidor, expected the filming ...

Rita’s dad

Dance · Film
Hurricane Irene, heading our direction in New York City, where we are visiting, can prove no match for Hurricane Rita. Lovely Rita’s dancing father, Eduardo Cansino, tangoes here, courtesy of the digital photo collection of the New York Public Library. I spent the last two days in the glorious Performing Arts Library at Lincoln Center, ...

Movie musical talk with George Chakiris

Dance · Film
I had the wonderful good fortune to interview singer/dancer/actor George Chakiris at TCM Fest this weekend. The resulting Los Angeles Times piece here. A few leftover niblets to follow… His passion for musicals when growing up: I used to love every movie musical I saw. There was one that stood out, The Barclays of Broadway ...

Why film community matters

Film
In this coming Sunday’s Los Angeles Times Calendar section you will find my article about choreographer Jack Cole who coached Marilyn Monroe in movement over the course of six of her films. Most famously, he choreographed “Diamonds are a Girl’s Best Friend” from Gentlemen Prefer Blondes. Jack Cole also choreographed “Put the Blame on Mame” for Rita Hayworth in Gilda, at ...