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

Film
I don’t make movies. I don’t know how they make them. I just go see ’em. A recent big-screen viewing, hosted by Laemmle Anniversary Classics, of the delicious Technicolor comedy, Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, had us laughing, as ever, at the great comic scene between Marilyn Monroe, George ‘Foghorn’ Winslow, and Charles Coburn. In the scene, ...

Dance-dwellers at the Villa Carlotta

Architecture & Design · Dance
When the call came from Hollywood in January 1941, the choreographer Jack Cole, leading his three-member troupe, repaired to Los Angeles tout de suite. So quickly did Cole dispatch his dancers Anna Austin and Florence Lessing to Calilfornia, that Austin wrote in her memoir, “We did not have time to take makeup off.” We had ...

A masterpiece of dance on film: Jack Cole’s “Happy Ending”

Dance · Film
The dance sequence below, choreographed by the great Jack Cole (he dances in it as well) closes Twentieth Century Fox’s “On the Riviera” (1951). Every element of  “Happy Ending” rings true. Not a single step is wrong or jarring; on the contrary, all is balanced and golden and smart and right. It’s evidence of Cole’s ...