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Entries by Anne Marie (227)

Thursday
Apr 06 2017

TCM Classic Film Festival 2017 Starts Today!

Greetings,classic Hollywood fans!Anne Marie,here,returning to the blog!The sun is shining,the stars on Hollywood Blvd are gleaming,and there's been an uptick of tourists taking pictures of Bette Davis's handprints outside the TCL Chinese Theatre,all of which mean just one thing: it's time for theTCM Classic Film Festival!

This year,the most explosive news of the festival is the screening of several movies on nitrate film.TCM has always prided itself on screening 35mm at its festival side by side with new digital restorations.However,projecting nitrate prints requires a retrofit of the projection booths that handle the infamously flammable film stock.Fortunately,the Egyptian Theatre in Hollywood recently underwent just such a renovation thanks the Hollywood Foreign Press,The Film Foundation,and Turner Classic Movies.As a result,movies ranging fromLauratoBlack Narcissusand the originalThe Man Who Knew Too Muchwill once again get the chance to light the screen ablaze - metaphorically,of course...

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Wednesday
Dec 28 2016

Judy by the Numbers: Sunday Night at the Palladium

Anne Marie has spent each Wednesday morning this year,investigating Judy Garland's career through musical numbers.And now,the finale...

Somehow,we've reached the end ofthis series,this year,and the life and career of this incredible performer.Though Judy never starred in another television show or movie after 1964,she stayed busy with tours and TV guest star gigs,including a recurring spot as Johnny Carson's guest onThe Tonight Show.Her touring schedule brought her frequently to England,where she was taped one last time in front of an audience in a sold-out January performance at the London Palladium.

The Show: "Sunday Night at the Palladium"
The Songwriters:Various
The Cast:Judy Garland

The Story: It was a bittersweet discovery to find that the full kinescope of Judy Garland's last television performance,Sunday Night at the Palladium,has been almost totally lost to time.Though sound recordings of the special exist,the only actual image currently available is sixteen silent seconds of Garland taking her final bows.It's an oddly perfect way to end the series,though...

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Wednesday
Dec 21 2016

Judy by the Numbers: "Hello, Dolly!"

Anne Marie has been chronicling Judy Garland's career chronologically through musical numbers...

With only two weeks left in the year,how do we cover the five remaining years of Judy Garland's life?I've tried as much as possible to deliver beautiful numbers and biographical details as near as I could verify in between bits of high-spirited hagiography.Unfortunately,the complicated myth built by talent,timing,and Hollywood studios only amplified after her death,making fact and fiction nearly impossible to untangle...

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Wednesday
Dec 14 2016

Judy by the Numbers: "Smile"

Anne Marie has been chronicling Judy Garland's career chronologically through musical numbers...

On January 22,1964,CBS announced the inevitable:The Judy Garland Showwould be cancelled after just one season.Though the network stated that the cancellation was so that Judy could spend more time with her family,the subpar ratings and tumultuous backstage difficulties had made the show untenable for the studio.In fact,less than a month after the announcement - after Episode 22 was shot - Judy ended the longest artistic partnership she'd had on the show when she fired Mel Torme.Musical director replaced and show revamped for the fifth time,Judy still ended the series looking and singing like a million bucks.

The Show:The Judy GarlandShowEpisode 22
The Songwriters: Charlie Chaplin (original score),John Turner & Geoffrey Parsons
The Cast: Judy Garland,directed by Dean Whitmore

The Story: The style the show settled on was one with which Judy was familiar,and which had inspired the series to begin with: the concert.Guests were winnowed down to one or two (or none) per episode,sketches were cut,and instead the series focused on producing mini-concerts beamed directly to American living rooms.No longer needing to memorize lines or force interactions,Judy instead used the format to let her talent and the emotion of the songs carry her away,as she did in this bittersweet version of "Smile."Though the show would not go off the air until late March,it left a lasting impression on fans.A fan-led write-in protest was even started to try to resurrect it.The series had an effect on Judy,as well.With her third marriage and her television career over,Judy turned back to tours to spend time on the two things she loved most: her children,and her fans.

Wednesday
Dec 07 2016

Judy by the Numbers: "The Judy Garland Christmas Show"

Anne Marie has been chronicling Judy Garland's career chronologically through musical numbers...

Full disclosure: I am in the middle of finals hell,wherein I have to write roughly 45 pages and grade exactly 48 exams before I can finally collapse at home for the holidays.So this episode is an especially selfish choice on my part.Since it's been a rocky year,I thought the best choice would be to post the entire episode,so that we could come together over a warm Christmas computer and spend the holidays with Judy.

The Show:The Judy GarlandShow Episode 15
The Songwriters: Various,arrangement by Mel Torme
The Cast: Judy Garland,Mel Torme,Liza Minnelli,directed by Dean Whitmore

The Story: Call me a sap (and I am),but I cannot watch Judy Garland sing "Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas"while she and her children watch fake snow fall out of a studio set window.In a season that seems to demand yearly special televised events,The Judy Garland Christmas Showranks as one of the most special Like every episode ofThe Judy Garland Show,there are some nasty rumors that have risen to the level of legend: that Judy and Mel were fighting,which caused her to flub his name and two song lyrics,that Judy refused to rehearse,that she was high,etc.But somehow the backstage antipathy doesn't diminish the near-camp joy of Judy and co.sitting around a mid-century fireplace singing the songs that she made famous.Much of it has to do with her kids: as the Luft siblings and Liza make appearances,their improvised bits may be stagey,but their affection for their mother is real.Gaffes,bad jokes,and creepy Santa dancers notwithstanding,The Judy Garland Christmas Showremains a classic staple of holiday television.

Wednesday
Nov 30 2016

Judy by the Numbers: "I Like Men Medley"

Anne Marie has been chronicling Judy Garland's career chronologically through musical numbers...

So it may not look like it offhand,but today's episode marked another big shift in the rocky history ofThe Judy Garland Show.After producing seven episodes,firing most of the staff,kicking Jerry Van Dyke to the curb and reformatting the show,Norman Jewison exited as planned after the 13th taped episode.He would be replaced by Bill Colleran,a producer fromYour Hit Parade.

The Show:The Judy GarlandShow Episode 13
The Songwriters: Various,arrangement by Mel Torme
The Cast: Judy Garland,Peggy Lee,produced by Norman Jewison

The Story: (My favorite part is the surprise boas at 3:00.) Though Jewison wasn't able to improve the unsteady ratings ofThe Judy Garland Show,the episodes he produced would set the established characteristics of the show at its peak.More cinematic production,the movement away from sketch comedy,and an emphasis on music and a variety of guest stars all defined Jewison's tenure on the show.The Peggy Lee medley exemplifies all of these qualities,but also points towards the show under Colleran's stewardship: two cabaret singers belting standards.Colleran would transition the show towards a concert format.But before he could complete that transition,it was time for Christmas.

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