The Young Girls Turns 25 (Les Demoiselles Ont Eu 25 ans) (1993)

AGNES VARDA Bil’s rating (out of 5):   BBBB.5.  France, 1993.  Ciné Tamaris.  Screenplay by Agnes Varda.  Cinematography by Alexandre Auffort, Stephane Krausz, Patrick Mounoud, Georges Strouve, Agnes Varda.  Music by Michel Legrand, Jacques Loussier.  Cannes Film Festival 1993. It’s astounding how much love and affection Agnes Varda packs into 64 very short minutes. On the occasion of the 25th anniversary…

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Summer Stock

BBB (out of 5) The last film that Judy Garland completed before her contract was torn up by MGM was this so-so musical that has enough great numbers in it to make it worth watching. Garland plays a happy farmer whose peaceful, quiet life is interrupted when her actress sister descends upon her, needing a place…

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Cover Girl

BB.5 (out of 5) Beautiful but eventually tiresome show-within-a-show musical about a hot stuff chorus girl (Rita Hayworth) who is given the chance of a lifetime when a sugardaddy wants to put her on the cover of Vanity Fair magazine. Trouble is, she’s in love with the selfish choreographer (Gene Kelly) of the nightclub act…

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Words And Music (1948)

NORMAN TAUROG Bil’s rating (out of 5):  BB.5.  USA, 1948.  Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer.  Story by Guy Bolton, Jean Holloway, Adaptation by Ben Feiner Jr.,  Screenplay by Fred F. Finklehoffe.  Cinematography by Charles Rosher, Harry Stradling Sr..  Produced by Arthur Freed.  Music by Lennie Hayton, Conrad Salinger.  Production Design by Cedric Gibbons, Jack Martin Smith.  Costume Design by Helen Rose, Valles.  Film Editing by Albert Akst, Ferris Webster.  …

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Marjorie Morningstar (1958)

IRVING RAPPER Bil’s rating (out of 5):  BB.  USA, 1958.  Beachwold Productions.  Screenplay by Everett Freeman, based on the novel by Herman Wouk.  Cinematography by Harry Stradling Sr..  Produced by Milton Sperling.  Music by Max Steiner.  Production Design by Malcolm C. Bert.  Costume Design by Howard Shoup.  Film Editing by Folmar Blangsted.  Academy Awards 1958. Fans of the two leads are the only people likely…

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Inherit The Wind

BBBB (out of 5) This riveting courtroom drama, based on the play by Jerome Lawrence and Robert E. Lee, is one of Stanley Kramer’s most impressive films. Inspired by the Scopes “Monkey Trial” of 1925 in Tennessee, it stars Spencer Tracy as a defence lawyer assigned to the case of a schoolteacher being discharged for…

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Hello, Dolly!

BB (out of 5) Thornton Wilder’s The Matchmaker gets a garish musical treatment in this overblown film.  Barbra Streisand plays Dolly Levi, a rich widow who specializes in setting up the single and the lovelorn. While assisting a wealthy Yonkers store owner (Walter Matthau) in landing the girl of his dreams (Marianne McAndrew), she decides to…

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An American In Paris

BBBB (out of 5) The visual splendor of this Vincente Minnelli musical has made it one of the most successful uses of colour film in cinema history.  Gene Kelly is perpetually charming as a Yank painter trying to make a living selling his canvases on the streets of Paris. Constantly looking for the perfect inspiration,…

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The Pirate

BBBB (out of 5) A perfect example of how Vincente Minnelli was the colour film genius of his time is this splashy musical fantasy, one of the best in the Judy Garland film repertoire.  Unappreciated when originally released, it was a financial disaster (even composer Cole Porter thought it was “the worst that money could…

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Brigadoon

BB.5 (out of 5) Gene Kelly and Van Johnson play tourists in the highlands of Scotland who happen upon a mystical village in the middle of enchanted glade, a tiny hamlet that only comes to life for one day every hundred years. Their time spent there is mostly utilized in getting to know the charming locals,…

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Anchors Aweigh

BBB.5 (out of 5) Lightweight musical that isn’t as memorable as Gene Kelly‘s later navy-themed On The Town. He and Frank Sinatra (who co-starred with Kelly in the aforementioned Stanley Donen classic) star as two sailors on shore leave in Los Angeles who meet up with a charming young tot (Dean Stockwell) who would love to…

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That’s Entertainment! III

BBB.5 (out of 5) Another collection of great moments from classic MGM musicals, this time going the extra step that parts I and II didn’t by including rare moments from the films in question. Rehearsal footage, behind-the-scenes film clips, as well as more introspective looks into the making of some of Hollywood’s greatest classics in…

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