The Big Show (1961) - News Poster

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Wet She's a Star, Dry She Ain't: Williams' Post-mgm Years

Esther Williams: ‘Pools and Smiles’ formula grows stale [See previous post: "Esther Williams: Swimwear MGM Musical Star Dies."] By the early ’50s, Louis B. Mayer had been ousted from the studio he had helped to found, having been replaced by Dore Schary. Whether or not a coincidence, with the exception of Million Dollar Mermaid, the Esther Williams movies of the ’50s — e.g., The Duchess of Idaho, Skirts Ahoy! (stolen by Vivian Blaine in a supporting role), Dangerous When Wet, Easy to Love — lacked the luster of those released in the previous decade, despite more prestigious directors (George Sidney, Charles Walters, Robert Z. Leonard) and the usual co-stars (Van Johnson, Red Skelton, Howard Keel). (Photo: Esther Williams in Million Dollar Mermaid.) Not surprisingly, although MGM’s color musicals would remain in vogue a few more years, Esther Williams and the studio parted ways following George Sidney’s tired-looking Jupiter’s Darling (1956), with Williams and Howard Keel (as Hannibal) fooling around in ancient times.
See full article at Alt Film Guide »

The top 10 Oscars books | Peter Bradshaw

From red-carpet thrillers to insider accounts, the Guardian's film critic hands out his gongs to the best Oscars literature out there

Partly because Academy Award madness is almost upon us, partly because like all former PhD students I love a good reading list, and partly out of sheer nerdiness, I have compiled an arbitrary list of the top 10 Oscar-related books. This has involved the incidental pleasure of hanging out in the Humanities One reading room of the British Library, and also in the library of the excellent and under-appreciated Cinema Museum in Kennington, south London.

1) Robert Osborne – 80 Years of the Oscar: The Official History of the Academy Awards (2009)

A hefty, celebratory, coffee-table slab of a book, packed with stats and pictures like a book about sport. Very much the approved, authorised version.

2) Mason Wiley and Damien Bona – Inside Oscar: The Unofficial History of the Academy Awards (1977)

Notionally "unofficial" but in
See full article at The Guardian - Film News »

David Nelson Dies At 74

Los Angeles — David Nelson, who starred on his parents' popular television show "The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet," has died, a family spokesman said. He was 74.

Nelson, who was battling complications of colon cancer, died Tuesday at his Los Angeles home, said family spokesman and longtime Hollywood publicist Dale Olson.

Nelson was the last remaining member of the Nelsons TV family, which included actor/bandleader Ozzie, his singer wife, Harriet Hilliard and his teen idol brother Rick. The show originated on radio in 1952 as "Here Come the Nelsons," then ran for 320 episodes on TV from 1952 to 1966 as "The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet" with some of the story lines taken from the stars' own lives. David Nelson also directed and produced numerous episodes of the show throughout its run.

Singer Gunnar Nelson, a son of Rick Nelson, issued a statement Wednesday, saying his uncle's death was "a great loss to the Nelson family.
See full article at Huffington Post »

Take The Plunge With The Esther Williams DVD Collection

  • CinemaRetro
If you're stumped about what to get dad for Father's Day and were thinking of picking up some Charles Bronson DVDs, stop reading right now! However, if you're in market to reward someone who appreciates movies that epitomize the cliche "they don't make 'em like that anymore" then you'll be happy to know that Warner Brothers and Turner Classic Movies have teamed for a boxed set titled TCM Spotlight: Esther Williams. The set contains five films starring the legendary actress/swimming champ. I confess to not having seen any Esther Williams films until receiving this set - with the exception of the 1961 circus movie The Big Show - ironically one of the few in which our legendary leading lady didn't get any closer to water than passing the pool of trained seals. In watching these films today you are reminded that the grand old musical is a genre that has
See full article at CinemaRetro »

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