Rare Musicals on TCM – August 2014

Summer Under the Stars is back! TCM’s annual celebration of classic Hollywood features a slew of entertaining pictures with some of the biggest and brightest names. Musical-wise, your best bets are to keep an eye on August 4 (Judy Garland), August 25 (Dick Powell), and August 30 (Betty Grable). But the whole months is full of wonderful treats!

Stage Struck (1936)

One of my very favorite things in the world is old-school journalistic prose, especially film reviews, and MOST especially negative film reviews, so it was with a delighted heart that I came across this terrific pan from Frank S. Nugent’s review of Stage Struck in the New York Times, published September 28, 1936.

Busby Berkeley and the Gold Diggers of 1935

Man, Busby Berkeley really is on another level, isn’t he?  He certainly had an eye for film, which I think really distinguishes him from other choreographers, both of his era and of any time. His most famous set pieces simply can’t be replicated in any other medium–not only are the dancers choreographed, but the cameras as well… and you can’t get one of those great Berkeley overhead geometries seated in a theater.