Deke Rivers is a delivery man who is discovered by publicist Glenda Markle and country-western musician Tex Warner who want to promote the talented newcomer to fame and fortune, giving him every break he deserves. Romantic complications arise as Susan, another singer in the group, offers him devoted admiration as Glenda leads him on with promises of a golden future.
The Great Caruso (1951) Richard Thorpe, Mario Lanza, Ann Blyth, Dorothy Kirsten, Biography, Drama, Music
Loosely traces the life of tenor Enrico Caruso (1873-1921). He loves Musetta, in his home town of Naples, and then Dorothy, the daughter of one of the Metropolitan Opera’s patrons. Caruso is unacceptable to both women’s fathers: to one, because he sings; to Dorothy’s, because he is a peasant. To New York patricians, Caruso is short, barrel chested, loud, emotional, unrefined. Their appreciation comes slowly. The film depicts Caruso’s lament that “the man does not have the voice, the voice has the man”: he cannot be places he wants to be, because he must be elsewhere singing, including the day his mother dies. Throughout, Mario Lanza and stars from the Met sing.
Joey Evans is charming, handsome, funny, talented, and a first class, A-number-one heel. When Joey meets the former chorus girl (“She used to be ‘Vera…with the Vanishing Veils'”) and now rich widow Vera Simpson, the two lecherous souls seem made for each other. That is, until Linda English comes along. Linda is a “mouse on the chorus line” and built like there’s no tomorrow. But she’s the typical good little girl from a good little home – just the right ingredient to louse up Joey’s cushy set up.
Volga – Volga (1938) Grigori Aleksandrov, Igor Ilyinsky, Vladimir Volodin, Pavel Olenev, Sergei Antimonov, Comedy, Musical
Telling Lies in America (1997) Guy Ferland, Kevin Bacon, Brad Renfro, Maximilian Schell, Drama, Music
Karchy (Brad Renfro) is a boy in school who has moved from Hungary to America in the 1960’s. He is struggling in school and trying to adjust to America’s culture. He then hears about a radio DJ Billy Magic (Kevin Bacon) who holds a contest for a Student Hall of Fame every week. When Karchy finally wins after several weeks, he spends more time with Billy Magic…a man with money, girls, and glam. Karchy thinks that by spending time with Magic, he can become “cool”. He then starts telling lies, to make himself seem greater than he really is. But when his lies begin hurting the people he cares about, he realizes that it isn’t worth telling lies if it affects your friends. Afterwards, he learns to accept himself for the person he is, and gives up lying. And as for Billy Magic, it turns out that he pays his price for all the lies that he has told as well….
Set in the early 1910s at a time of passionate artistic experimentalism, and based on biographical fact, this is the story of Vaslav Nijinsky, the young and brilliant but headstrong premier danseur and aspiring choreographer of the Ballets Russes. The company is managed by the famous Sergei Diaghilev, himself a controlling and fiercely possessive impresario. The increasing tension between these powerful egos, exacerbated by homosexual desire and jealousy, becomes triangular when the young ballerina Romola de Pulsky determinedly attempts to draw the increasingly mentally unstable Nijinsky away from Diaghilev…
Widower and hamburger restaurateur Harvey Howard decides to go to college at 51 years of age. Resisting the easy path, he insists on not receiving preferential treatment, and lives in a dorm like the other students despite the disapproval of his grown son and daughter. As the years pass, and he gets involved in study sessions, fraternity initiations, and sporting events, he begins falling in love with Professor Gautier, the French teacher, but doesn’t consider re-marrying appropriate.
As the film opens on an Oklahoma farm during the depression, two simultaneous visitors literally hit the Wagoneer home: a ruinous dust storm and a convertible crazily driven by Red, the missus’ brother. A roguish country-western musician, he has just been invited to audition for the Grand Ole Opry, his chance of a lifetime to become a success. However, this is way back in Nashville, Red clearly drives terribly, and he’s broke and sick with tuberculosis to boot. Whit, 14, seeing his own chance of a lifetime to avoid “growing up to be a cotton picker all my life,” begs Ma to let him go with Uncle Red as driver and protege. Thus begins a picaresque journey both hilarious and poignant.
An American in Paris (1951) Vincente Minnelli, Gene Kelly, Leslie Caron, Oscar Levant, Musical, Romance, Drama
Jerry Mulligan, a struggling American painter in Paris, is “discovered” by an influential heiress with an interest in more than Jerry’s art. Jerry in turn falls for Lise, a young French girl already engaged to a cabaret singer. Jerry jokes, sings and dances with his best friend, an acerbic would-be concert pianist, while romantic complications abound.
Nora Walker is told that her British fighter pilot husband is missing in action and presumed killed in World War II. On V.E. Day, Nora gives birth to their son, who she names Tommy. While Tommy is an adolescent, Nora marries Frank, a shifty camp counselor. Shortly thereafter, Tommy suffers an emotionally traumatic experience associated with his father and step-father, which, based on things told to him at that time, results in him becoming deaf, dumb and blind, a situation which several people exploit for their own pleasure. As Nora tries several things to bring Tommy out of his psychosomatic disabilities, Tommy, now a young man, happens upon pinball as a stimulus. Playing by intuition, Tommy becomes a pinball master, which in turn makes him, and by association Nora and Frank, rich and famous. Nora literally shatters Tommy to his awakening, which ultimately leads to both the family’s rise and downfall as people initially try to emulate Tommy’s path then rebel against it.