NEW YORK, NEW YORK
1977, Park Circus/MGM, 163 min, USA, Dir: Martin Scorsese

Director Martin Scorsese called it a “film noir musical.” A powerful and misunderstood tribute to musical forefathers Vincente Minnelli and Stanley Donen, it melds larger-than-life soundstage musicals and kitchen-sink realism. Scorsese mainstay Robert De Niro stars as Jimmy Doyle, a WWII veteran who returns home on V-Day and attempts to pick up Francine Evans (Liza Minnelli) at a huge party. Her career as a singer is on the rise while his inventive saxophone style has not yet caught on. Often improvised, De Niro's performance comes off like a more musical cousin of Travis Bickle, while Minnelli soars in the final act. The breathtaking production design is by the legendary Boris Leven, art director of numerous noir films such as CRISS CROSS and SUDDEN FEAR as well as classic musicals WEST SIDE STORY and THE SOUND OF MUSIC. Cinematography by Laszlo Kovacs (EASY RIDER, FIVE EASY PIECES). Also features Mary Kay Place, Barry Primus and Dick Miller.


MISS SADIE THOMPSON
1953, Sony Repertory, 91 min, USA, Dir: Curtis Bernhardt

After she’s forced to leave Hawaii when her Honolulu singing job goes kaput, hard-luck dame Sadie Thompson (Rita Hayworth) is stranded on the isle of Samoa, which is home to a U.S. Army base. She’s befriended by well-meaning, lovable GI hunk Aldo Ray as well as his soldier pals (including a young Charles Bronson). But dirty-minded lay minister and self-righteous gadabout Jose Ferrer, laying over with his wife on a trip, believes she is nothing more than a common prostitute and is offended by her presence. He takes it upon himself to make Sadie’s life a living hell until he can get her deported back to the States. Although Rita’s singing voice was dubbed by Jo Ann Greer, you would never know it during the musical numbers - she is positively dynamite performing "Hear No Evil," "The Heat Is On," and "Blue Pacific Blues." Originally shot in 3-D, this is a terrific color remake of W. Somerset Maugham’s classic tale “Miss Thompson,” first filmed in 1932 as RAIN by director Lewis Milestone with Joan Crawford.


KISS ME KATE
1953, Warner Bros., 109 min, USA, Dir: George Sidney

This adaptation of the Broadway hit is often cited as one of the best 3-D films of the 1950s. As divorced actors reuniting for a musical production of Shakespeare’s The Taming of the Shrew, Kathryn Grayson and Howard Keel get to sing some "wunderbar" Cole Porter songs, along with the great Ann Miller (“Too Darn Hot”). As you’d expect of a Golden Age MGM musical, the dancing is as marvelous as the Oscar-nominated score, with choreography by Hermes Pan (and ace hoofer/future director Bob Fosse in the role of Hortensio).


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