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Jeanette MacDonald: Articles


Ernst Lubitsch Movies: Lost 'Touch' in Our Age of Sledgehammer Filmmaking

Ernst Lubitsch movies: Subtle, sophisticated 'Touch' all but gone from contemporary filmmaking. Ernst Lubitsch movies: The forgotten, passé 'Touch' Ernst Lubitsch and William Cameron Menzies were Turner Classic Movies' “stars” on Jan. 28, '16. (This is a fully revised and expanded version of a post published that day.) Lubitsch had the morning/afternoon, with seven films; Menzies had the evening/night, also with seven features. As a sign of the times, Ernst Lubitsch is hardly ever mentioned whenever “connoisseurs” (between quotes) discuss Hollywood movies of the studio era. But why? Well, probably because The Lubitsch Touch is considered passé at a time when the sledgehammer approach to filmmaking is deemed “fresh,” “innovative,” “cool,” and “daring” – as if a crass lack of […]


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Ernst Lubitsch Movies: Lost 'Touch' in Our Age of Sledgehammer Filmmaking



'The Merry Widow': Jeanette MacDonald & Maurice Chevalier Movie Magic

Jeanette MacDonald, Maurice Chevalier, The Merry Widow The Merry Widow is neither one of Ernst Lubitsch's most discussed nor best-liked films. Film critics and historians generally tend to focus on a couple of his early, pre-Code Paramount talkies, One Hour with You (co-directed with George Cukor) and Trouble in Paradise, and his later comedies Ninotchka and To Be or Not to Be. But that's the critics' and historians' fault. For the visually and aurally arresting The Merry Widow is a superlative musical, boasting sumptuous sets (production design by Cedric Gibbons), exquisite black-and-white cinematography (Oliver T. Marsh), and a magnificently staged ballroom-dancing sequence that should impress even those who couldn't care less about either musicals or ballroom dancing. And that's not […]


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'The Merry Widow': Jeanette MacDonald & Maurice Chevalier Movie Magic



Hugh Martin Dies: 'Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas' Co-Composer

Meet Me in St. Louis with Margaret O'Brien, Judy Garland Hugh Martin, best known for co-composing with Ralph Blane “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas,” sung by Judy Garland in Vincente Minnelli's 1944 classic Meet Me in St. Louis, died on March 10 '11 in Encinitas, Calif. He was 96. According to The Guardian's Hugh Martin obit, in addition to Garland, others who have performed the song include Frank Sinatra, Tony Bennett, Ella Fitzgerald, Doris Day and Bing Crosby. Pointedly, the Sinatra rendition is used as background for the execution of an American soldier for treason in blacklisted screenwriter-turned-director Carl Foreman's stark, all-star World War II drama The Victors (1963). “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas,” recipient of the most-performed […]


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Hugh Martin Dies: 'Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas' Co-Composer