Wednesday, April 12, 2023

Everything You Ever Need To Know About Life...

... you can learn from:

Coco: You know, there was a man that lived here once
that had a prize-fighting kangaroo. Well, you just
wouldn't believe what that kangaroo did to this courtyard!

The legend Ann Miller was born 100 years ago today!
I know she had a long long long career but she'll always
be Coco in Mulholland Drive to me. What're your faves?


sissyinhwd said...

Love her in KISS ME KATE and STAGEDOOR(when she was 15/16 yrs old.)

joel65913 said...

Ack how did I miss this!! I even tracked down one of the few appearances of hers I hadn't seen yesterday (more on that in a minute) and still missed that it was her centenary!

As far as favorites go I have to agree with sissyinhwd about Kiss Me Kate and Stage Door being her tops along with Easter Parade.

Spending a large part of her screen career at the second rung Columbia and even there holding down the fort headlining B musicals her films weren't the stuff of classic cinema though by and large pleasant enough. Also several of them had awesome titles-Reveille with Beverly, Eve Knew Her Apples, What's Buzzin' Cousin? etc.-which were probably better than the movies that carried them. Then once she moved over to Metro her films improved vastly but briefly as she came in at the end of their classic musical period, she did often contribute the best pieces in those films however, for instance her absolutely iconic turn in Small Town Girl as she dances through a sea of disembodied hands and instruments.

About the film I saw yesterday, in which she had the briefest of cameos waving from a soundstage door while being name checked, it was a B- quickie called Sailor's Holiday. The big name in the cast (at the time it was made that is) was Arthur Lake famous as Dagwood Bumstead in the Blondie series surrounded by a lot of performers who never went anywhere....except in her first credited role SHELLEY WINTERS! At first I didn't even recognize her with her whippet thin figure and elaborate upsweep hairdo but then she spoke and there was the Shelley of the future. What was really striking about it was that even with her different appearance and inexperience she registered on screen and in her scenes in a way that no one surrounding her did. It was a fascinating example of how the camera loves certain people and not others, though the movie itself was crap.