Early in 1903, the success
of the New York production of the musical adaptation of L. Frank Baum's The Wizard of Oz
got composer Victor Herbert and librettist Glen MacDonough thinking. They thought that it might be possible to duplicate that success by applying a Christmas theme to Baum's story and then sprinkling in a few Mother Goose characters. Later that year the resulting show, Babes in Toyland
, was a rousing success
. Thirty years later it was made into a movie
starring two of the greatest motion picture actors of the era, Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy, produced by Hal Roach
. But this post isn't about either of those productions; it's about the worst
production. [more inside]
posted by Toekneesan
on Dec 17, 2010 -
Pauline Kael called it "a huge, jerry-built, crumbling ruin of a movie". Roger Ebert called it "such a silly and stupid movie... our immediate reaction is pity". Few directors of Michelangelo Antonioni
's stature have followed a film as acclaimed as Blowup
(1966) with one as reviled as Zabriskie Point
(1970). [more inside]
posted by Joe Beese
on Jun 25, 2009 -
Back in 1940, a young singer called Virginia O'Brien
made her debut in the LA production of "Meet the People"
when she was seized by a paralyzing case of stage fright. The policeman daughter nevertheless bravely kept on singing while the audience roared with laughter. Surprisingly, her frozen-faced delivery, far from cutting her career short, created a unique niche for her instead (her wide vocal range and stunning looks also helped). Within short, she'd be appearing as deadpan "featured singer" in a number of golden-age MGM comedies, such as the "In the Storehouse"
, "Panama Hattie"
, or, most memorably, "Du Barry was a Lady"
. It's a bit sad that such a singing and acting talent was reduced to a novelty act, but, damn, what an act
posted by Skeptic
on Oct 27, 2008 -
Advanced Animation by Preston Blair,
"the best 'how to' book on cartoon animation ever published." Blair
, a Disney and MGM animator, put the book together in 1947 to illustrate the various basic principles of animation, only to have the book pulled from shelves after the rights to use some of the characters were revoked. Animation historian Jerry Beck
has been hunting for a first edition of Blair's landmark book for many years. He finally found a copy and is sharing high-quality scans on the Animation Archive
. (Archive previously linked in this thread; discovered via this thread.)
posted by soiled cowboy
on May 7, 2006 -