Colgate Comedy Hour: Anything Goes (1954)

In 1954, the Colgate Comedy Hour adapted the famous Cole Porter musical Anything Goes for a live, one-hour television special. The episode tells the tale of Reno Sweeney (Ethel Merman, reprising a role she’d played on Broadway 20 years earlier), a woman sailing on the S.S. Luxembourg. She plans to marry, becoming Lady Oakley. Harry Dane (Frank Sinatra), Reno’s ex, doesn’t agree with her decision … Continue reading Colgate Comedy Hour: Anything Goes (1954)

“Ava and Frank Tell the Truth to Louella Parsons,” Modern Screen, Feb. 1954

This post was written as a part of TMP’s “Historical Context” series, where I share excerpts from my collection of vintage publications. Louella Parsons was a pioneer of celebrity gossip and entertainment news. Her columns were read world-wide, published in hundreds of newspapers. Who better to get the scoop on the tumultuous relationship between Ava Gardner and Frank Sinatra for Modern Screen than Mrs. Parsons? … Continue reading “Ava and Frank Tell the Truth to Louella Parsons,” Modern Screen, Feb. 1954

Reviewin’ the Box: ‘Judy, Frank & Dean: Once in a lifetime’

Reviewin’ the Box: Judy, Frank & Dean: Once in a lifetime What’s in the box?: A single disc including including musical performances from Judy Garland, Frank Sinatra and Dean Martin. These performances come from a 1962 televised special. Packaging: This DVD, released by KULTUR, comes in a standard plastic case. The cover design is simple, but nice. The back cover could use more pizazz but … Continue reading Reviewin’ the Box: ‘Judy, Frank & Dean: Once in a lifetime’

Second looks: The Tender Trap (1955)

Charlie is a Broadway agent who’s a bit of a womanizer, courting a handful of girls (a modest estimate) all at once. Charlie’s best friend Joe from back home comes to visit Charlie in New York while taking a “break” from his marriage. Each man seems to have what the other wants; Charlie wants a happy marriage and Joe wants a more exciting life. While … Continue reading Second looks: The Tender Trap (1955)

Step Lively (1944)

Gordon Miller (George Murphy) is a stage producer, currently working on his latest musical comedy. He’s rented out the penthouse suite of a hotel owned by Joe Gribble (Walter Slezak) in order to carry out rehearsals, but can’t actually afford the space, so it’s all on credit. Gribble is going mad over the ever-mounting bill, but Miller insists that his latest work is so close … Continue reading Step Lively (1944)

Von Ryan’s Express (1965)

Colonel Joseph Ryan (Frank Sinatra) is a US Army Air Force pilot. When his plane gets shot down in Italy in 1943, he’s taken to a prison camp that is populated by mostly British soldiers and run by a harsh man known as Battaglia (Adolfo Celi). Ryan is made senior officer of the prisoners, leading to many face-offs with Royal Army Major Eric Fincham (Trevor … Continue reading Von Ryan’s Express (1965)

Top 5: 1940s Musicals

Cabin in the Sky (Vincente Minnelli, 1943) Why: This film is just so captivating and full of energy. There’s always something going on — no dull moments, ever. Also, two words: Lena Horne! Two more words: Vincente Minnelli! Favorite character: Petunia, portrayed by the amazing Ethel Waters Favorite song: “Honey in the Honeycomb” Meet Me In St. Louis (Vincente Minnelli, 1944) Why: There are so … Continue reading Top 5: 1940s Musicals