Singin’ in the Frame: A Gene Kelly Retrospective at the Aero

Extraordinary entertainer Gene Kelly was an actor, dancer, director and choreographer, who single handedly did more than any other contemporary to influence the evolution of the American screen musical. The American Cinematheque is honoring Kelly’s work with a four-night retrospective of eight of his films, from the MGM era to his glorious appearance in Jacques Demy’s “The Young Girls Of Rochefort.”

Gene Kelly hit 1940’s Hollywood following a wildly successful career on Broadway in the 1930s. He quickly became a recognized force on the screen, and as Kelly’s career progressed into the 1950s he began to exert more control off screen as well. Whether directing himself (with co-director Stanley Donen) in one of my favorites, “Singin’ In The Rain” or working with the likes of the legendary Vincente Minnelli on “An American In Paris” and “Brigadoon”, Kelly demanded the most of himself and his collaborators (Debbie Reynolds has got some great stories!). The result of Kelly’s strict regimen was a career filled with classic song-and-dance numbers and memorable performances. All presented by a man who worked so hard and yet appeared to be so effortless and natural style. This truly will be a wonderful opportunity to see the work of a legend the way his work aught to be seen.

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At The New Beverly March 24 & 25: Two John Payne film noirs!

The New Beverly presents two overlooked and oft forgotten noirs from silver screen hunk John Payne’s repertoire.

Mentioning John Payne and Film Noir in the same sentence is virtually an oxymoron considering his main claim to fame is as the leading man to Alice Faye and Betty Grable in 1930s musicals, and playing opposite Maureen O’Hara in one of the most beloved Christmas films of all time, “Miracle on 34th Street”. And even though he was one of the most handsome men ever to grace the silver screen, Tyron Power and Robert Taylor often overshadowed Payne, leaving him less remembered than he deserves. Nevertheless, Payne’s films are always a pleasure to see, and here’s a chance to see two films unavailable on DVD projected on the big screen. You know, like they use to do in the old days.

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TCM Backs Campaign to Preserve Site of the Hollywood Sign

Turner Classic Movies is joining the effort to help raise awareness of  “Save Cahuenga Peak,” a campaign organized to preserve the surrounding area where the iconic Hollywood sign, known the world over, has rested for many years.

As some may remember, the whole mountainside where the famous sign stands was once part of a realty development known as Hollywood Land. Industrialist Howard Hughes purchased the surrounding land in 1940. Hughes had intended to build a home for movie star Ginger Rogers, whom he had planed to marry. Even though that relationship ended, Hughes kept the land, and it wasn’t until 2002 that his estate sold it to the investors who now own it. Those investors in turn placed the land on the market for $22 million, but have failed to attract a buyer. Currently, the area is zoned for four luxury home sites.

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