Comedy scriptwriter Irving Brecher has died at the age of 94.
He passed away on Monday (17Nov08) in Los Angeles after a series of heart attacks last week (beg10Nov08).
His most notable work included the vaudeville sketches he penned for Milton Berle and comedies he wrote for the Marx Brothers - including a solo credit on 1940 film Go West.
Early in his career, Brecher was an uncredited script doctor on The Wizard of Oz, leading Groucho Marx to call him The Wicked Wit of the West - the title of his autobiography, which is scheduled to hit shelves in January (09).
Continue reading: Comedy Scriptwriter Brecher Dies
With a tagline like "The Greatest Production Since The Birth Of Motion Pictures," you get a little something like the unmanageable monstrosity that Follies ultimately becomes. Structured as a series of unrelated vignettes, directed by different people (not to mention that screenwriting credit list), it's ultimately just a jumble of parts that add up to less than a whole movie.
Continue reading: Ziegfeld Follies Review
It's best not to concentrate too hard on the plot itself, which mainly circles around Alonzo Smith (Leon Ames), the family patriarch, threatening to move the family from St. Louis to New York City. This causes much handwringing amongst the family members: Esther (Garland), Rose (Lucille Bremer), and Tootie, played by child star Margaret O'Brien, who pulled down an Oscar for her precocious performance. If the dialogue seems stilted and square today - Esther wonders where, oh where could Mr. Truitt's chapeau have gone off to, and those newfangled telephones are such a bother - the Technicolor style works wonderfully, particularly in the period dresses that puff and flounce through the Smith household.
Continue reading: Meet Me In St. Louis Review
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