Saturday, November 13, 2010
If I were to believe every thing I read at the checkout aisle of the grocery store, I would guess we are in for another Royal Wedding. And I thought to myself, hey - it sure has been a while since we had a really good set of regal nuptials, so I guess it might just be a big deal. When I was younger, I was amazed at all the "big deal" status when Prince Charles and Lady Diana Spencer tied the knot. Honestly, in the USA the affair was as big as the World Cup and the Super Bowl combined. If you were too young to remember, or so old that you forgot - here's a little newsreel video of the Royals wedding ceremony. Whether or not Prince William does get married or not, who knows? But I suspect the wedding will be a huge deal, if only because he might one day be King William, but mostly, because he is the son of Lady Di.
Well - thirty years before that marriage, there was a very popular movie called Royal Wedding. It was an old school movie musical, which still had about 10 or 15 years left of gas before the genre pretty much died out altogether. It offered the movie tagline - that it was MGM's gayest technicolor musical, which you can see in the tweaked movie poster below. And as I look at current times, obviously a lot has changed. MGM, the movie side, not the casino and hotel business, filed for bankruptcy last week and back then, being the gayest was not at all what that means today. The movie was directed by the legendary Stanley Donen and starred Fred Astaire, Jane Powell, Peter Lawford, Keenan Wynn, and Sarah Churchill. Yes inquiring minds - she was related to Sir Winston Churchill. She was his daughter, and probably still is. HA!
In any event, it seemed like a wonderful time to encourage you to revisit this film. Besides being a really solid example of the Hollywood musical genre, it features some really terrific scenes. My favorite is later in the film (a few minutes into Part six. click the playlist icon in the lower right corner, and jump to part six if you want to see this amazing scene) when Fred Astaire does a jaw dropping dance around the room, on the walls and even on the ceiling. A special room that all the furniture glued down and could rotate was used to create this amazing effect.
If you have a strong broadband connection - check out the movie in the player offered below. (MP4 files, encoded at much higher data rates than the flash version offered here). Hope you enjoy the show, and we will look for you at the upcoming Royal Wedding. What? you were not invited? Oh well, too bad. I imagine it will be a little stuffy anyway.