That snooty critic fart Andrew Sarris once mock-praised my old boss Rouben Mamoulian for his early cinema innovations that never quite caught on. Hah! When’s the last time you were so proud of your old boss’s work you wanted to make sure the world never forgot it? So—here’s the most audacious musical film sequence ever directed, which magically links up the movie’s two singing stars Maurice Chevalier and Jeannette MacDonald:
Disappointing to hear that John won’t be doing Britten’s The Turn of the Screw at Wilton’s Music Hall in London this month. So, to cheer everybody up, here’s the full 2-hour program of my John and The John Wilson Orchestra at the Proms, 2013. That’s Jane Monheit, John, and Matt Ford below.
DAMN! UPDATE 16 JAN 21: Both DailyMotion and BiliBili have DELETED this video of the complete 2013 BBC concert! If I find it again I’ll reinstate the link. (Links to selections available on YT are in red.)
As a compensation, here are ALL the other, complete JOHN WILSON AT THE BBC PROMS available on my blog:
SONG MEDLEY (YT): – “An Affair to Remember” (from the 1957 film; 20th Century Fox) / Harry Warren, Leo McCarey (the film’s director), Harold Damson – “Something’s Gotta Give” (from Daddy Long Legs; 20th Century Fox, 1955) / Johnny Mercer – “Young at Heart” (from the 1955 film; Warner Bros) / Johnny Richards, Carolyn Leigh – “It’s Magic” (from Romance On the High Seas; Warner Bros, 1948) / Jule Styne, Sammy Cahn – “The Tender Trap” (from the 1955 film; MGM) / Jimmy Van Heusen, Sammy Cahn – “My Foolish Heart” (from the 1949 film; Samuel Goldwyn/RKO) / Ned Washington, Victor Young – “Three Coins in the Fountain” (from the 1954 film; 20th Century Fox) / Jule Styne, Sammy Cahn – “Love is a Many-Splendored Thing” (from the 1955 film; 20th Century Fox) / Sammy Fain, Paul Francis Webster – “That’s Amore” (from The Caddy; Paramount, 1953) / Harry Warren, Jack Brooks – “Que Sera, Sera” (from The Man Who Knew Too Much; Paramount, 1956 / Jay Livingston, Ray Evans – “All the Way” (from The Joker is Wild, 1957; Paramount) / Jimmy Van Heusen, Sammy Cahn
A Place In the Sun (suite from the 1951 film; Paramount) / Franz Waxman
Legendary torch singer Helen Morgan (she was the original mulatto Julie in Jerome Kern‘s Showboat) was only 28 when she played the washed-up headliner mother of a chorus girl in this early, early talkie (1929!) which benefits from an excellent sound recording. Filmed over at the Astoria Studio in Queens. Note Mamoulian’s penchant for symbolism: Morgan’s poster like the Holy Madonna hovering over her daughter and daughter’s sweetheart; the rolled-up curtain on the bannister posing as Death. When I saw this shot it hit me then what an artist The Old Man actually was.
La Dietrich inspires a handsome young English orchestra conductor to artistic heights with her transfiguring and deeply sexual love in this erotically frank Pre-Code movie from Paramount. If only you understood dirty German, my bonny…
A special shout-out to my old boss Rouben Mamoulian, who once told me, “Love with style, but also with a little sadness for the suffering involved.”