Well, the 10th Black Bear Film Festival (Milford, PA), despite less than ideal weather, turned out to be a rousing success in all four of its venues. My two contributions to the proceedings were at the Tom Quick Inn, the location of both our gala and our Film Salon. At Friday night’s gala I did my film-clips program titled “Bloopers, Secrets, and Surprises in Classic Hollywood Movies,” an aptly funny and lighthearted show for a large gathering of merrymakers on hand for food, drink, and a gleeful kick-off to an all-film weekend. I showed the continuity mistake of Yul Brynner and his on-again/off-again earring in THE KING AND I, the mysterious stagehand prowling behind Nanette Fabray in THE BAND WAGON’s “Louisiana Hayride,” the kid putting his fingers in his ears BEFORE the gunshot in NORTH BY NORTHWEST, plus bit appearances by unknowns Lucille Ball and Tony Curtis, favorite Hitchcock cameos, and Cyd Charisse’s mysterious costume change during “Fated to Be Mated” in SILK STOCKINGS, when her skirt suddenly becomes loose-fitting trousers. Fun stuff!
On Sunday morning, I did an hour-long show called “Great Moments from the Golden Age of the Hollywood Musical” at the Salon. I screened such groundbreaking numbers as “Night and Day” from THE GAY DIVORCEE, the first of the Fred-and-Ginger romantic dances, and “Isn’t It Romantic?” the wildly inventive number that connects lovers Maurice Chevalier and Jeanette MacDonald in song before their actual meeting. For sheer magic, I included Gene Kelly’s great “Newspaper Dance” solo from SUMMER STOCK, Cyd Charisse’s transcendent transformation in the title number from SILK STOCKINGS, and Doris Day’s charming and disarming “I’m Not at All in Love” from THE PAJAMA GAME, one of the best of all movie musicals adapted from stage material. And, as an example of what can be accomplished in the course of one production number–the amount of information that can be transmitted with regard to plot, character, and setting–I showed “On the Atchison, Topeka, and the Santa Fe” from THE HARVEY GIRLS, with Judy Garland leading a huge chorus and nearly single-handedly taming the West.
I’ll be doing both of these programs, and three others, when I do my first stint as a cruise-ship lecturer this December on Royal Caribbean. Can’t wait!