Posts Tagged ‘george tobias’

Silk Stockings

Monday, August 1st, 2016

Silk Stockings [Blu-ray]


Starring – Fred Astaire (Steve Canfield), Cyd Charisse (Ninotchka Yoschenko), Janis Paige (Peggy Dayton), Peter Lorre (Brankov), George Tobias (Vassili Markovitch).

Released – June, 1957

Directed By – Rouben Mamoulian

Produced By – Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer

Distributed By – Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer

Description – American film producer Steve Canfield is making his next picture in Paris, France. Canfield wants the music for the film to be composed by Russian Peter Illyich Boroff. This is fine with Boroff as he likes Paris so much he does not want to return to Russia.

His decision does not sit well with the Russian government and they send three operatives from Moscow to bring the composer back to the mother country. In order to keep Boroff from being brought home, Canfield must come up with something to dissuade the Russian operatives from their mission.

He decides to use the most effective means possible by bribing the operatives with women, nightclubs, and champagne. In addition, Canfield asks his leading lady Peggy Dayton to use her feminine wiles to help with the problem.

Back in Moscow, the commissar of the Ministry is worried why the mission is taking so long. He decides to send the very hard-lined agent Ninotchka Yoschenko to bring everyone home. While she steadfastly refuses to be lured by the decadent appeal of Paris, somehow Canfield is able to romance her in the hope of sabotaging her mission. He goes so far as to even propose marriage.

Upon hearing how Boroff’s music has been changed to suit the film, Yoschenko and Boroff return to Russia.

While this may seem like the end of the films production, Canfield has one more trick up his sleeve.

NOTABLE: After the completion of Silk Stockings, Fred Astaire decided to take a break from musicals and concentrate on non-musical roles. He would not make another musical until 1968.

For Director Rouben Mamoulian this would be his last motion picture. He would spend the remainder of his career directing Broadway plays.

The original Broadway play of Silk Stockings ran for 478 performances. The storyline is a remake of the 1939 film Ninotchka starring Greta Garbo who was also directed by Mamoulian.

Cyd Charisse’s vocals were performed by Carol Richards. Richards had also sung for Charisse in the films Brigadoon (1954) and It’s Always Fair Weather (1955).

Objective, Burma!

Wednesday, April 13th, 2011

Objective, Burma!

Starring – Errol Flynn (Capt. Nelson), James Brown (SSgt. Treacy), William Prince (Lt. Sid Jacobs), George Tobias (Cpl. Gabby Gordon), Henry Hull (Mark Williams).

Released – February, 1945

Directed By – Raoul Walsh

Produced By – Warner Brothers

Distributed By – Warner Brothers

Description – Objective, Burma! is loosely based on the six-month raid by Merrill’s Raiders during the World War II Burma Campaign.

Capt. Nelson leads a group of Army paratroopers dropped into Burma and assigned to destroy a Japanese radar station that has been detecting Allied aircraft flying into China.

With the help of local guides and a Chinese Army Captain the team successfully take out the radar station and its personnel, believing the hardest part of their mission to be over. No such luck. When the troops arrive at an old air-strip to be used as their pick up point they find the Japanese army waiting for them.

With it now impossible for the rescue planes to land for them, Capt. Nelson has only one option for escape. The men must make a long, difficult trek through the enemy infested jungle. To limit the chance of the men being detected, they split into two groups intending to meet up at a deserted Burmese village.

When the group led by Capt. Nelson arrive at the village they find that their comrades had been captured and decapitated by the Japanese. Once again they are forced back into the jungle in an effort to avoid the enemy with their chances for survival looking very bleak.

NOTABLE: Objective, Burma! was nominated for three Academy Awards – Best Film Editing, Best Writing, Original Story, and Best Music, Scoring of a Dramatic or Comedy Picture.

Objective, Burma! was pulled from release in Britain after only one week and banned from future showings. The Burma Campaign was predominately a British and Australian operation and the film, due to its Americanization, was seen as an insult to their efforts.

Though criticized for playing World War II heroes while having no military experience himself, Errol Flynn did make every effort to enlist during the war. He was always rejected due to his health. Flynn suffered from a heart condition, had tuberculosis, malaria, and had a bad back. These health issues were kept quiet by the studios as they felt Flynn’s box office appeal would suffer.

While working on World War II films, Errol Flynn was always his most professional and co-operative as he respected those who served their country.

The Glenn Miller Story

Tuesday, September 21st, 2010

The Glenn Miller Story

Tagline – It was a time that changed the world. And one man put it to music.

Starring – James Stewart (Glenn Miller), June Allyson (Helen Berger Miller), Harry Morgan (Chummy MacGregor), Charles Drake (Don Haynes), George Tobias (Si Schribman).

Released – December, 1953

Directed By – Anthony Mann

Produced By – Universal Pictures

Distributed By – Universal Pictures

Description – The biographical story of trombonist and big band leader Glenn Miller from the early part of his career until his untimely death.

A good part of the film highlights Glenn Miller’s courtship and resulting marriage to Helen Miller. Along the way will be many cameo’s by musicians who knew and played with Miller and the development of his musical history and the creation of, what will always be known as, the “Miller sound.”

Follow the career of this legendary band leader from his early days experimenting with and succeeding with a jazz arrangement, to his decision to leave the Broadway pit and assemble a band of his own, his initial failures with his own band right up to the historic success of his big band sound.

Musical numbers include ‘Moonlight Serenade’, ‘In The Mood’, ‘Tuxedo Junction’, and many more. A great talent lost much too early after the disappearance of an airplane he was flying in over the English Channel during World War II.

NOTABLE: The Glenn Miller Story won the Academy Award for Best Sound, Recording and was also nominated for Best Music, Scoring of a Musical Picture, and Best Writing, Story and Screenplay.

This motion picture was the first collaboration of director Anthony Mann and actor James Stewart that was not a western.

The Glenn Miller Story was a huge box office success, and the soundtrack from the picture was #1 on the Billboard album chart in 1954.

The mystery surrounding Miller’s disappearance may recently have been cleared up. A Royal Air Force pilots flight log was found and detailed a mission where his bomber was on orders to drop their unused bombs over the English Channel. A small plane was observed straying into the path of the bomber and was destroyed. It is believed that this was Miller’s plane.

Personal Note: A very musically entertaining film, with some added Hollywood sentimentality, that was approved by Glenn Miller’s mother. However, she noted that she felt her son was better looking than James Stewart.

Cameo’s include Louie Armstrong, and Gene Krupa.

Sergeant York

Wednesday, November 18th, 2009

Sergeant York (Two-Disc Special Edition)

Tagline – America’s Greatest Modern Hero! Timelier today than ever . . thrilling and inspiring story of the kind of men that America is made of!

Starring – Gary Cooper (Alvin York), Walter Brennan (Pastor Rosier Pile), Joan Leslie (Gracie Williams), George Tobias (“Pusher” Ross), Stanley Ridges (Major Buxton), Margaret Wycherly (Mother York).

Released – September, 1941

Directed By – Howard Hawks

Produced By – Warner Brothers

Distributed By – Warner Brothers

Description – The very enjoyable true story of a Tennessee pacifist who is drafted into the military during World War I. Alvin York is a deeply religious Tennessee farmer who tries to avoid military service due to his religious convictions.

Commanding officer Major Buxton convinces Alvin to stay in the military with the promise that he will never be sent into combat. During the course of his basic training, the Army realizes just what a spectacular shot Alvin is and immediately give him a promotion.

When Alvin’s unit is sent to Europe, he has no choice but to participate in the conflict. After seeing many of his friends killed, his doubt regarding the necessity of this war and his participation in it disappear.

NOTABLE: Sergeant York won two Oscar’s – Best Actor in a Leading Role (Gary Cooper), and Best Film Editing. The film was also nominated for nine more; Best Picture, Best Actor (Walter Brennan) in a Supporting Role, Best Actress (Margaret Wycherly) in a Supporting Role, Best Director (Howard Hawks), Best Writing, Original Screenplay, Best Art Direction, Best Cinematography, Best Music, and Best Sound.

The American Film Institute has ranked Sergeant York 57th on it’s 100 most inspirational American movies list.

Sergeant York was the highest-grossing movie of the year.

Alvin York was World War I’s most decorated American hero.

Personal Comment: A highly entertaining and intelligent film with very good performances by all. As enjoyable today as it was in 1941.