Monday, December 12, 2016

Susan Slept Here and More

Debbie Reynolds in RKO Radio's Susan Slept Here
In the Peter Bogdonavich 1971 classic film the town turns to a tumble weed ruin when the movie theater closes.  Very are many cues to 1950s diversions:  Father of the Bride, Mutual Radio, Fulton Lewis Jr., Strike it Rich with Warren Hull, Your Show of Shows, Red River (the last movie) and Grandma’s Lie Soap.

A blue collar New England man consumed by guilt and depression bonds with his teenage nephew and ward in a contemporary setting.  This is NOT the movie to lift you out of your post election early winter blues.  Not to be confused with Frankie and Annette at the beach but definitely destined for several awards.  Casey Affleck is a revelation.

A hopeful message on racial tolerance is delivered by St. Louis Park’s community theater in their production of the 1947 musical “Finian’s Rainbow” at the SLP Jewish Community Center.  Today was the final performance which featured Adam Western with a great voice as the romantic lead and the ballerina Julie Hattestad as Susan Mahoney.

A favorite holiday movie for the nostalgic, this 1954 RKO Radio big budget May-December romance with Debbie Reynolds as the teenage rebel and Dick Powell as the playboy screenwriter.  This was Powell’s last big screen appearance and he dusts off his dancing shoes after a 20 year hiatus for a big production number.  A ballet with Debbie in a cage is quite campy and not to be missed.  

Take note of the nod to Fifties Modern design with the furniture and signature stone fireplace wall.  I had the 78 record of Don Cornell singing the movie’s “Hold My Hand,” not to be confused with the Beattles hit 10 years later.

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