...Celebrating EIGHT Years of Gingerology!!!

...Thanks to all of y'all for keeping up with this blog!
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This Day in GINGEROLOGY - July 23rd

1962: Victor Moore, who starred with Ginger in the films “Swing Time” (as Pop Cardetti) and “We’re Not Married” (as Justice of the Peace Melvin Bush), died in East Islip, New York, at the age of 86.

1964: Independence, Missouri declared it “Ginger Rogers Day”; among those present was former president Harry S. Truman, who also hailed from Independence.

1987: Arthur Jarrett, who starred with Ginger in the films “Sitting Pretty” (as Singer) and “The Gay Divorcee” (as Vocalist), died in Los Angeles, California, at the age of 80.

2004: Loretta Andrews, who starred with Ginger in the films “42nd Street” (as Chorus Girl) and “Gold Diggers of 1933” (as Gold Digger), died in Los Angeles, California, at the age of 93.

2013: TCM aired “Follow The Fleet”, “Swing Time”, “and “The Story of Vernon and Irene Castle”.

2015: GetTV aired “Tight Spot”.

GingerTelevision...

Next GingerFilm(s) (on TCM - all times Eastern):

July 19, 2017 @ 5:15 P.M. Chance at Heaven
July 21, 2017 @ 2:30 A.M.Lucky Partners
July 28, 2017 @ 1:30 P.M. Follow the Fleet
August 2, 2017 @ 6:00 P.M. The Major and The Minor
August 11, 2017 @ 6:00 A.M. The Tenderfoot
August 11, 2017 @ 7:30 A.M. Flying Down to Rio
August 11, 2017 @ 9:15 A.M. Chance at Heaven
August 11, 2017 @ 10:45 A.M. Twenty Million Sweethearts
August 11, 2017 @ 12:30 P.M. Star of Midnight
August 11, 2017 @ 2:15 P.M. Follow the Fleet
August 11, 2017 @ 4:15 P.M. Tom, Dick and Harry
August 11, 2017 @ 6:15 P.M. Bachelor Mother
August 11, 2017 @ 8:00 P.M. Kitty Foyle
August 11, 2017 @10:00 P.M. Top Hat
August11-12, 2017 @ 12:00 A.M. Dreamboat
August 12, 2017 @ 1:45 A.M. Tight Spot
August 12, 2017 @3:45 A.M. Once Upon a Honeymoon

Next GingerFilm(s) (on FXM Retro - all times Eastern) - NOTE - the FXM Retro site is kinda 'cryptic' as far as specific times, so please check local listings for 'specific times':

...No Films Scheduled...

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Monday, February 20, 2012

Look Who's Seventy Today...

...none other than Miss Roxie!!! Twentieth-Century - Fox released the film "Roxie Hart" on February 20, 1942. I love Ginger in ANYTHING she committed to celluloid, duh - but yeah, I've got faves...and Miss Rox is without ANY doubt one of my FAVORITE faves, y'all...the gal who became a national pastime! I can watch this movie ANYTIME, ANYPLACE...it's just over 70 minutes, is wall-to-wall Ginger, and is her funniest film, period.
Ginger really gets into this character, as a pretty ditsy but also pretty feisty flapper gal who becomes involved in a case of...shall we say "intentional mistaken identity" in the murder of a fellow in her apartment...her gooberhead hubby really killed the dude, but the press guys hanging around talk her into 'taking the rap', thus gaining instant celebrity (unfortunately, times don't change much...see Nancy Grace for proof...). Well, here's how Ginger describes the film in her bio: "Roxie Hart is a gum-chewing, wise-cracking dancer who confesses to a murder committed by her husband, just so she can get publicity." "...Roxie Hart was really a satire, and way ahead of its time."
...Now, we've had a few discussions in the past here on G-ology regarding Roxie's hairstyle ...a lot of folks just don't care for it... but, ya know what? After getting 'used' to it, I just slap LOVE it! I mean, it's generally what you'd call a 'hot mess' hairstyle today, right? well, maybe a bit more 'frizzy', but, dang, it just WORKS... even the little 'curly-Q' side-burn deal is OK...  AAANNNDDD, most importantly, it defines Roxie as...ROXIE! Once you get over the fact that this ISN'T Amanda Cooper, Dale Tremont, or heck, even Kitty Foyle, but Roxie Hart, the quintessential gangsta-flapper-gal, the hair becomes an integral part of that character.
Well, as a bit of 'backup', here's Ginger's take on the 'do from her bio: "At the time, I was redyeing myself for Roxie, and was wearing the pageboy bob hairstyle Louise Miehle had designed for me in 1937. I loved the style's simple lines, and so did all the secretaries in America, who began sporting the pageboy."
...and, to me, Ginger's comedic chops are just insane in this film...she has some of the funniest moments I've seen from her, or heck, from ANYONE, for that matter... for example, in the scene where she and her lawyer Billy Flynn (Adolphe Menjou) are 'collaborating' their story for the trial, he tells her to be 'demur'... and she promptly scoots her hemline up to reveal those gams... when he asks her if she knows what 'demur' means, she barks back with a raised eyebrow,"CERTAINLY..."...then pauses and chirps, "...what?" It doesn't translate that well in print, but the scene is classic... and another collaboration with Flynn where they describe how the crime 'went down', and how Roxie decided that "everything went...PURPLE!"...the way Ginger sticks out her jaw when saying, 'purple' is, again, classic.

Interesting Roxie Stuff:
- The role of Roxie was generally based on an actual 1924 Chicago murder trial, of Beulah Annan.

- The original Broadway play Chicago opened at the Music Box Theater on December 30, 1926, and ran for 172 performances.

- Roxie Hart is the second of three movies made regarding the story; the silent film Chicago was released in 1927 on the heels of the Broadway run, with Phyllis Haver in the role of Roxie; and the recent edition of Chicago in 2002, with Renee Zellweger as Miss Hart.

- Another musical based on the story was rolled out in 1975, also called Chicago; Gwen Verdon played Roxie, with Liza Minnelli taking over for her later; the show ran for 936 performances.

- The 1975 production was revived in 1996, and it has been rolling ever since, with currently over 6,200 performances, making it the longest-running musical revival ever, and the fourth longest-running show ever.

- Actresses who have assumed the role of Roxie in the revival include Ann Reinking, Brooke Shields, Ruthie Henshall, Samantha Harris, Bebe Neuwirth, Michelle Williams, Melora Hardin, Ashlee Simpson, Melanie Griffith, and Christie Brinkley.

- The original story was a good bit more salacious than the Hays Office would allow in the early 40's (and probably a bit more than Ginger would have wanted, as well); here's the synopsis of the musical from Wikipedia, which explains it pretty well:
Chicago - The Musical - Wiki Info

- The role was to be played in this movie by Alice Faye, but she had 'a date with the stork', as Ginger so nicely put it in her bio.

- During production, the attack on Pearl Harbor occurred.

- This was Ginger's first 'non-RKO' movie since 1934's The Gay Divorcee, which started a run of 20 consecutive Radio Pictures between it and Roxie

- Director Stanley Kubrick listed Roxie Hart as one of his ten all-time favorite films. Welcome to the club, Stan...welcome to the club...
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And, to end up this Roxie-thon, a couple of clips...the first one is pretty familiar to Gingerologists, but it's just too cool not to leave it off of this post...it is the 'deleted Charleston scene' from Roxie, which is ultimately the closest Ginger ever got to doing the Charleston in an actual movie... STILL not sure why they cut this out...would have been awesome to show Roxie dancing at first, then sneaking into the apartment... maybe it was to leave a bit of 'uncertainty' as to whether Roxie was actually out dancing, or if she actually DID pull the trigger, then jump on the fire escape to hide...hmmm... anyway, this clip is mandatory for ALL G-ologists:

...and now, Roxie doing the 'metal stairs' tap routine...if I had to show ya the essence of Roxie in under 3 minutes, this clip could probably not be topped...it shows her spunk, her ditsyness, her allure, and in general, her...ROXIENESS! Here's the story from Ginger once again: "Since Roxie was supposed to be a dancer, I thought I should work a little tap routine into the proceedings and found a perfect spot for it. Roxie is in jail and I wanted to do my dance on metal stairs. Truly, I'd always wanted to do taps on a metal staircase, because I knew the taps would have a good, resounding sound. Twentieth Century-Fox didn't have a metal staircase on hand and had to go to a good deal of trouble to locate one. It was finally found in the wreckage from a demolished building in downtown Los Angeles. It was worth the effort; the tap sequence was a pure joy to do and, I'm happy to say, a pure joy to watch. The stairs tempted everyone on the set. You'd hear clicks and clacks at odd times, and when you looked, you'd see a cameraman or a prop man or a production assistant trying out the staircase. Years later, when Roxie Hart was turned into the stage musical Chicago, Gwen Verdon told me how sad she was that she was not going to be able to dance on a metal staircase."
Well, once again, Happy Seventieth to Miss Hart, who REALLY could be my FAVE Ginger character EVAH...yeah, I know, I know, I said that about Kitty as well, so...well, let's just say that Kitty and Roxie would be an interesting meeting... it's gonna be a tough call between those two in the 'grand rankings' of GingerFilm reviews...but we'll sort it out, right?

KIG, y'all!!!  (AND, give it that ol' Roxie Moxie! :-]  )

VKMfanHuey
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5 comments:

  1. Yay to Roxie Hart!!!! This is one of my all time favorite Ginger films. My favorite scene is the whole part where she's in court towards the end. Some of the little things that go on crack me up! :D

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  2. The best tap EVER on screen (the one on the stairs)... Even Gwem said so!!!!!

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  3. I will have to give this one another try....I'm ashamed to say that the first time I saw it, I hated her hair SO MUCH that it completely turned me off the movie! lol

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  4. Good stuff!

    Here's something else you might be interested in -- the site (and history) of a beautiful Lookout Mountain home that Ginger may have called home while married to Lew Ayres: http://forum.skyscraperpage.com/showpost.php?p=5601001&postcount=6558

    ReplyDelete
  5. GF11: Yeah, I am pretty sure Roxie is in the top 3 of my all time fave Gingerfilms...period. Of course, it is hard to compare a movie like Kitty to Roxie, or any of the GandF movies, but Ginger just owns both parts so much...kinda interesting that she was 'non-blonde' in both of these... but there's other films that will rank REAL high...Miss Polly in Bachelor Mother will be right there, also...

    AT: Well, I'm pretty bias, but it's MY fave tap scene, for sure! There are quite a few who are faster (Elenor Powell, for example, who is awesome in her own right)...but Ginger is really unique here...it's cool how she had decent input to the routines in the GandF films, and had pretty good ideas! Of course, her 'audition' scene in Follow the Fleet is pretty awesome as well!

    Betsy: You are not alone in that 'issue', as the 'archive links' attest to... is it my fave Ginger 'do? Of course not...not by a LONG shot...(well, I DID say it rocks! - so guess a somewhat 'short shot'...) BUT, it DOES define a unique character, and overall, it fits Roxie to a tea, really. A few viewings might get ya over the 'hair'. Now, ONE Ginger movie that I CAN'T get over, hair-wise, is 'Tight Spot'...just DON'T like the 'do at ALL in that one... but that is another post for another time, right?

    VP: Thanks for the kind words! AND, thanks for the great post regarding the Laurel Canyon site...did NOT know all of that... in her book, Ginger only mentions the house they first lived in which was on Roxbury Drive (that I could tell, anyway...); it had a pool in back, whereas this house has a...cliff in back. You know, this is where Roberta Olden could set everyone straight...hmmm...

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    Well, thanks to all again for the kind words regarding Roxie... and y'all have a Gingery Weekend!

    VKMfanHuey
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    ReplyDelete

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Thanks again, JW

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