By Brent Phillips
From the trolley scene in Meet Me in St. Louis (1944) to Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers's final dance at the silver reveal (The Barkleys of Broadway, 1949) to Judy Garland's undying, tuxedo-clad functionality of "Get satisfied" (Summer Stock, 1950), Charles Walters staged the enduring musical sequences of Hollywood's golden age. in the course of his occupation, this Academy Award–nominated director and choreographer showcased the abilities of stars corresponding to Gene Kelly, Doris Day, Debbie Reynolds, and Frank Sinatra. despite the fact that, regardless of his many serious and advertisement triumphs, Walters's identify usually is going unrecognized today.
In the 1st full-length biography of Walters, Brent Phillips chronicles the artist's profession, from his days as a featured Broadway performer and protégé of theater legend Robert Alton to his successes at Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer. he's taking readers backstage of a few of the studio's such a lot liked musicals, together with Easter Parade (1948), Lili (1953), High Society (1956), and The Unsinkable Molly Brown (1964). additionally, Phillips recounts Walters's institutions with Lucille Ball, Joan Crawford, and Gloria Swanson, examines the director's uncredited paintings on numerous movies, together with the blockbuster Gigi (1958), and discusses his contributions to musical theater and American renowned culture.
This revealing e-book additionally considers Walters's own existence and explores how he navigated the as an brazenly homosexual guy. Drawing on unpublished oral histories, correspondence, and new interviews, this biography bargains an unique and significant new examine an exhilarating period in Hollywood heritage.
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Extra resources for Charles Walters: The Director Who Made Hollywood Dance
Producer] Barney Glazer came up with the idea that to save the picture we’d find the best acts we could, put them on that television thing, and when the picture started to sag, [we’d] cut to that. They signed up Ray Noble and His Orchestra, who in those days were it. We got Amos ’n’ Andy, and Fox and Walters, a great dance team. . In order to do this, we all had to go to New York. ”8 Fox and Walters were stylishly showcased for their film debut— glossy parquet floor below, crystal chandeliers above.
33 More unorthodox, then, was columnist Lucius Beebe’s thorough reportage of the Darrow-Walters living quarters for his Herald Tribune readers. “Agreeable premises,” Beebe detailed in a July 1938 “Stage Asides,” finished with chocolate walls, plum-colored carpets, white woolly string rugs, and zebra-striped sofa pillows reminiscent of El Morocco’s motif. It boasts a wide terrace in the rear where 37 Charles Walters Mr. Walters, clad in only swimming shorts, takes the sun of an afternoon. Its principal ameublements are books.
This calamitous summer revue was first presented aboard the Floating Theater “Venture,” a Mississippi riverboat facsimile that traveled the often tempestuous Long Island Sound. ) In autumn 1934, the company launched rehearsals and revisions in Manhattan. Billed as a “new intimate revue,” Fools attempted forty-eight numbers over the course of two protracted acts. Near the top of the show, Walters reunited with Coca for “I Want to Dance,” but he stayed at Dorothy’s side for the remainder of the presentation.