Story about a small dance band in the late ’50s making pocket money by doing local weddings and hops with decorously swung versions of ‘Sugar In The Morning.’ Their leader is Sven Klang, brilliantined and eternally grinning, a car dealer by day and a people dealer by night. His control of the band, on and off stage, in and out of bed, is complete – until the arrival of the new alto saxophonist who has played the Stockholm club circuit, a full-time jazz man whose art is his life.
Paul Czinner recorded, using a multiple cameras technique, the performance of prima ballerina Galina Ulanova of the Russian Bolshoi, doing “Giselle”, while the troupe was on tour in England in 1956.
Singing on the Treadmill is a surreal operetta parody about the realities of day-to-day socialism. The film is set in a vast garbage dump where, in the depths of a quarry, next to a derelict factory building, two librettists are penning a frothy operetta about the paternalism of Kadarism, its lies, reality perceived through rose tinted glasses and squabbles over a housing allocation. However, their lacquered players are not prepared to bend to their will, they take offence and start demanding independence, rejecting ‘orders from above’ about partners and housing. Gyula Gazdag’s grotesque parody that works on several levels is amusing and dream-like, full of free-flowing associations and remarkable solutions. Citing its “disheartening existentialism”, the authorities banned the film for 10 years.
Newly-elected reform Mayor Jones celebrates his victory over the crooked political machine with a party at Earl Carroll’s night club. Steve Kalkus, the defeated racketeer-politician, has Earl Carroll and several of his acts kidnapped, figuring the kidnapping coup will cause Jones to be laughed out of office. In Carroll’s absence his assistant, Ramona Lisa, and his press agent, Barney Nelson put on the show themselves with the remaining talent, the chorus girls and also pressing into the entertainment cigarette girls, cloakroom girls, the doorman and others including oil heiresses Brenda Gusher and Cobina Gusher.
Based on a short story by Paul Gallico, this drama stars Sissy Spacek as Verna Vane, a small-town girl who dreams of hitting it big in show business. Verna isn’t much of a singer or a dancer, but she is able to land a job with a U.S.O. troupe entertaining American soldiers in Europe during World War II. Verna imagines this is a major stepping stone in her career as an entertainer, but even though Maureen and Eddie, two veteran vaudevillians touring with Verna, know better, they don’t have the heart to tell her. While in Belgium, Verna meets Walter, a Lieutenant in the U.S. Army who becomes smitten with her. Verna: USO Girl was first aired in 1978 as part of the PBS series Great Performances.
A young poet gets the brilliant idea to live in a department store, hiding by day, and courting his muse by night where it’s quiet, and he can have all his needs met. But, to his surprise, he learns his brilliant idea’s not exactly original; there are other residents who dodge the night watchmen, and who keep their existence secret at all costs. One of them is a young woman who wants to leave, but is too frightened to go. And Charles finds that he wants to show her the larger world outside.
Shortly after the start of World War II, a ukulele player takes the wrong boat and finds himself in (still uninvaded) Norway. He is mistaken for a fellow British intelligence agent by a woman and becomes involved in trying to defeat Nazi agents.
An adaptation of Bedřich Smetana’s opera The Bartered Bride. Set in 19th century Bohemia, the matchmaker Kezal wants to bring the mayor’s daughter Marie and the rich landowner’s son Wenzel together. Both of them, however, have already fallen in love with someone else. The endearing characters, a whimsical storyline and quiet humor combine with catchy tunes, a pastoral setting and fluid camera work. A last hurrah in the wanning days of Weimar cinema.