Thursday, April 12, 2012
TCM PRIMETIME - WHAT'S ON TONIGHT: LIZA MINNELLI
8:00 PM -- Arthur (1981)
A childlike millionaire must choose between keeping his fortune and marrying a girl from the wrong side of the tracks.
Dir: Steven Gordon
Cast: Dudley Moore, Liza Minnelli, John Gielgud
97 min, TV-MA, CC
Won Oscars for Best Actor in a Supporting Role -- John Gielgud (John Gielgud was not present at the award's ceremony. Presenters Carol Burnett and Joel Grey accepted the award on his behalf.), and Best Music, Original Song -- Burt Bacharach, Carole Bayer Sager, Christopher Cross and Peter Allen for the song "Arthur's Theme (Best That You Can Do)"
Nominated for Oscars for Best Actor in a Leading Role -- Dudley Moore, and Best Writing, Screenplay Written Directly for the Screen -- Steve Gordon
At one point during the production, Liza Minnelli is supposed to board a bus in front of Bergdorf's on Fifth Avenue. When a real bus came along, she boarded it thinking it was the "movie bus". Not until she was halfway down the block did she realize her blunder when she looked back and saw the whole crew cracking up.
10:00 PM -- Private Screenings: Liza Minnelli (2010)
The actress discusses her life and career with host Robert Osborne.
C- 46 min, TV-14, CC
Because Liza constantly traveled with her mother, she spent most of her childhood in hotels. She was the inspiration for the character of "Eloise", who grew up in the Plaza Hotel. The books were written by Liza's godmother, Kay Thompson.
11:00 PM -- New York, New York (1977)
A jazz musician and a singer fight and love their way through the show biz world of the late forties.
Dir: Martin Scorsese
Cast: Liza Minnelli, Robert De Niro, Lionel Stander
C- 163 min, TV-MA, CC
Both Liza Minnelli and Martin Scorsese have said that virtually all of the dialogue in the film was improvised. This created later difficulty during the editing phase, as the director and editors struggled to create a streamlined narrative.
2:00 AM -- The Sterile Cuckoo (1969)
An innocent college boy gets mixed up with a needy, neurotic young woman.
Dir: Alan J. Pakula
Cast: Liza Minnelli, Wendell Burton, Tim McIntire
C- 107 min, TV-PG, CC
Nominated for Oscars for Best Actress in a Leading Role -- Liza Minnelli, and Best Music, Original Song -- Fred Karlin (music) and Dory Previn (lyrics) for the song "Come Saturday Morning"
After winning the part of Pookie Adams, Liza Minnelli had a copy of the script sent over to her mother, Judy Garland, who read it and thought the part of this troubled, friendless girl would be an unattractive role for her daughter. Liza says she became defensive and argued that Pookie was a great role for any actress, but that Garland was personally concerned Liza identified too closely with Pookie.
4:00 AM -- In The Good Old Summertime (1949)
In this musical remake of The Shop Around the Corner, feuding co-workers in a small music shop do not realize they are secret romantic pen pals.
Dir: Robert Z. Leonard
Cast: Judy Garland, Van Johnson, S. Z. "Cuddles" Sakall
C- 103 min, TV-PG, CC
Buster Keaton was working as a gag writer at MGM when this movie was made. The filmmakers approached him to devise a way for a violin to get broken that would be both comic and plausible. Keaton came up with an appropriate fall, and the filmmakers then realized he was the only one who would be able to execute it properly, so they cast him in the film. Keaton also devised the sequence in which Van Johnson inadvertently wrecks Judy Garland's hat, and coached Johnson intensively in how to perform the scene. This was the first MGM film Keaton appeared in since being fired from the studio in 1933.