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 Posted:   Apr 14, 2014 - 2:04 AM   
 By:   CinemaScope   (Member)

If you look at that great documentary MGM: When The Lion Roars (I'll have to re-view that, as I haven't seen it for a couple of years), you can see what a talent he was. The trouble was, once grown up, he still had all the talent, but was not good looking or tall enough to be a star, but all those marriages & the gambling addiction meant he had to keep working. He was on a talkshow in the UK many years ago, & he was pushing his autobiography, & it was a real hard sell, everything he said was prefaced with "as I've put in my book" while holding the book up, it was quite funny.

 Posted:   Apr 14, 2014 - 11:01 AM   
 By:   Bob DiMucci   (Member)

1941’s BABES ON BROADWAY was a very successful film that capitalized on the popularity of the teaming of stars Mickey Rooney and Judy Garland, especially following their success in the 1939 “Babes in Arms” (see above). BABES ON BROADWAY was one of several successful 1940s musicals which centered on a group of teenagers "putting on our own show." Several of the film's production numbers have been used in documentaries on film musicals of the 1940s, including the "Hoe Down" number and "Bombshell from Brazil/Mamá yo quiero," in which Rooney impersonated popular Twentieth Century-Fox star Carmen Miranda.

In another sequence of the film, in which the characters of "Tommy" and "Peggy" think about the past stars who played the Duchess Theater, Rooney and Garland impersonate several dramatic and musical stars of the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries, including Richard Mansfield, Fay Templeton, Sir Harry Lauder, Blanche Ring, Sarah Bernhardt and George M. Cohan. Songs heard briefly in that sequence include "I've Got Rings on My Fingers," "Mary," "Yankee Doodle Boy" and "She Is Ma Daisy." Burton Lane and Arthur Freed were nominated for an Academy Award for their song "How About You."

Shirley Temple was originally cast in the role of "Barbara Jo," and the film would have marked Temple's first film at M-G-M, but instead she went into production on “Kathleen.” The film did mark the motion picture debut of child actress Margaret O'Brien, who became one of M-G-M's most popular child stars of the 1940s.

 Posted:   Apr 14, 2014 - 4:46 PM   
 By:   filmusicnow   (Member)

In 1966, Rooney and Lex Barker co-starred in the British thriller 24 HOURS TO KILL. Barker played the captain of an international flight, and Rooney was the flight’s purser, on the run from a gang of gold smugglers. The film’s story was conceived by Harry Alan Towers, writing under his usual pseudonym of Peter Welbeck. Towers was a noted genre writer and filmmaker, who made a number of Fu Manchu films with Christopher Lee, and later worked extensively with Jess Franco.

Bob, make that 1965. This is one of Rooney's most underrated films, and I remember seeing it on "The A.B.C. Sunday Night Movie" in the Summer of 1971. Available on D.V.D.-R. from the Warner Archive Collection (and in widescreen to boot!)

 Posted:   Apr 14, 2014 - 5:42 PM   
 By:   dan the man   (Member)

Yes I remember watching that film too on the ABC SUNDAY NIGHT MOVIE while I was eating Maypo

 Posted:   Apr 14, 2014 - 9:22 PM   
 By:   Bob DiMucci   (Member)

Bob, make that 1965.

You are correct. 24 HOURS TO KILL opened in Britain in September 1965, prior to its January 1966 U.S. release.

 Posted:   Apr 15, 2014 - 9:51 AM   
 By:   Bob DiMucci   (Member)

Mickey Rooney can even claim to have played Shakespeare. He appeared as “Puck” in Max Reinhardt’s 1935 Warner Bros. production of A MIDSUMMER NIGHT’S DREAM. Unfortunately, Rooney broke his leg before production started, and he had to be filmed moving on a tricycle behind the scenery.

Olivia de Havilland was given the film’s role of Hermia because she had already appeared in Max Reinhardt's Hollywood Bowl production of the play, after he saw her in a small production of the play in Saratoga. She was originally hired as the understudy and replaced Gloria Stuart when she was unable to go on because of illness. For a time, a restraining order was issued which barred Max Reinhardt from participating in any directing activities, because of a motion filed by a French theatrical firm which charged that Reinhardt breached his contract with them. In the meantime, William Dieterle had full charge of the set--Reinhardt was not even allowed to be on the sidelines. The restraining order was lifted about a week later when a judge found in favor of Reinhardt.

According to Hal Wallis' autobiography, when the forest that Reinhardt designed could not be lit effectively, cinematographer Hal Mohr thinned the trees, sprayed them with aluminum paint and covered them with cobwebs and tiny metal particles that reflected the light. As a result of his work, he became the first write-in winner of an Academy Award. The film itself was nominated for Best Picture, and Ralph Dawson received the Oscar for editing.

Word was leaked to Warner Bros. that the picture would be banned in Germany, as Reinhardt and Mendelssohn (whose music was used extensively in the score) were both considered undesirables. Reinhardt was a famous European theatrical producer. A Jew, he left Hitler's Germany for the United States but never made another movie after A MIDSUMMER NIGHT’S DREAM. He earned his living by running a drama school in Hollywood. Composer Erich Wolfgang Korngold was another ex-patriot. He remained at Warner Bros. where he became one of their resident composers.

 Posted:   Apr 15, 2014 - 12:22 PM   
 By:   manderley   (Member)

.....Composer Erich Wolfgang Korngold was another ex-patriot......

.....or even an expatriate!

 Posted:   Apr 15, 2014 - 3:39 PM   
 By:   Bob DiMucci   (Member)

Today, the Warner Archive Collection released a made-on-demand DVD of Rooney's 1953 comedy A SLIGHT CASE OF LARCENY. This marks the film's first appearance on any home video format.

Prior to filming, it was reported that Elaine Mahnken (Mickey Rooney's then wife) was to be in the cast, but her appearance in the final film has not been confirmed. After completing A SLIGHT CASE OF LARCENY, co-star Eddie Bracken (1915--2002) left feature film work and worked primarily on the stage and in television, except for a few bit parts in Italian films and animated voice-over work. After a thirty-year absence, he returned to features for a role in the 1983 film "National Lampoon's Vacation."

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