Musicals Great Musicals: The Arthur Freed Unit at MGM (1996)

Genres - Film, TV & Radio  |   Sub-Genres - Biopic [feature]  |   Run Time - 85 min.  |   Countries - USA  |  
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This is a documentary film about the work of a legendary producer of musicals. After winning his laurels in 1939 as the assistant producer of The Wizard of Oz, MGM set up a whole studio for Arthur Freed. He began his career as a singer/songwriter and as an actor, (he appeared with the Marx Brothers on stage before World War I). He wrote numerous ballads which have now become part of the "standard" repertoire, including the title songs for his productions Singin' in the Rain, and Pagan Love Song. Anybody who was anybody in musicals from 1939 to 1960 worked with him. Among the approximately 40 films he produced were the Oscar-winning An American in Paris, and Gigi. This documentary features interviews with some of the performers who worked in his studio, such as Mickey Rooney and Cyd Charisse, and includes all the footage available of the reclusive Freed. Highlights of the film include letter-boxed excerpts from his films, and a computer-graphics assisted explanation of how Fred Astaire's floor-to-ceiling dance in Royal Wedding was made.

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Keywords

producer [showbiz], film, film-industry, film-producer, show-business, songwriter