Rouben Mamoulian

Tit. it.: “La bella di Mosca”; Scen.: Leonard Gershe, Leonard Spigelgass, dalla commedia musicale di George S. Kaufmann, Leueen McGrath, Abe Burrows; F.: Robert Bronner; M.: Harold F. Kress; Scgf.: William A. Horning, Randall Duell; Coreografie: Hermes Pan, Eugene Loring; Int.: Fred Astaire (Steve Canfield), Cyd Charisse (Ninotchka), Janis Paige (Peggy Dainton), Peter Lorre (Brankov), George Tobias (Vassili Markovitch), Jules Munshin (Bibinski), Joseph Buloff (Ivanov), Wim Sonneveld (Peter Ilyitch Boroff); Prod.: Arthur Freed per MGM 35mm. D.: 112’. Col.

T. it.: Italian title. T. int.: International title. T. alt.: Alternative title. Sog.: Story. Scen.: Screenplay. F.: Cinematography. M.: Editing. Scgf.: Set Design. Mus.: Music. Int.: Cast. Prod.: Production Company. L.: Length. D.: Running Time. f/s: Frames per second. Bn.: Black e White. Col.: Color. Da: Print source

Film Notes

Silk Stockings is a hymn to artifice, to costumes, clothing, silk stockings, feminine lingerie and Hollywood glamour. This cinema satire has the same effect as films such as The Bad and the Beautiful or Sunset Blvd., where demystification goes hand in hand with celebration. The critique in this film, however, may have a more personal slant. In a well-known number, Fred Astaire and Janis Paige sing a song listing screen measurements and colour printing processes. Parodying the difficulties of wide screen production, they mime a love scene where they try to reach each other across the expanse of the screen scope. A more expressive, deeper “and stereophonic sound” accompanies the chorus. A brilliant number that perhaps reveals the filmmaker’s opinion of CinemaScope, a format he did not like at all. […] Silk Stockings closes his film career, reaffirming his concept of the musical and his love of show business.
Pierre Berthomieu, Rouben Mamoulian. La galerie des doubles, Liège 1995

Stereophonic sound, by Cole Porter
 Stevie Canfield and Peggy Dayton:
“Today to get the public to attend a picture show, / It’s not enough to advertise a famous star they know. / If you want to get the crowds to come around / You’ve gotta have glorious Technicolor, / Breathtaking Cinemascope and /Stereophonic sound. If Zanuck’s latest picture were the good old-fashioned kind, / There’d be no one in front to look at Marilyn’s behind. / If you want to hear applauding hands resound / You’ve gotta have glorious Technicolor, / Breathtaking Cinemascope and / Stereophonic sound.
The customers don’t like to see / The groom embrace the bride / Unless her lips are scarlet. / And her bosom’s five feet wide. / You’ve gotta have glorious Technicolor, / Breathtaking Cinemascope or / Cinerama, VistaVision, Superscope or / Todd-A-O and / Stereophonic sound, / And Stereophonic sound […]”.

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