M-G-M's Greatest Musicals
The Arthur Freed Unit
Blackwell North Amer
M-G-M's Greatest Musicals (originally published as The World of Entertainment! Hollywood's Greatest Musicals) is not a biography of Arthur Freed (1894-1973), producer of the most outstanding series of musicals in motion picture history, but a turbulent, behind-the-scenes, film-by-film account of the making of his movies (which, to the exclusion of all else, were his life). From 1940 to 1970, under the auspices of M-G-M's celebrated Freed Unit, Hollywood's master actors, writers, directors, choreographers, composers, and set designers created The Wizard of Oz, Babes in Arms, Girl Crazy, Meet Me in St. Louis, Annie Get Your Gun, An American in Paris, Show Boat, Singin' in the Rain, Brigadoon, Kismet, Gigi, and nearly forty others. The author reproduces interoffice memos, production notes, art-department blueprints, and tales of studio politics, to bring to vivid life the unexpected crises and everyday magic of the Freed Unit. Richly detailed, profusely illustrated with hundreds of rare photos, this book describes the lives and careers Freed touched and often shaped - Judy Garland, Vincente Minnelli, Gene Kelly, Ginger Rogers, and others like Saroyan, Berlin, Kern, Gershwin - and in the process reveals how a romantic, sentimental man became the uncontested master of the movie musical.
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