Famed lyricists Betty Comden and Adolph Green will both speak at the upcoming Film Forum series showcasing their Hollywood work. The two-week festival opens in New York on Friday June 12 with a double bill of Bells Are Ringing and It's Always Fair Weather
The longtime lyricists will talk before and after the 7:25 PM showing of The Band Wagon on Friday, June 19. (Unlike many Film Forum guest orators, they actually plan to stay for the film!). They will discuss not only that picture but their movie career in general. Green will also stop by for a screening of The Big Parade at 3:30 PM on June 15. Green had nothing to do with the 1925 King Vidor film; it was included in the series simply because it is a favorite of Green's. (He saw it when it first came out at the now demolished Astor Theatre in Times Square). Comden's pick is the 1928 Douglas Fairbanks picture The Gaucho (which she caught as the Kameo in Brooklyn). She will speak at the 7:10 PM June 22 showing of that film.
The two-week festival will run June 12-25. On view, of course, will be familiar Comden & Green classics such as Singin' in the Rain, It's Always Fair Weather, and On the Town. The series also provide rare chances to see the lyricists' more obscure work on a big screen. The Barkleys of Broadway, for instance, was the scene of an accidental reunion of Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers, when Rogers stepped in at the last moment for an ailing Judy Garland. And 1949's Take Me Out to the Ball Game marked a pre-On the Town teaming of the latter film's trio of Gene Kelly, Frank Sinatra and Jules Munshin.
The festival kicks off with the Judy Holliday vehicle Bells Are Ringing, co-starring Dean Martin, of all people, and featuring a five minute number cut from the original print. Following is a complete schedule:
June 12-14: Bells Are Ringing (1960) and It's Always Fair Weather (1955).
June 15: (a double bill of movies which influenced Green) The Big Parade (1925) and "A Night at the Capitol Theatre," a selection of early talkie shorts.
June 16-17: The Barkleys of Broadway (1949) and Good News (1947).
June 18-21: Singin' in the Rain (1952) and The Band Wagon (1953).
June 22: (a double bill of movies which influenced Comden) The Gaucho (1928) and Arsene Lupin (1932).
June 23: Auntie Mame (1958).
June 24-25: On the Town (1949) and Take Me Out to the Ball Game (1949). Call Film Forum for show times: (212) 727-8110.
-- By Robert Simonson