George Sidney, the film director who realized a handful of major Broadway musicals for the screen, died May 5 in Las Vegas, the Associated Press reported. Sidney, who was 85, directed at M-G-M at the height of its color movie-musical productivity, helming "Show Boat" and "Kiss Me, Kate" (both with Howard Keel and Kathryn Grayson) "Annie Get Your Gun," "The Harvey Girls" and "Ziegfeld Follies." For Columbia, a decade later, he directed Frank Sinatra in "Pal Joey" and Dick Van Dyke, Ann-Margret and Janet Leigh in "Bye Bye Birdie." His pictures include "Anchors Aweigh" with Gene Kelly and Frank Sinatra (in which Kelly danced with Jerry the Mouse, of "Tom and Jerry" fame), "Viva Las Vegas" with Elvis Presley and the London and Broadway vehicle for Tommy Steele, "Half a Sixpence."
He created Hanna-Barbera Productions and his films were sometimes punctuated with animation. In "Bye Bye Birdie," for example, the song "Put On a Happy Face" includes Dick Van drawing magical smiley faces in the air to help cheer up his girl.