Sunday, November 29, 2015

busby berkeley

Busby Berkeley 
(November 29, 1895 – March 14, 1976)

His innovative camera work and complex geometric choreography revolutionized musicals and brought cinematic flights of fancy to the Great Depression.  

Born Berkeley William Enos in Hollywood, to actor/director Frank Enos, and actress Gertrude Berkeley.  He first appeared on stage at the age of five.  His service in the first World War involved oversight of close-order drills.  He also directed shows for the troops after the war.  Taking on the stage name Busby Berkeley, he made his Broadway debut as a choreographer in 1925.  In 1927 his choreography on the Richard Rodgers and Lorenz Hart musical A Connecticut Yankee led to work in films, first with Samuel Goldwyn and then Warner Brothers, where he continued to innovate and top himself for much of the 1930's.  In 1939, he was lured to  Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM) for whom he made many popular films.  

Berkeley would express:   "In an era of breadlines, depression and wars, I tried to help people get away from all the turn their minds to something else. I wanted to make people happy, if only for an hour."

He became a controversial figure after his involvement in an accident in 1935 that killed two people and injured five others.  He was acquitted of manslaughter charges after three trials.  He was married six times.  

42nd Street (1933) 

Gold Diggers of 1933 (1933) 
"We're in the Money"

Footlight Parade (1933) 
"By a Waterfall"

Fashions of 1934 (1934)
“Spin a Little Web of Dreams” 

Gold Diggers of 1935 (1935)
“Lullaby of Broadway” won an Academy Award, and Berkeley was nominated for an Oscar for best dance director. 

Gold Diggers of 1937  (1936)
garnished Berkeley his second Oscar nomination

Hollywood Hotel (1937)
“Hooray for Hollywood”

Varsity Show  (1937)
choreography for which he received his third Oscar nomination).

Babes in Arms (1939)

Babes on Broadway (1941) 

For Me and My Gal (1942)

The Gang’s All Here (1943)

deleted extended scene from 'The Wizard of Oz'

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