Thursday, April 12, 2018
CHARLES WALTERS: THE DIRECTOR WHO MADE HOLLYWOOD DANCE
This excellent biography looks at the life and work of Charles Walters, who started out as a dancer, became a choreographer for both stage and film, and then directed many notable movies at MGM and elsewhere. Walters lived with a male partner, his agent, for many years, was good friends with everyone from Judy Garland to Esther Williams to Lucille Ball (working with the latter on TV specials as well as Du Barry Was a Lady, for which he did the choreography), and by all accounts was a likable and amiable Hollywood presence. The movies Walters directed include Good News, Easy to Love, Summer Stock, Jumbo, Lili, Torch Song with Joan Crawford, High Society, The Glass Slipper, and The Unsinkable Molly Brown, among others. Well-researched and bolstered with interviews, this bio has amusing behind-the-scenes anecdotes a'plenty,and also explores Walters' approach.to "cine-dance" -- dance in the movies.
Verdict: First-rate look at an unsung Hollywood figure. ***1/2.