Just Some Historical Perspective....
A timeless story,as evidenced by all the allegories to recent personalities here ( Howard Stern, Clinton, etc...)...HOWEVER..the film is based (loosely) on a personality of the mid-50s: one Arthur Godfrey..yes, the IL' Redhead himself. Skillfully wrapped in the cliché of 'country boy makes good' story, the Godfrey story was hot news in 1957,and there weren't too many people back then who missed its allusions For those who do not know: Arthur Godfrey was one of THE hottest things in the country in the early to mid 1950's: he literally had about two or three different TV shows on the schedule, plus a radio show that was among the most popular in the day. Godfrey was JUST like this movie in this respect: on the air, he was America's home-spun hero..telling folksy stories....crooning in an off tone baritone, and presenting pure, CLEAN entertainment. OFF the air,however the legend that is Arthur Godfrey to this day is one of THE biggest control freaks in show biz history..to the point of controlling the lives of all of his 'family'..unfortunately that turned out to be downfall...One Julius LaRosa had been a singer that Godfrey had 'discovered' in the US Navy Band...after he was discharged LaRosa became a singer on Godfrey's nighttime TV show "Arthur Godfrey and Friends",where he became an instant star among the bobby sox set. In time, LaRosa started a recording career,and started to have VERY successful records..then suddenly, in 1953, Godfrey suddenly fired LaRosa from his show for the mysterious reason of him having 'no humilty' ...it has been assumed since then that Godfrey was extremely jealous of Larosa's success...Anyways, this exposed the 'real' Godfrey to the public.,and while it didn't happen as quickly or as totally as Lonesome Rhodes' career,Godfrey's career as a superstar was effectively over after that..he eventually was reduced to hosting game shows and such. Writer Schulberg obviously also puts in his 2 cents on fame...politics..the show business...and early television here, but as I said,there wasn't NO ONE in those days who didn't know it was about Godfrey....
- Nov 1, 2004
Contribute to this page
Suggest an edit or add missing content