28 March 2003 | petershelleyau
where is Steven Spielberg?
I don't know whether the version of this documentary I saw was edited, but Spielberg is listed as one of the presenters but does not appear. Not that I mind, but I am curious.
Written and directed by Robert Guenette, the treatment and footage of mostly actors who appeared in Warner Bros movies is light without being frustrating, and has some rarities. Barbra Streisand, Goldie Hawn, and Chevy Chase pop in to relieve Clint Eastwood of narrator duties, Streisand's appearance an even more painful reminder of her far too few movie acting roles in recent years.
Here we see snippets from some of the multiple films of John Barrymore, Ruby Keeler, Edward G Robinson, Paul Muni, James Cagney (he has an odd montage of moments where he slaps men and women), Olivia de Havilland, Errol Flynn, Bette Davis, Bugs Bunny, Humphrey Bogart, James Dean, Natalie Wood, Robert Redford, Warren Beatty, Doris Day, Jack Nicholson, and Eastwood. Directors also covered include Busby Berkeley - who "blew away the proscenium", Michael Curtiz, and Stanley Kubrick.
The rarities include the footage of Barrymore, screen tests of Lana Turner and Orson Welles (no surprise he wasn't picked up), a scene from Errol Flynn's Too Much Too Soon, Marlon Brando's test where he is soft-voiced, and Paul Newman's with James Dean for East of Eden (where Dean tells Newman to kiss him). Guenette shows Night Nurse with Clark Gable as an example like Turner and Welles of people Warners let get away, with Gable as unsuitable for Warners as Cagney, Robinson and Bogart and even Davis are for MGM. Ruby Keeler is revealed to be a rather awful musical talent, and de Havilland slightly more tolerable playing opposite Flynn.
Of course, the title comes from Casablanca.