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« Interview: Ferenc Török of "1945" on making a Western about the aftermath of WW2 | Main | European Film Nominations: "The Square" and "On Body and Soul" lead »
Saturday
Nov042017

120 days til Oscar. "Best Dance Direction," anyone?

by Nathaniel R

It's your useless morning trivia! Guess what the 120th Oscar handed out was? If my calculations are correct -- I carefully counted through "Inside Oscar"'s brilliant year-by-year history to determine the order -- it was Best Dance Direction 1936 which went to Seymour Felix for "A Pretty Girl is Like a Melody" from The Great Ziegfeld. The famous number led up to the film's intermission. The film also won Best Picture. 

"Best Dance Direction" only lasted three years at the Oscars from 1935 through 1937.

Rather hilariously, the genius Busby Berkeley never won it though he was nominated all three years running and is the only man among the 11 nominated for that award that has any name recognition in the 21st century. Remember when Ryan Gosling was going to star as him in a biopic ? Too bad that never materialized! 

Here's Felix's winning number:

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Reader Comments (9)

Was choreography a term yet to be invented?

November 4, 2017 | Unregistered Commenter/3rtful

I have to say that's a pretty well deserved win.

November 4, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterBJT

Nat: Do you think him not winning might have been part of why the category disappeared that quickly? "Oh, crap, almost the entire Academy membership have NO business judging this category once nominees are announced."

November 4, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterVolvagia

The art deco nymphs are my favorite part of a spectacular number-

November 4, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterJaragon

That was some unexpected trivia. Thanks.
I would like a choreography category again. It could be dance or fight or car chase or whatever. So much room for differences of opinion.

November 4, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterVaus

Busby Berkeley's artistic influence is everywhere, from cartoons to advertisement. One of my favorites of his works is the number “The Lady With The Tutti Frutti Hat” from The Gang Is All Here(1943), a movie he directed and choreographed, also because I am great fan of Carmen Miranda. What he did in the Warner movies is revolutionary and insane, I saw last tuesday in a double session The Little Mermaid(1989) and Beauty and The Beast(1991) and respectively Under The Sea and Be Our Guest would make Busby Berkeley really proud. The video of this post is amazing. Can you imagine on a big screen?

November 5, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterGwen

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November 5, 2017 | Unregistered Commenterpraveen

Berkley would be a great subject for a biopic - I'm not sure if there would be a budget big enough to recreate the numbers- he had an amazing visual imagination- look at the surreal end to tothe Polka Dot number in "The Gangs All Here" . He not only influence the way dance was filmed but created a new cinematic vocabulary that it's still in use.

November 5, 2017 | Unregistered Commenterjaragon

Ryan Gosling's participation in bringing Busby Berkeley's wild and volatile life to the screen is very much in play. When promoting "La La Land" prior to February's Academy Awards, he told The Hollywood Reporter, who questioned him specifically about a Busby Berkeley biopic, that he was working with a writer and "it's going to happen". Here's hoping that if such a picture gets made, Berkeley will finally get a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Believe it or not, he's still not honored with a star.

Jeffrey Spivak, author "Buzz: The Life and Art of Busby Berkeley"

November 5, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterJeffrey Spivak

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