HOLLYWOOD – The world of entertainment was in shock today as everyone who hasn’t already died in 2016 has died.
The news broke on twitter when everyone’s agent released the following statement:
We are very sad to report that late last night everyone not already dead died. It happened peacefully. Our thoughts and prayers are with the family.
Tributes didn’t flow in from anywhere because those people were dead as well. The deaths come in what have been a bumper year for celebrity deaths, following the deaths of Prince, Leonard Cohen, Anton Yelchin, David Bowie, George Michael, Gary Shandling, Alan Rickman, Carrie Fisher and Debbie Reynolds.
Everyone else has now died, except for Keith Richards.
Hidden Gems brings to light little known film gems which have somehow slipped through the collective cinematic consciousness. This week Singin’ in the Rain. You’re welcome.
Singin’ in the Rain should have been a huge hit. It starred Gene Kelly, who directed it alongside Stanley Donen, as well as Debbie Reynolds, Donald O’Connor and Jean Hagen. Set in the golden era of the big silent movies, Kelly plays Don Lockwood, a matinee idol who along with Lina Lamont dominate the silver screen. However, trouble is brewing as a little movie called The Jazz Singer introduces sound to a stunned Hollywood and the studios begin to rush talkies into production. The problem is that Lockwood and Lamont are terrible at speaking and their acting style leaves a lot to be desired. The solution comes via one of the many song and dance routines – they’ll turn The Dueling Cavalier into The Singing Cavalier and make a musical. However, Lamont can’t sing and has such a shrill voice, it can break teeth. Another song and dance later and the idea of having Kathy (Reynolds), Don’s new love interest, dub Lamont.
The movie will be a hit and Lockwood and Lamont’s careers will be saved, but will it also cost Kathy her chance of an independent career. The film is a brilliant breezy piece of Hollywood satire. Perhaps the best film to be made by Hollywood about Hollywood (along with Sunset Boulevard). Not as acerbic as the latter nor the later The Player, but under the gloss there is a keen satirical eye and the bursts of exuberant fun are intoxicating. Looking back on the film many wonder why it didn’t get a larger audience, but Gene Kelly probably came closest when he stated how much he regretted the title. ‘That apostrophe cost us,’ he told French cultural magazine Chapeau. ‘In those days people wanted the movies to be held to higher standards. I remember an audience in Milwaukee walking out and chanting as they went “Where’s the G?” At that point I knew we’d lost them.’
HOLLYWOOD – Sir Edwin Fluffer returns with his final installment of his 2014 yearbook.
Nov 1st I don’t know how he did it, but Kirk’s managed to get Mike Nichols to direct Whatever Happened to Baby Jane? To be honest I think he mentioned my name and called in a favor: Mike still owes me one after I let him use one of my legs on the poster for The Graduate. The look on Dustin Hoffman’s face still haunts me.
Nov 7th Just seen my dear old pal Michael Caine in Interstellar. I think that he agreed with me, the story really lacked something. From the opening scene you could tell exactly what was going to happen. I passed on the script when they said I couldn’t wear a pair of funny ears like Mr Spock in Star Trek, but that sort of thing always goes down so well in sci-fi.
Nov 19th Mike Nichols has died. I still remember when he fired me from The Birdcage for being too over the top! In the end he got darling Robin Williams to play it instead, and although I always enjoyed the subtlety he brought to the part it was a wasted opportunity really. I offered him the use of my giant chicken costume, but he was determined to manage without it.
Dec 1st Debbie Reynolds called. Apparently it says on the Internet that Kirk Douglas is dead! Apparently he was Spartacus and I never even knew. You would’ve thought he’d have mentioned it.
Dec 4th Got on the wrong bus and missed the photo call for this new Bond film I’m doing. I’ll be playing W, the Head of Health and Safety at MI7. Young Danny Craig’s got the lead again and Sammy Mendes is directing. They’ve dropped Dame Judi from this one: apparently they asked her to tone down the language on set and she didn’t take it very well.
Dec 17th Kirk Douglas phoned! It turns out he’s not dead after all! He just nodded off in front of Big Bang Theory and some idiot published his obituary by mistake. He had some bad news though: we’ve both been dropped from the Baby Jane remake. Apparently they’re going to shoot it with a couple of chaps called The Minions instead. It’s a shame really. After two Academy Awards, three knighthoods and counting I thought it would be a nice final curtain, but I may as well carry on for a bit longer. And let’s be honest, I need the money. The script for Police Academy: Next Generation arrived this morning, I’ll have a flick through that later…
For more of Sir Edwin FLUFFER, be a peach and Click Here.
One never forgets the first time one met Orson Welles, or Orson Cart as he didn’t like me to call him.
I was fast asleep at the time, but suddenly awoke when I heard the unmistakable sound of my garbage can being knocked over. Armed only with a torch, and with little concern for my own safety, I went out to see what had happened. It was rather a chilly night so I went indoors and put on a suitable pair of pyjamas, picked up the torch again, headed back outside, and there was Orson Welles. He was picking through the trash looking for food, and the driveway was in a terrible state.
I was furious!
Not with dear Orson of course, but with Burt Lancaster. He’d been leaving out scraps for Claudette Colbert and Academy Award winner Walter Huston had warned him this would happen.
I chased Orson away and swept up the mess, but I knew he’d return before long, and probably not alone.
I’d been back in bed for less than an hour before my slumbers were disturbed again. Orson was back and this time he had Gary Cooper with him! Over the next few nights I tried everything to keep them away; Spencer Tracy helped me put out some barbed wire, I lay bear traps, but nothing would stop them. My next door neighbour, Greta Garbo, caught them trying to burrow under her fence. In the end I had to stop leaving the trash outside and kept the bags in my garage, but they still got in. My son kept his sledge there and one night I saw Orson running off with it under his arm. We never got it back again!
I really was at the end of my tether, so we had no choice but to get a Harpo Marx. I used to chain him to a tree a in the yard, and although he wouldn’t bark, he looked jolly fierce. After a couple of nights it seemed to have done the trick and they stopped bothering us. The family loved Harpo and we would take him for walks and get him to chase a ball or fetch a stick. There was an unfortunate incident in the park one day when he started humping Debbie Reynolds who was being taken for a walk by darling Katherine Hepburn, but that’s another story.