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Words and Music:
Classic Hollywood Films Reborn as Classical Hollywood Musicals
Kurt F. Stone
Recipient of the 2004 Excellence in Teaching Award

PROGRAM DESCRIPTION: During Hollywood’s illustrious "golden era," major studios (MGM, Paramount, Fox etc.) spent lavishly on acquiring the rights to stories, novels and plays which they would translate into film. From time to time these films would be reborn as musicals. Sometimes the musical remake would carry the same title as the original; frequently, it would be all but unrecognizable except to true cinematic aficionados. Most of the musical "redos" weren’t nearly as good as the original. Occasionally, the musical version would be better than the original. Every once in a while, both versions would become recognized classics. During this eight-week series the audience will partake in four sets of “companion” films – one week “the words,” the next “the music.” Each session will begin with Dr. Stone’s introduction of the week’s film, followed by the movie in its entirety. Post-viewing, Dr. Stone will engage in his “tales from behind the silver screen,” followed by a brief discussion in which we will see which was superior: the words, the music or both!

1. The Philadelphia Story (1940): Katherine Hepburn, Cary Grant and James Stewart in a classic screwball comedy. Directed by George Cukor.
2. High Society (1956): Grace Kelly, Bing Crosby and Frank Sinatra in the musical remake of The Philadelphia Story. Directed by Chas. Walters.
3. Ninotchka (1939): Greta Garbo and Melvin Douglas in a film originally advertised simply as Garbo Laughs!  Directed by Ernst Lubitsch.
4. Silk Stockings (1957):  Cyd Charisse and Fred Astaire in Ninotchka's wonderful musical remake. Directed by Rouben Mamoulian, from a musical by Cole Porter.
5. The Shop Around the Corner (1940): Margaret Sullavan, James Stewart and Frank Morgan in a love story taking place in a shop in Budapest. Directed by Ernst Lubitsch.
6. In the Good Old Summer Time (1949): Judy Garland, Van Johnson and S.Z. Sakall in the musical remake of The Shop Around the Corner. Directed Robert Z. Leonard.
7. Ball of Fire (1941): Barbara Stanwyck, Gary Cooper and Oscar Homulka in a hip, improbable send-up of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. Directed by Billy Wilder.
8. A Song is Born (1948): Virginia Mayo, Danny Kaye, Benny Goodman and Tommy Dorsey. Ball of Fire with music! Directed by Howard Hawks.
BIOGRAPHICAL INFORMATION: Dr. Kurt F. Stone is an author, essayist, political activist, longtime medical ethicist, and ordained rabbi. He calls himself a Hollywood Brat, having been born and raised in and around the film industry, and calls his love and knowledge of film a "genetic inheritance." Dr. Stone is the author of two books on the US Congress, and for more than a dozen years has written nearly 700 op-ed pieces for his online blog, The K.F. Stone Weekly. An occasional actor, he has performed his one-man show, Teatime with Sholem Alechem more than 250 times over the past 40 years. A longtime medical ethicist, he is currently vetting research proposals for the federal government's Beau Biden Cancer Moonshot Initiative.

Time: 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm
Date: Thursdays, January 11, 18, 25; February 1, 8, 15, 22; March 1
Location: Barry and Florence Friedberg Auditorium, Boca Raton Campus
Fees: Member - $100
Non-member - $130
Cash will no longer be accepted as payment for lectures.

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