Friday, May 5, 2017

Alice Faye, 1915-1998

Alice Faye and Tyrone Power in a publicity still for Alexander's Ragtime Band (1938)

It's been a while since I've done a birthday post, but with work piling up and no features I can think of to blog about right now, now would be a good time for another post. Today marks the birth anniversary of Fox star Alice Faye, who was born on this day in 1915. Faye made about 30 films for Fox over a 10-year period, before her career came to an abrupt halt with Fallen Angel. Of course, Faye was a musical star, and her career at Fox was being overshadowed by the rise of Betty Grable.

But in those 10 years, Faye made quite a few movies that are worth a match. Alexander's Ragtime Band, a musical about a musician (Tyrone Power) who rises, losing his girlfriend (Faye) along the way, might be the best. Of course, that's in part because of all the Irving Berlin songs; the story is well-done but nothing new.

In Old Chicago, another love triangle set against the backdrop of the Chicago fire of 1871, might be better known, but I prefer Alexander's Ragtime Band.

For sheer fun and nuttiness, however, there's The Gang's All Here, which has Busby Berkeley at perhaps his most bizarre.

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