Friday, November 14, 2008

Dick Powell, 1904-1963

It was on this day in 1904 that actor Dick Powell was born. Powell was probably best known for his singing in a string of musicals in the 1930s, including (but not limited to) 42nd Street and Gold Diggers of 1933. However, later in his career, Powell showed that he was adept at straight drama, too, playing a southern writer whose work Kirk Douglas wants to turn into a movie in The Bad and the Beautiful.

Interestingly enough, it wasn't just into serious acting that Powell broadened his career. He directed a few movies in the 1950s, such as You Can't Run Away From It, the muscial remake of It Happened One Night starring Jack Lemmon and June Allyson in the Clark Gable and Claudette Colbert roles. Not only that; Powell directed a war movie: The Enemy Below, a Robert Mitchum movie in which a German U-Boat tracks Mitchum's destroyer.

With the exception of You Can't Run Away From It (which is nowhere near as good as the original), all of these movies are available on DVD.

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