Busby Berkeley
Film director
Busby Berkeley
Busby Berkeley was a highly influential Hollywood movie director and musical choreographer. Berkeley was famous for his elaborate musical production numbers that often involved complex geometric patterns. Berkeley's works used large numbers of showgirls and props as fantasy elements in kaleidoscopic on-screen performances.
Biography
Busby Berkeley's personal information overview.
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Photo Albums
Popular photos of Busby Berkeley
News
News abour Busby Berkeley from around the web
THEATER REVIEW | 'ARIAS WITH A TWIST'; ‘Arias With a Twist’ at Abrons Arts Center - Review
NYTimes - over 5 years
The revival on Broadway of “Follies,” a eulogy to the age of Ziegfeld, has refocused New Yorkers’ thoughts on a long-vanished star-spangled chapter in showbiz. That was the age when long-limbed beauties were goddesses, and stages were spectacle-filled altars to their, er, talents. Such a sensibility is as dead as the Brooklyn
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There but for the — By Ali Smith — Book Review
NYTimes - over 5 years
Ali Smith loves words. She loves playing with them, calling attention to them, listening to them as if they were members of a vast extended family, each precious in its own right and she their fair-­minded parent, determined not to play favorites. She can give the word “but” such a star turn that you wonder why you’d ever
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Theater Listings: Sept. 16 — 22
NYTimes - over 5 years
Approximate running times are in parentheses. Theaters are in Manhattan unless otherwise noted. Full reviews of current shows, additional listings, showtimes and ticket information: nytimes.com/theater . Previews And Openings ‘After.’ (in previews; opens on Wednesday) Following its success last season with Samuel D. Hunter’s
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VIDEO; Directors Adapt To Shooting 3-D With Depth
NYTimes - over 5 years
EVEN as Hollywood prepares for an autumn onslaught of 3-D movies from big-name directors (including ''Hugo'' from Martin Scorsese and ''The Adventures of Tintin'' from Steven Spielberg), the future of the format remains uncertain. Resentful of premium ticket prices and burned by too many films hastily and unconvincingly converted from 2-D to 3-D,
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The Listings
NYTimes - over 5 years
Theater Approximate running times are in parentheses. Theaters are in Manhattan unless otherwise noted. Full reviews of current shows, additional listings, showtimes and ticket information: nytimes.com/theater. Previews and Openings 'After.' (previews start on Wednesday; opens on Sept. 21) Following its success last season with Samuel D. Hunter's
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THE ART OF SUMMER; Art of Summer: Grand Central’s Fluid Human Dance
NYTimes - over 5 years
Every city has its own choreography, formal or informal. The composer John Cage loved to point out how any street corner is theater of a kind; the dance critic and poet Edwin Denby wrote ardently of how daily life was full of things to see; and when one of Merce Cunningham’s dancers asked what a piece was about, he took her to the window,
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Pillow celebrates Morris' magic - Albany Times Union
Google News - over 5 years
"Resurrection," with music by Richard Rodgers, has a Busby Berkeley flair, with high kicks and pinup poses. It's so much fun that it's easy to miss the technical virtuosity, as when the piece culminates with the dancers, in black and white pajamas
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My favourite album: 69 Love Songs by Magnetic Fields - The Guardian (blog)
Google News - over 5 years
It made the Magnetic Fields a band for all seasons, and it abides in me like the lost lover from arguably the most moving song I've ever heard, Busby Berkeley Dreams: "I should have forgotten you long ago, but you're in every song I know …
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'Buried Treasure,' 'Necessary Roughness' on tap tonight - New Philadelphia Times Reporter
Google News - over 5 years
“Dames,” which was released in 1934, follows at 9:15 pm The plot involves a chorus girl (Joan Blondell), producer (Dick Powell) and dancer (Ruby Keeler) who put on a Broadway show. The movie features choreography by Busby Berkeley
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BWW Book Reviews: Jeffrey Spivaks Fascinating BUZZ -the life and art of Busby ... - Broadway World
Google News - over 5 years
Before receiving this detailed biography, Jeffrey Spivak's Buzz, my knowledge of Busby Berkeley was limited to some articles I'd read in a few fan magazines as well as an old trade paperback from 1973 (The Busby Berkeley Book)
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Arias With a Twist Deluxe - New York Times
Google News - over 5 years
The adventure begins with an alien abduction and concludes with a stupendous Busby Berkeley-esque finale. Along the way there will be pop, rock and jazz standards (in addition to some original tunes by Alex Gifford) as Twist and company work their
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DVD Extra: Pat, Buzz and Bacon - New York Post (blog)
Google News - over 5 years
... studio's entire huge library available on DVD, the Warner Archive Collection recently released three minor but enjoyable '30s musicals -- all with Pat O'Brien and two apiece involving the participation of directors Busby Berkeley and Lloyd Bacon
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New York Encore of Arias With a Twist to Open Sept. 18 - Playbill.com
Google News - over 5 years
The madcap production takes audiences on a journey through an alien abduction, encounters with poisonous snakes, a Busby Berkeley sequence — and a trip to hell. Songs included are "Kashmir," "Jungle of Eden," "Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds," "Within
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THEATER REVIEW | 'TRACES'; Acrobats Meet Skateboards And Basketballs (Watch Out!)
NYTimes - over 5 years
In the midst of this slow, soggy shuffle we call August in New York, when lifting one foot (and another) off the sidewalk feels like a Herculean effort, it is hard to believe in those more typical, energized Manhattan months, when the city has a spring in its step. But if you're looking for a pre-Labor Day fix of pure urban adrenaline, I can
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Monomoy's Dames at Sea goes swimmingly - Barnstable Patriot
Google News - over 5 years
This breezy send-up of grand Hollywood musicals and Busby Berkeley-style high jinks is perfect light fare for an enjoyable, laugh-filled night out. Ruby, just arrived from Centerville, Utah, carrying only her sparkly red tap shoes, swoons immediately
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Carolyn Hitt: Weather reporters add a little sunshine - WalesOnline
Google News - over 5 years
Derek Brockway has achieved cult status by choreographing his moves across the Wales Today weather map more beautifully than a Busby Berkeley routine. And his choice of the nation's most unpronounceable place names can give a mere weather update the
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The Columbian harbors 'Dames at Sea' - Topeka Capital Journal
Google News - over 5 years
The musical, which will play weekends through July 24, is a parody of the large, flashy 1930s Busby Berkeley-style movie musicals that featured a cast of hundreds. However, this musical which opened off-off-Broadway and earned Bernadette Peters her
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Hot! Hot! Hot! or Not! Parade Entry Has Town Abuzz - Patch.com
Google News - over 5 years
She equates the troupe with Busby Berkeley and old movie musicals. “We dance to music like Rhapsody in Blue,” she explains. “We are not brazen floozies.” Response from parade-goers on the sidelines was positive, as far as Kellita could discern
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Timeline
Learn about memorable moments in the evolution of Busby Berkeley
    LATE_ADULTHOOD
  • 1976
    Age 80
    Berkeley died on March 14, 1976 in Palm Springs, California at the age of 80 from natural causes.
    More Details Hide Details He is buried in the Desert Memorial Park in Cathedral City, California.
  • 1970
    Age 74
    In his 75th year, Berkeley returned to Broadway to direct a successful revival of No No Nanette starring his old Warner Brothers colleague and "42nd Street" star Ruby Keeler; both also played cameos in the 1970 film The Phynx the same year.
    More Details Hide Details
  • FORTIES
  • 1943
    Age 47
    His next stop was at 20th Century-Fox for 1943's The Gang's All Here, in which Berkeley choreographed Carmen Miranda's "Lady in the Tutti-Frutti Hat" number.
    More Details Hide Details The film made money, but Berkeley and the Fox brass disagreed over budget matters. Berkeley returned to MGM in the late 1940s, where among many other accomplishments he conceived the Technicolor finales for the studio's Esther Williams films. Berkeley's final film as choreographer was MGM's Billy Rose's Jumbo (1962). In the late 1960s, the camp craze brought the Berkeley musicals back to the forefront. He toured the college and lecture circuit, and even directed a 1930s-style cold medication commercial, complete with a top shot of a dancing clock.
    In 1943, he was removed as director of Girl Crazy because of disagreements with Garland, although the lavish musical number "I Got Rhythm", which he directed, remained in the picture.
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  • THIRTIES
  • 1935
    Age 39
    In September 1935, Berkeley was the driver responsible for an automobile accident in which two people were killed, five seriously injured; Berkeley himself was badly cut and bruised.
    More Details Hide Details Berkeley, brought to court on a stretcher, heard testimony that Time magazine said made him wince: After the first two trials for second degree murder ended with hung juries, he was acquitted in a third trial.
  • 1933
    Age 37
    The numbers he choreographed were mostly upbeat and focused on decoration as opposed to substance; one exception to this is the number "Remember My Forgotten Man" from Gold Diggers of 1933, which dealt with the treatment of soldiers in a post-World War I Depression.
    More Details Hide Details Berkeley's popularity with an entertainment-hungry Great Depression audience was secured when he choreographed four musicals back-to-back for Warner Bros.: 42nd Street, Footlight Parade, the aforementioned Gold Diggers of 1933 and Fashions of 1934, as well as In Caliente and Wonder Bar with Dolores del Río. Berkeley's innovative and often sexually charged dance numbers have been analyzed at length by cinema scholars. In particular, the numbers have been critiqued for their display (and some say exploitation) of the female form as seen through the "male gaze", and for their depiction of collectivism (as opposed to traditionally American rugged individualism) in the spirit of Roosevelt's New Deal. Berkeley always denied any deep significance to his work, arguing that his main professional goals were to constantly top himself and to never repeat his past accomplishments. As the outsized musicals in which Berkeley specialized became passé, he turned to straight directing. The result was 1939's They Made Me a Criminal, one of John Garfield's best films. Berkeley had several well-publicized run-ins with MGM stars such as Judy Garland.
  • 1932
    Age 36
    Berkeley's top shot technique (the kaleidoscope again, this time shot from overhead) appeared seminally in the Cantor films, and also the 1932 Universal drama film Night World (where he choreographed the number "Who's Your Little Who-Zis?").
    More Details Hide Details His numbers were known for starting out in the realm of the stage, but quickly exceeding this space by moving into a time and place that could only be cinematic, only to return to shots of an applauding audience and the fall of a curtain. As choreographer, Berkeley was allowed a certain degree of independence in his direction of musical numbers, and they were often markedly distinct from (and sometimes in contrast to) the narrative sections of the films.
  • CHILDHOOD
  • 1895
    Born
    Born on November 29, 1895.
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Original Authors of this text are noted here.
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