For Track 5 of “Ladies of the Nightclubs” we explore a familiar question: What becomes a legend most? Sometimes the answer is: Another legend. The 1961 film, THE ROMAN SPRING OF MRS. STONE, is packed with legendary artists of all sorts.
*See important note!
Rare shots of The City are a part of the film’s curious appeal. Singer Janet Roitz works with vocal coach Sean Martinfield on “Would You Like A Souvenir?” — the first of Nora’s more sophisticated band numbers.
In this second track of “Ladies of the Nightclubs”, San Francisco Bay Area singer Janet Roitz and vocal coach Sean Martinfield explore the challenges of a great Depression Era blues number, “My Silver Dollar Man”, and its place in the film MARKED WOMAN, starring Bette Davis.
TRACK 3 in the series, LADIES OF THE NIGHTCLUBS. Popular San Francisco singer Janet Roitz and vocal coach Sean Martinfield take a look at the musical side of Veronica Lake in the 1942 film noir classic, THIS GUN FOR HIRE. The film was a box office bonanza for both Miss Lake and her handsome co-star, Alan Ladd.
Though her appearance in the 1967 film is shorter than brief and her name a mystery in the screen credits, Jacqueline Fontaine is a true and steadfast “Lady of the Nightclubs”.
“Meglio Stasera” translates to, “It Had Better Be Tonight”. Music by Henry Mancini, lyrics by Johnny Mercer, the song was introduced in 1963 in the first of the PINK PANTHER films directed by Blake Edwards.
Ethel Waters is on a very long list of popular and revered celebrities who appear in the 1943 film, Stage Door Canteen. The title refers to an actual New York City location that was staffed and operated by members of the American Theatre Wing. Its purpose was to offer refreshments and entertainment to enlisted folks who were on leave or on their way to war. Sol Lesser (producer of all the Tarzan movies from the ‘40s and ‘50s) wanted a film that combined the basic elements of a documentary with a dramatic screenplay involving fictional characters and have it all take place in a legitimate nightclub. Stage Door Canteen is that brainchild.
“She reminds me of the first woman that ever slapped my face,” says this guy to his date. “If she sings like she looks…” His girl interrupts, whining, “You wouldn’t let me wear a dress like that!” For sure. Nobody but Lily Stevens COULD wear a dress like that…
What better way to spend the “most wonderful time of the year” than with a Film Noir classic that just keeps giving and giving? Before pushing the PLAY button, we extend heartfelt thanks to Mr. Eddie Muller (“The Czar of Noir”) for selecting this multi-faceted work (in glorious 35mm) as part of his 2011 Noir City Christmas screenings at San Francisco’s historic movie palace, the Castro Theatre.