Director, producer and choreographer of American cinema, Columbia (United States)-born on April 13, 1924.
Filmmaker's prestige among critics and fans good, Donen has not gone to never join the Olympus of the great myths of Hollywood while his singular career is marked by at least three indisputable masterpieces of world cinema history (a day in New York, singin' in the rain and two on the road) as well as by an additional handful of valuable titles of universal fame (Royal Weddings(, Seven brides for seven brothers, indiscreet or charade). The reason for this unusual lack of popular recognition is probably the figure of this creator has been almost always obscured and unjustly relegated to a grey background by the of its illustrious contributors (Gene Kelly, Fred Astaire, Bob Fosse or Michael Kidd), which overshadowed the successes of his films.
The impression that caused, being still a child, see Fred Astaire dance in flying to Rio de Janeiro, pushed you to enrol at the Town Theater in his hometown to study clarinet, piano and tap dance, until in 1940, with sixteen years of age, he moved to Broadway to try his luck. Upon arrival the luck smiling and is hired for the chorus of the show Pal Joey which starring Gene Kelly and directed by George Abbott. This will follow other major musicals, in several of which takes over even the choreography; However, achieved certain dollars, in 1943 he decided to make the leap to Hollywood, and a contract for seven years with Metro Goldwyn Mayer to join the crew of Arthur Freed, whose maximum star was Gene Kelly.
Together they will make their debut in the film of Charles Vidor models, feature film which is considered a forerunner of the 'integrated musical', which integrates songs and numbers of dance in the plot of the movie. The producer was Columbia, which Kelly and Donen had been ceded by MGM, which were bound under contract and maximum exponent of musical cinema. Just a few months later, Donen returns to practice as Assistant to Kelly Levando anchors, that idea a famous number, consisting of the actor dance steps match the characters of Tom and Jerry cartoons.
In 1949 his career looks considerably driven. First is wheel his screenplay, take me to watch the game, directing the legendary Busby Berkeleywhile the choreographic style of this nowhere resembled his. Well, all that Berkeley was taste for geometry and a kind of innocent surrealism necessitated the stylization and joyful energy of Stanley Donen, even though the final result not exaggerated evidence that conflict. In the second instance, you have the opportunity to co-direct along with Kelly his first film, a day in New York, which revitalizes the musical genre thanks to his exuberance, originality and superb use of natural scenery, posed by an angry reaction against the tendency to justify the inclusion of musical numbers narratively.
Success allows them to continue working on two other projects, the extraordinary and optimistic revisiting of the classic Hollywood which is singing under the rain and the bitter Chronicle of the return of a veteran always weather, which concluded and before the differences that emerged between the two, decided to continue their careers separately. The image of Gene Kelly splashing of happiness in a torrential rain turned to singing in the rain on one of the icons of the world cinematography, although success was unpredictable at first, since the project was conceived with the idea of using old songs written by Arthur Freed and Nacio Herb Brown, deepening in the line which had previously gone through with an American in Paris. Compendium of stories and real characters that the mute to sound transit threw into the gutter, film was ironic winks to the silent stage of Mae Murray, and beamed at the time joy and nostalgia in equal parts. Examples of this would be musical numbers as "Make'em laugh", indebted to some extent on the "Be a clown" of the pirate, in which Donald O'Connor displayed all its capabilities as a showman, or "Broadway Rhythm", for which Cyd Charisse was contracted to the not legit is Gene Kelly's skills as a dancer with Debbie Reynolds. Released in 1952, with the passage of the decades her popularity has been increasing, thanks to the extraordinary quality of this rendered homage to the glorious past of an industry in constant growth, to the time that film broke talking and tracks flooded the screens.
From their professional separation of Gene Kelly, Stanley Donen would continue his career of hits with films such as seven brides for seven brothers, where a freestyle dance that made history in the annals of the genus unfolds. However, and although higher critical praise him for his athletic choreography, their plastic style was always closest to the dancers of relaxed and elegant temperament such as Fred Astaire, with whom he would work on Royal Weddings and a face with angel.
When the golden age of the musical played to its end, towards the end of the 1950s, Donen chose preferably direct their steps towards comedy, where would get excellent results in the delicious charade, starring two of his favorite actors (Audrey Hepburn and Cary Grant), or two on the road, humorous portrait of the sentimental fracture of a marriage. Since the late 1960s, however, his star begins to decline and their forays behind the camera van spacing, to closing that tribute to the old double film programs (cinema, cinema), the flirtation with science fiction (Saturn 3) or erotic comedy of entanglement (mess in Rio). In 1998 was awarded the honorary Oscar to the whole of his career.
His work as a choreographer, include titles such as a drama in the bus (1943), the models, Hey rookie, Anchors Aweigh, Jam session and Kansas City Kitty (1944), holidays in Mexico and No leave, no love (1946), Living in a big way, This time for keeps and Killer McCoy (1947), The big city, so are they, The kissing bandit (1948), take me to watch the game (1949).
The list is thickened, as director, with a day in New York (1949), Royal Weddings (1950), Love is better than ever (1951), singin' in the rain and Fearless Fagan (1952), three girls with lucky (1953), seven brides for seven brothers and Deep in my heart (1954), always makes good time (1955), a face with angel and The pajama game (1956)Kiss them for me and indiscreet (1957), Damn yankees (1958), come back to me (1959), a blonde for a gangster and page blank (1960), charade (1962), Arabesque (1965), two for the road (1966), Mirage (1967), stair (1968), the little Prince (1973), the adventurers of the Lucky Lady (1975), film, film (1978), Saturn 3 (1979), mess in the River (1984) and letters of love (1999).
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PASSEK, Jean-Luc et to the. Dictionary of cinema. (Librairie Larousse, 1986), Version Española of Miguel Urabayen Cascante. Rialp, 1991.
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CASPER, Joseph Andrew. Stanley Donen. New Jersey, 1985.
CHARNESS, Casey. Hollywood cinema-Dance: a description of the interelationship of camerawork and coreography in tne films of Stanley Donen and Gene Kelly. Michigan, 1978.
FRUGONE, Juan Carlos. Stanley Donen... and were so happy. 34. international film week. Valladolid, 1989.