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  Farewell Stanley Donen [read more]
  Director of classic musicals dies aged 94
  The death of Stanley Donen, one of the greatest exponents of the big screen musical, was announced today. He started his career as a dancer, then moved into directing in the theatre and in the movies where he choreographed a run of minor musicals until he teamed with star Gene Kelly for On the Town, which was groundbreaking in its use of real locations. After joining Fred Astaire for Royal Wedding, Singin' in the Rain was his most famous success, again with Kelly, demonstrating a joyous ability to translate the power of music and dance into pure entertainment, and remains the most celebrated of the classic musicals. He went on to Seven Brides for Seven Brothers, the undervalued cult musical It's Always Fair Weather, Funny Face with Astaire and Audrey Hepburn, The Pajama Game with Doris Day, Kiss Them for Me with Jayne Mansfield, and Indiscreet with Ingrid Bergman.

The sixties saw Donen's style of musical fall out of favour, but he didn't rest on his laurels, working with Cary Grant again for The Grass is Greener, reteaming with Hepburn for Hitchcock-style thriller Charade, Arabesque with Sophia Loren, Two for the Road with Hepburn again, and one of the key cult comedies of the decade when he worked with Peter Cook and Dudley Moore for Bedazzled. After that, though he continued to work, his successes were fewer, and his films included Staircase, The Little Prince, Lucky Lady, Movie Movie, Saturn 3 and Blame It on Rio. He made Lionel Richie's Dancing on the Ceiling video (which echoed the showstopper from Royal Wedding) and staged a number for wacky detective show Moonlighting. His last was the TV movie Love Letters, with Laura Linney. Donen's abundance of talent made Hollywood's Golden Age as coruscating as you wish to remember it, and he made some memorable cult flicks too.
  Graeme Clark [23 Feb 2019 at 15:55]

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