Busby Berkeley


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Busby Berkeley
Busby Berkeley William Enos
Birthday
BirthplaceLos Angeles, California, U.S.
Died
Occupation
film director, choreographer

Berkeley, Busby

(bŭz`bē bûr`klē), 1895–1975, American film director and choreographer, b. Los Angeles as William Berkeley Enos. Self-taught, he choreographed several Broadway revues before moving (1930) to Hollywood, where he achieved his greatest successes at Warner Bros. (1933–39). Berkeley became famous for staging elaborate dance numbers in which lines of showgirls performed synchronized movements which, photographed from innovative angles, particularly from above, created kaleidoscopic, often surreal patterns of moving figures. The height of his style was reached in the 1930s in such films as 42nd Street (1933), Dames (1934), and a series of Gold Diggers movies, for which he directed either the dance sequences or the entire production. Although his kind of spectacular became passé, he continued to direct other musicals during the 1940s, notably his first color movie, The Gang's All Here (1943); staged musical numbers for a few films into the 1960s; and returned to Broadway to direct a revival of No, No Nanette (1970).

Bibliography

See T. Thomas and J. Terry, The Busby Berkeley Book (1973), M. Rubin, Showstoppers (1993).

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Berkeley, Busby (b. William Berkeley Enos)

(1895–1976) choreographer, film director; born in Los Angeles. He went on the Broadway stage at age five, and by the 1920s was one of the top Broadway choreographers. In 1930 he went to Hollywood to choreograph Eddie Cantor films and Mary Pickford's musical, Kiki (1930). A long string of musicals followed that featured his innovative choreography and camera techniques. He later directed complete films, but without much success.
The Cambridge Dictionary of American Biography, by John S. Bowman. Copyright © Cambridge University Press 1995. Reproduced with permission.
References in periodicals archive ?
Featuring meta-icon Isabella Rossellini, the film conjures up every possible old Hollywood musical cliche, from the backstage love triangles to the corrupt and greedy producer to the bright- eyed innocent "star waiting to be born." Maddin's deconstructionist ironic love letter to Busby Berkeley is also a love letter to Canadian cinema in general.
As the Mormon menace increases, Barry and Watson's character, Lena, will date disastrously, but in the end Barry follows her to Hawaii, where they fall in love, whisper sweet nothings like "I want to smash your face with a sledgehammer it's so pretty," and lock lips in silhouette for the most stylized Hollywood kiss since Busby Berkeley. Anderson may tie things up too quickly--a wholly satisfying ninety-minute script is, apparently, still beyond him--but he has a ball reworking old Hollywood conventions and, with the aid of Blake and Brion, has crafted his most beautiful, if lightest, film to date.
At his best--"Grand Canyon," "Busby Berkeley Dreams'--Merritt crafts exquisitely gloomy ballads about heartache, cutting his sincerity with a literate wit.
The most lavish aquatic extravaganzas teamed Williams with Busby Berkeley, the legendary dance choreographer.
Mel'nikov, for instance, brilliantly related the radicalism of the Constructivist movement to the new diktat that buildings should be easily readable by everyman in his competition project for the commissariat of heavy industry in Red Square in a kind of Busby Berkeley set.
The be-setting sin of large-scale choral works, whether Beethoven's Missa Solemnis or a Busby Berkeley spectacle, is an uninflected gradiosity that becomes tedious.
It's a chorus girl of a building: leggy and brassy and spangled with pink neon that would have done Busby Berkeley proud.
No list of musicals is complete without acknowledging the incredible choreography Busby Berkeley, whose dance routines set a benchmark in ambition and scale yet to bettered.
With which sort of films was Busby Berkeley usually associated?
7 CONFETTI Friday, BBC2, 11.05pm WHEN Confetti bridal magazine announces a competition to find "The Most Original Wedding Of The Year", couples from across the UK Finalists include hopeless romantics Matt (Martin Freeman) and Sam (Jessica Hynes, pitured) with their Busby Berkeley musical theme.
The song was first written for the 1934 Busby Berkeley musical film Dames and the track later proved a hit for both Peggy Lee and The Flamingos.