HELLO AMERICA!—It makes my day when I receive notice that my old buddy, director/producer Gerald Gordon has come up with yet another Tinseltown winner that makes it difficult to leave the theater. His SHASHAM offering from a few years ago proved that he was not only adept at keeping us riveted to our seats watching one of his theatre drama works, but his genius explodes loud and clear creating comedy. This is why I was intrigued when hearing about his latest project, “Showdown At Twin Bluffs.”
When asking him about the film, he began to laugh as if he had discovered another planet or something, one, of course, which would be easily conducive for inexpensive location shooting. “Michael,” he shouted in his best director’s voice, “I’m more excited about this film than anything I’ve done through the years! It’s a musical that pokes fun at almost everything in the form of a musical comedy. It will take the audience to the edge; it will keep them laughing even after they leave the theater. Most of the films today deal with horror or some kind of survival challenge or tragedy. Sure, there is a place for these films but it’s important to remember that films which allow people to laugh, especially at themselves because they identify with some of the outrageous predicaments a character finds him or herself in is extremely gratifying. Why do you think so many millions of people, especially women, loved sitting for hours watching a beautiful love story, one in which they felt they understood the experience of the leading lady? And when the film concluded and their star survives her emotionally-stressed ordeal, they felt justified in exiting the theater feeling some kind of vindication themselves. Again, it’s the magic of film-storytelling. And the same with laughter, comedy and when the dimension of music is added to the whole, the experience of being glued to those giant-size images on the screen is something quite humanly extraordinary.”
For his “wonder” motion picture, Gerald has arranged for Neile Adams who was a respected dancer during the ’60s as well as an actress of note. Neile was also married to the late Steve McQueen. And I must add that we both studied dance with the noted dancer-choreographer Bobby Banas from “West Side Story”, during that wonderful golden period of our industry.
“I’m also talking with Riker Lynch,” he offered, “for one of the lead roles. And we are hoping that Zac Efron and Rumer Willis from ‘Dancing With the Stars’ will come aboard. Then there’s Fay Dewitt, who is so respected for her years on Broadway. She and Neile will be playing the elderly Dolly Sisters in 1890. If you’ll remember, Betty Grable and June Haver played the sisters in the 1945 film.” When informing Gerald that I danced with June Haver at a Beverly Hills Hotel New Year’s Eve celebration party, he laughed and shot back, “I’m not surprised about that because I’ve heard the stories about you and MARY PICKFORD! And she was one of those who started the film business!” I quickly changed the subject.
Composer Carol Weiss is set to write four songs for the film which is to be added to those composed by “Nashville”‘s Michael Elley. Ryan Murphy of TV’s “Glee” is being approached as director and Gerald is on the phone with Jason Alexander, Billy Crystal and Ice-T for featured roles. With a creative team like this, “Showdown At Twin Bluffs” should be a helluva theater of fun! AND I CAN’T WAIT!