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December 17, 2005


I think your letters are fascinating. The circus, the carpets in the subway, the frozen glass of water - what great details! You shouldn't be embarrassed. You were a great writer even at nineteen.

I've got to rent Silk Stockings now - I LOVE Cyd Charisse but haven't seen that film. I had no idea it was a remake of Ninotchka!

Hi Danny...
I left a comment a day or two ago....(blog time is not easy to keep up with...) but it didn't get registered, I see....Well, I will try to tell you what I said, now...
It was that, I thought you probably knew this, but, the movie "Silk Stockings was really based on the Broadway Musical "Silk Stockings"...which was of course baed on Ninotchka, 1954-55...with Don Ameche & Hildegarde Neff, (sometimes known as Kneff..Who were both absolutely wonderful!!!) and the most famous song from the Broadway show was "ALL OF YOU"...('I like the looks of you, the lure of you...')
And Gretchen Wyler was in it, too and that is the show that made her a Household Broadway name...I don't remember the movie all that well, to be honest with you so I don't recall if her song, "Sterephonic Sound" was in the film...
Anyway...of course the film was then tailored to the talents of the wonderful Mr. Astaire...and, the rest, as they say, is history...

I LOVE your letters, is wonderful that your mother saved them and that you have them now...such a truly wonderful rememberence of a rare and unusual trip...a great thing for Leah to have, too....That was a historic time in Russia's history and it's terrific that you documented your personal experiences in these great great letters...and now have shared some of them with all of us. Kudo's to you, my dear Danny.

Great stuff, Danny. And just imagine all those millions of provincial Russians who for centuries have dreamt of Moscow, as in Chekhov's THREE SISTERS, as a haven of glamor and sophistication.

OMG, I haven't thought about Cyd Charisse in so long. As a teen in the 50s I was totally in love with her. That must have been my first realization that I was growing up to be a "leg man". She exuded this quiet, confident sensuality that is so rare today, if it exists at all. I'm getting all sweaty behind the ears just thinking about her...

Good taste, Winston. Cyd Charisse certainly had the best gams in Hollywood. Remember that shot in "Singin' in the Rain" that is the close-up of her extended leg with Gene Kelly's hat on the end of her foot? Surely one of the sexiest shots in cinematic history.

I've heard the score to the play version of "Silk Stockings," Naomi, but the movie is way different—you need to give it another go. Yes, Janis Paige sings "Stereophic Sound" and she's brilliant in the part of Peggy Dayton, the waterlogged actress being pursued in the film by Peter Lorre of all people.

Kendall is still mad at me for saying that Cyd Charisse "is no Garbo" (these are the kinds of things we fight about in our marriage—I guess it could be worse!) but I think Cyd herself would admit that readily. Who is? Doesn't mean I don't love everything's she's done. While no one could touch her on the dance floor, MGM always dubbed Cyd's singing voice. On the recent rerelease of the "Silk Stockings" CD, they include Cyd singing some of the songs herself (as she'd hoped to do for the film) and I thought her voice was lovely, they should have kept it in. (See how nice I am, Kendall? Will you forgive me now? Kendall cares more about the feelings of old movie stars than she does her own.)

What I really love about Cyd Charisse is how sweet she is to her fans. She even says in her book (the one she wrote with hubby Tony Martin) that if you ever see her out and about or in a restaurant to please come up to her and say hi. How many celebrities today would make that offer?

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