Vincente Minnelli


Director
Vincente Minnelli

About

Also Known As
Lester Anthony Minnelli
Birth Place
Chicago, Illinois, USA
Born
February 28, 1903
Died
July 25, 1986

Biography

Vincente Minnelli directed some of the most celebrated entertainments in cinema history, including "Meet Me in St. Louis" (1944), "Father of the Bride" (1950), "An American in Paris" (1951), "The Bad and the Beautiful" (1952), "The Band Wagon" (1953), "Lust for Life" (1956) and "Gigi" (1958). Nevertheless, serious commentary on his work has, until recently, been sparse, partly because of...

Photos & Videos

Cabin in the Sky - Movie Posters
The Pirate - Behind-the-Scenes Stills
The Clock - Behind-the-Scenes Photos

Family & Companions

Judy Garland
Wife
Actor, singer. Married in 1945; divorced in 1951; directed her in four films including "Meet Me in St. Louis" (1944).
Georgette Magnani
Wife
Married in 1954; divorced in 1958.
Denise Gigante
Wife
Married in 1960; divorced in 1971; later married to Prentiss Hale.
Lee Anderson
Wife
Survived him.

Bibliography

"I Remember It Well"
Vincete Minnelli (1974)

Biography

Vincente Minnelli directed some of the most celebrated entertainments in cinema history, including "Meet Me in St. Louis" (1944), "Father of the Bride" (1950), "An American in Paris" (1951), "The Bad and the Beautiful" (1952), "The Band Wagon" (1953), "Lust for Life" (1956) and "Gigi" (1958). Nevertheless, serious commentary on his work has, until recently, been sparse, partly because of the "glossy" nature of his films. Minnelli's first jobs in show business were as costume and set designer; the sophistication he would bring to the American stage and film musical was always redolent of "Vogue" or "Vanity Fair," and it is no accident that he once directed a charming comedy entitled "Designing Woman" (1957). Even one of his dramatic films, "The Cobweb" (1955), involves neurotic tensions that begin to break out in a psychiatric clinic when new drapes are selected for the common room.

Minnelli was born into a theatrical family; his parents and his uncle operated a tent show that toured the Midwest. As a young man he became a costume and set designer for the Balaban and Katz theater chain in Chicago and in 1931 he moved to New York, where he worked for Radio City Music Hall, eventually graduating in 1935 to directing Broadway musicals. After a brief, abortive stay as a producer at Paramount in the late thirties, he was brought permanently to Hollywood in 1940 by producer Arthur Freed, who was assembling his own unit at MGM. Under Freed's sponsorship, he directed his first film, the underrated all-black musical "Cabin in the Sky" (1943). Minnelli remained at MGM for two decades, specializing in musicals, domestic comedies, and melodramas. Minnelli kept files on different styles of painting, and he liked to run through them for inspiration. He particularly admired the surrealists and was among the first Hollywood directors to appropriate their motifs. He was not, however, a painterly filmmaker. He loved flamboyant color, costume, and decor, but he never allowed those elements to freeze into static compositions. A master of changing patterns and complex movements, he filled his pictures with swooping crane shots, swirling patterns of fabric and light, with a skillful orchestration of background detail. A sensitive director of actors, he elicited some of the best performances from such diverse players as Judy Garland (his wife from 1945-51 and mother of his daughter, Liza Minnelli), Spencer Tracy and Kirk Douglas.

The imagination or one of its surrogates, such as show business or dreaming, was Minnelli's favorite subject. His central female characters live in fantasy worlds, finding happiness only when they exchange dreams for artifice; his leading men usually play writers, painters, or performers, and if they are not artistic types by profession they tend to be dandies or sensitive youths. By the same token, his films generally take place in studio-manufactured settings, where the boundaries between fantasy and everyday life are blurred. Even when his films are set in small-town America, they tend to burst into remarkable dream-like passages, such as the Halloween sequence in "Meet Me in St. Louis," the berserk carnival in "Some Came Running" (1958) and the mythic boar hunt in "Home From the Hill" (1960). The ultimate tribute to Minnelli is that few directors in the history of Hollywood have made so many consistently enjoyable, diverse films.

Filmography

 

Director (Feature Film)

A Matter of Time (1976)
Director
On a Clear Day You Can See Forever (1970)
Director
The Sandpiper (1965)
Director
Goodbye Charlie (1964)
Director
The Courtship of Eddie's Father (1963)
Director
The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse (1962)
Director
Two Weeks in Another Town (1962)
Director
Bells Are Ringing (1960)
Director
Home from the Hill (1960)
Director
Some Came Running (1959)
Director
Gigi (1958)
Director
The Reluctant Debutante (1958)
Director
Designing Woman (1957)
Director
Lust for Life (1956)
Director
Tea and Sympathy (1956)
Director
Kismet (1955)
Director
The Cobweb (1955)
Director
The Long, Long Trailer (1954)
Director
Brigadoon (1954)
Director
The Story of Three Loves (1953)
Director of "Mademoiselle"
The Band Wagon (1953)
Director
The Bad and the Beautiful (1953)
Director
Father's Little Dividend (1951)
Director
An American in Paris (1951)
Director
Father of the Bride (1950)
Director
Madame Bovary (1949)
Director
The Pirate (1948)
Director
Till the Clouds Roll By (1947)
Judy Garland's numbers Director by
Undercurrent (1946)
Director
Ziegfeld Follies (1946)
Director
The Clock (1945)
Director
Yolanda and the Thief (1945)
Director
The Heavenly Body (1944)
Fill-In Director
Meet Me in St. Louis (1944)
Director
I Dood It (1943)
Director
Cabin in the Sky (1943)
Director

Cast (Feature Film)

MGM: When the Lion Roars (1992)
Elizabeth Taylor: An Intimate Portrait (1975)

Music (Feature Film)

Artists and Models (1937)
Composer

Dance (Feature Film)

Panama Hattie (1942)
Music numbers staged by
Strike Up the Band (1940)
Dance routines

Misc. Crew (Feature Film)

Can She Bake A Cherry Pie? (1983)
Other

Misc. Crew (Special)

Minnelli on Minnelli: Liza Remembers Vincente (1987)
Film Extract ("Meet Me In St. Louis" (1944) "An American In Paris" (1951) "Gigi" (1958) "Cabin In The Sky" (1943) "The Pirate" (1948) "The Clock" (1944) "Lust For Life" (1956) "The Bad And The Beautiful" (1952) "Father Of The Bride" (1950) "The Long, Long Trailer" (1954) "Yolanda And The Thief" (1945) "The Band Wagon" (1953) "Brigadoon" (1954) "Some Came Running" (1958))

Cast (Short)

The Big Sur (1965)
Himself
DARKNESS INTO LIGHT (1956)
Himself

Life Events

Photo Collections

Cabin in the Sky - Movie Posters
Here are a variety of original release movie posters for Cabin in the Sky (1943), directed by Vincente Minnelli.
The Pirate - Behind-the-Scenes Stills
Here are a few stills taken behind-the-scenes during production of MGM's The Pirate (1948), featuring Judy Garland, directer Vincente Minnelli, and their newborn daughter Liza.
The Clock - Behind-the-Scenes Photos
Here are a few behind-the-scenes photos taken during the making of The Clock (1945), starring Judy Garland and Robert Walker.
Lust for Life - Behind-the-Scenes Stills
Here are several stills taken behind-the-scenes during production of Lust for Life (1956), starring Kirk Douglas and directed by Vincente Minnelli.
An American in Paris - Behind-the-Scenes Photos
Here are a number of photos taken behind-the-scenes during production of MGM's An American in Paris (1951), directed by Vincente Minnelli and starring Gene Kelly and Leslie Caron.
Kismet (1955) - Movie Poster
Here is the American one-sheet movie poster for MGM's Kismet (1955). One-sheets measured 27x41 inches, and were the poster style most commonly used in theaters.
The Band Wagon - Behind-the-Scenes Photos
Here are several photos taken behind-the-scenes during production of MGM's The Band Wagon (1953), directed by Vincente Minnelli, and starring Fred Astaire, Cyd Charisse, Oscar Levant, and Nanette Fabray.
Two Weeks in Another Town - Movie Poster
Here is the American One-Sheet Movie Poster from Two Weeks in Another Town (1962). One-sheets measured 27x41 inches, and were the poster style most commonly used in theaters.
Father of the Bride - Movie Poster
Here is the American One-Sheet Movie Poster for Father of the Bride (1950). One-sheets measured 27x41 inches, and were the poster style most commonly used in theaters.
The Clock - Publicity Stills
Here are a few Publicity Stills from The Clock (1945), starring Judy Garland and Robert Walker. Publicity stills were specially-posed photos, usually taken off the set, for purposes of publicity or reference for promotional artwork.
The Long, Long Trailer - Behind-the-Scenes Photos
Here are a number of Behind-the-Scenes photos taken during production of The Long, Long Trailer (1954), starring Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz.
Madame Bovary - Lobby Card Set
Here is a set of Lobby Cards from MGM's Madame Bovary (1949), starring Jennifer Jones, Van Heflin, and James Mason. Lobby Cards were 11" x 14" posters that came in sets of 8. As the name implies, they were most often displayed in movie theater lobbies, to advertise current or coming attractions.
Tea and Sympathy - Movie Poster
Here is the American one-sheet movie poster for Tea and Sympathy (1956). One-sheets measured 27x41 inches, and were the poster style most commonly used in theaters.
Some Came Running - Behind-the-Scenes Photos
Here are several photos taken behind-the-scenes during production of Some Came Running (1959), directed by Vincente Minnelli and starring Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, and Shirley MacLaine.
Yolanda and the Thief - Lobby Cards
Here are a few Lobby Cards from Yolanda and the Thief (1945), starring Fred Astaire and directed by Vincente Minnelli. Lobby Cards were 11" x 14" posters that came in sets of 8. As the name implies, they were most often displayed in movie theater lobbies, to advertise current or coming attractions.
Bells Are Ringing - Behind-the-Scenes Stills
Here are a number of photos taken behind-the-scenes during production of MGM's Bells Are Ringing (1960), starring Judy Holliday and Dean Martin, and directed by Vincente Minnelli.
The Pirate - Movie Posters
Here are a few original-release American movie posters from MGM's The Pirate (1948), starring Judy Garland and Gene Kelly.
The Clock - Penn Station Set Stills
Here are a few stills of the massive Penn Station set for The Clock (1945) that MGM built in Culver City to duplicate the New York City landmark. Sets were commonly photographed prior to shooting for approvals in lighting and design.

Videos

Movie Clip

Undercurrent (1946) - Flowers And Her Boys Alan (Robert Taylor) flips a bit, coming home to his new wife Ann (Katharine Hepburn) and servant George (Leigh Whipper), during their first stay at his old family home, in Vincente Minnelli's Undercurrent, 1946.
American In Paris, An (1951) - Our Love Is Here To Stay On the banks of the (MGM soundstage) Seine, painter Jerry (Gene Kelly) and ingenue Lise (Leslie Caron) do their romantic number set to Gershwin's "Our Love Is Here To Stay," in An American In Paris, 1951, from producer Arthur Freed.
American In Paris, An (1951) - I Got Rhythm Gene Kelly (as "Jerry") with his own choreography and the neighborhood kids, does some language instruction with George Gershwin's "I Got Rhythm," in An American In Paris, 1951.
American in Paris, An (1951) - A Simple Girl Variations on Gershwin's "Embraceable You" support Henri (Georges Guetary) as he describes his girlfriend Lise (Leslie Caron) to Adam (Oscar Levant) in a fantasy musical sequence in An American In Paris, 1951.
American in Paris, An (1951) - Opening, This Is Paris The opening sequence from Vincente Minnelli's An American in Paris, 1951, which offers a brief tour of Paris and introduces "Jerry," the Gene Kelly character.
Sandpiper, The (1965) - Think Of All Those Renaissance Cats Big Sur artist and single mom Laura (Elizabeth Taylor) and friend Larry (James Edwards) are being rebuffed by gallery owner Ellie (Pamela Mason) when Hewitt (Richard Burton), priest and headmaster of the school where her son’s been sent, arrives with a generous attitude, in The Sandpiper< 1965.
Sandpiper, The (1965) - The Father Was Abandoned By Me The first meeting of principals Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton in their first picture after Cleopatra, 1963, he’s the Episcopal priest headmaster of a California boarding school, she’s the free-spirited mother of a son sent there by a judge, Eva Marie Saint his wife, in The Sandpiper, 1965.
Sandpiper, The (1965) - It's Either That Or Reform School After the opening in which lightly-parented Big Sur resident Danny (Morgan Mason) shot a deer, he and his artist mother Laura (Elizabeth Taylor) are called before a local judge (Torin Thatcher), Vincente Minnelli directing, early in the Taylor and Richard Burton vehicle The Sandpiper, 1965.
Two Weeks In Another Town (1962) - I Thought I Had It Made On a Rome-area beach after a night out with new girlfriend Veronica (Dahlia Lavi), movie star Jack (Kirk Douglas), fresh off three years in a sanitarium, reflects on his career, in Vincente Minnelli's Two Weeks In Another Town, 1962.
Lust For Life (1956) - What Do You Know About Pain? Amsterdam, 1881, failed painter Vincent Van Gogh (Kirk Douglas) visits his aunt and uncle (Isobel Elsom, Wilton Graff) demanding to see their daughter, his cousin, whom he loves, prompting an incident verified by the uncle, though forgotten by the artist, in Vincente Minnelli’s bio-pic Lust For Life, 1956.
Bad And The Beautiful, The (1953) - Doom Of The Cat Men Barry Sullivan narrating as young director Fred, about his rise along with producer Jonathan Shields (Kirk Douglas) through the Hollywood ranks, echoes of the career of producer Val Lewton included, in Vincente Minnelli's The Bad And The Beautiful, 1953.
Ziegfeld Follies (1946) - Love (Lena Horne) A relatively modest production number, in MGM’s three million dollar musical, based on the premise of deceased impresario Florenz Ziegfeld imagining the show he could stage with MGM talent, Lena Horne with an original tune by Hugh Martin and Ralph Blane, in Ziegfeld Follies, 1946.

Trailer

Clock, The - (Original Trailer) A G.I. en route to Europe falls in love during a whirlwind two-day leave in New York City in The Clock (1945).
Father's Little Dividend - (Original Trailer) In the sequel to Father of the Bride (1950), Spencer Tracy discovers the joys and pains of grandfatherhood.
Gigi (1958) -- (Original Trailer) A Parisian girl (Leslie Caron) is raised to be a kept woman but dreams of love and marriage in Gigi (1958), directed by Vincente Minnelli.
Yolanda and the Thief - (Original Trailer) A con man poses as a Latin American heiress's guardian angel in Yolanda and the Thief (1945) starring Fred Astaire.
Designing Woman - (Original Trailer) Gregory Peck, in character as sportswriter "Mike Hagen," leads off the trailer to Vincente Minnelli's Designing Woman, 1957, co-starring Lauren Bacall, from an original idea by MGM fashion designer Helen Rose.
Two Weeks in Another Town - (Original Trailer) A recovering alcoholic film director tries for a comeback in Rome in Two Weeks in Another Town (1962) starring Kirk Douglas & Edward G. Robinson.
Ziegfeld Follies - (Original Trailer) Legendary showman Flo Ziegfeld imagines the kind of Follies he could produce with MGM's musical stars in Ziegfeld Follies (1946) starring Judy Garland.
Father of the Bride (1950) - (Original Trailer) A doting father (Spencer Tracy) faces mountains of bills and endless trials when his daughter (Elizabeth Taylor) marries in Father of the Bride (1950), directed by Vincente Minnelli.
Band Wagon, The - (Original Trailer) A Broadway artiste turns a faded film star's comeback vehicle into an artsy flop in The Band Wagon (1953), starring Fred Astaire.
Pirate, The - (Original Trailer) An actor (Gene Kelly) poses as a notorious buccaneer to court a romantic Caribbean girl (Judy Garland) in The Pirate (1948).
Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse, The (1962) - (Original Trailer) Members of an Argentinan family fight on opposite sides during WW II in Vincente Minnelli's The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse (1962) starring Glenn Ford.
Madame Bovary (1949) - (Original Trailer) A romantic country girl sacrifices her marriage when she thinks she's found true love in Madame Bovary (1949) starring Jennifer Jones.

Hosted Intro

Promo

Family

Vincent Minnelli
Father
Musical conductor.
Liza Minnelli
Daughter
Singer, actor. Born on March 12, 1946; mother, Judy Garland; appeared in father's 1976 film "A Matter of Time".
Christiane Nina Miro
Daughter
Mother, Georgette Magnani.

Companions

Judy Garland
Wife
Actor, singer. Married in 1945; divorced in 1951; directed her in four films including "Meet Me in St. Louis" (1944).
Georgette Magnani
Wife
Married in 1954; divorced in 1958.
Denise Gigante
Wife
Married in 1960; divorced in 1971; later married to Prentiss Hale.
Lee Anderson
Wife
Survived him.

Bibliography

"I Remember It Well"
Vincete Minnelli (1974)