Robert Alton


Choreographer
Robert Alton

About

Also Known As
Robert Alton Hart, Bob Alton
Birth Place
Bennington, Vermont, USA
Born
January 29, 1902
Died
June 12, 1957
Cause of Death
Kidney Ailment

Biography

Former chorus boy and featured dancer who went on to stage the musical numbers for Cole Porter's "Anything Goes" (1934) and "Panama Hattie" (1940) and almost all of Rodgers and Hart's post-Balanchine Broadway shows including "Pal Joey" (1940). Under long-term contract to MGM from the 1940s, while continuing to choreograph occasional Broadway musicals, Alton was a versatile, though never ...

Family & Companions

Marjorie Fielding
Wife
Choreographer, dancer.

Biography

Former chorus boy and featured dancer who went on to stage the musical numbers for Cole Porter's "Anything Goes" (1934) and "Panama Hattie" (1940) and almost all of Rodgers and Hart's post-Balanchine Broadway shows including "Pal Joey" (1940). Under long-term contract to MGM from the 1940s, while continuing to choreograph occasional Broadway musicals, Alton was a versatile, though never groundbreaking, dance director who did his finest work--such as the Fred Astaire/Judy Garland routines in "Easter Parade" (1948)--for individuals rather than large groups. His two solo directing efforts are for the most part forgettable.

Filmography

 

Director (Feature Film)

Pagan Love Song (1950)
Director
Merton of the Movies (1947)
Director
Till the Clouds Roll By (1947)
Music numbers staged and Director by

Cast (Feature Film)

Two-Faced Woman (1941)
Cecil, Katherine's dancing partner

Writer (Feature Film)

Ziegfeld Follies (1946)
Wrt "Raffles" sketch in "This Heart of Mine" and "Limehouse Blues" and co-wrt " The Babbitt and the Bromide"

Producer (Feature Film)

The Girl Rush (1955)
Associate Producer

Music (Feature Film)

In the Good Old Summertime (1949)
Music seq Director

Dance (Feature Film)

The Court Jester (1956)
Choreography
The Country Girl (1955)
Music seq staged by
The Girl Rush (1955)
Choreographer
White Christmas (1954)
Dances and Music numbers staged by
There's No Business Like Show Business (1954)
Dances and Music numbers staged by
Call Me Madam (1953)
Dances and Music numbers staged by
I Love Melvin (1953)
Dances staged and Director by
The Belle of New York (1952)
Music numbers staged and Director
Show Boat (1951)
Dances by
Annie Get Your Gun (1950)
Music numbers staged by
The Barkleys of Broadway (1949)
Music numbers staged and Director by
The Kissing Bandit (1949)
Fiesta dance specialty created by
Words and Music (1948)
Music numbers staged and Director by
Easter Parade (1948)
Music numbers staged and Director by
The Pirate (1948)
Dance Director
The Harvey Girls (1946)
Musical numbers staged by
Ziegfeld Follies (1946)
Dance Director
Bathing Beauty (1944)
Dance Director
Broadway Rhythm (1944)
Dance Director
You'll Never Get Rich (1941)
Dances staged by
Two-Faced Woman (1941)
Dance Director
Strike Me Pink (1936)
Dances and ensembles Director

Director (Special)

You're the Top (1956)
Director

Producer (Special)

You're the Top (1956)
Producer

Life Events

1934

Choreographed first Broadway musical, "Anything Goes"

1936

First film as choreographer, "Strike Me Pink"

1946

Directing debut with "Number Please" episode of "Ziegfeld Follies"

1947

First film as sole director, "Merton of the Movies"

Videos

Movie Clip

You'll Never Get Rich (1941) - Boogie Barcarolle Dance director Robert (Fred Astaire) takes a call from frisky financier Cortland (Robert Benchley), then rehearses with not-intimidated Sheila (Rita Hayworth), their first on-screen dance together and a Cole Porter tune, early in You'll Never Get Rich, 1941.
You'll Never Get Rich (1941) - Since I Kissed My Baby Goodbye Rita Hayworth and her presumptive mother-in-law arriving at the base, then a special treatment of Cole Porter's Oscar-nominated original, Lucius "Dusty" Brooks' vocal, Fred Astaire's unorthodox tap solo, Robert Alton choreography, in Columbia's You'll Never Get Rich, 1941.
You'll Never Get Rich (1941) - So Near And Yet So Far Their feuding characters persuaded to perform together, Fred Astaire and Rita Hayworth in their first musical as a team, dancing to a Cole Porter original, staged by Robert Alton, in the Columbia hit You'll Never Get Rich, 1941.
There's No Business Like Show Business - Midnight Choo-Choo First number, introducing the parents of the nascent "Five Donahues," (Ethel Merman as mom "Molly," Dan Dailey as dad "Terry"), from 20th Century Fox's non-Broadway Irving Berlin musical, There's No Business Like Show Business, 1954.
There's No Business Like Show Business - A Man Chases A Girl There's just the off-stage voice of Marilyn Monroe, as Donald O'Connor (playing "Tim" of the Donahue showbiz clan), begins a typically athletic solo number based on Irving Berlin's "A Man Chases A Girl," in There's No Business Like Show Business, 1954.
There's No Business Like Show Business - Heat Wave Still the most remembered number from a musical with many, Marilyn Monroe as "Vicki" with her provocative rendering of Irving Berlin's Heat Wave, staged by Robert Alton, from There's No Business Like Show Business, 1954.
Barkleys Of Broadway, The (1949) - Highland Fling Scottish number by Josh and Dinah (Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers, in their reunion musical) is "My One And Only Highland Fling," by Harry Warren and Ira Gershwin, in The Barkleys Of Broadway 1949.
I Love Melvin (1953) - -- Where Did You Learn To Dance? Donald O’Connor is the title character, an aspiring photographer, who’s persuaded chorus girl Judy (Debbie Reynolds) he can make her a cover girl, all setting up the song by Joseph Myrow and Mack Gordon for the two MGM contract stars, in I Love Melvin 1953.
I Love Melvin (1953) - Life Has It's Little Ups And Downs Noreen Corcoran (as little sister "Clarabelle") sings an original by Josef Myrow and Mack Gordon to set up Donald O'Connor (title character) in his typically athletic roller-skate routine, in MGM's I Love Melvin, 1953.
Belle of New York, The (1952) - Seeing's Believing Joining Fred Astaire (as elated New Yorker "Charlie Hill") walking on air, effects from MGM's Freed Unit, to Harry Warren and Johnny Mercer's "Seeing's Believing," from The Belle of New York, 1952, co-starring Vera-Ellen.
Belle of New York, The (1952) - Baby Doll Turns out Angela (Vera-Ellen) keeps fantastic gams in black hose under her missionary skirt, as Charlie (Fred Astaire) demonstrates his reformed ways, to Harry Warren and Johnny Mercer's original "Baby Doll," in The Belle of New York, 1952.
Belle of New York, The (1952) - Open, Angela MGM's fitting classical opening for the Freed unit musical based on an 1897 stage production, The Belle of New York, 1952, and the opening scene introducing Vera-Ellen, Marjorie Main and Alice Pearce.

Trailer

Easter Parade (1948) -- (Re-issue Trailer) When his partner leaves him, a vaudeville star trains an untried performer to take her place in Easter Parade (1948) starring Judy Garland & Fred Astaire.
Broadway Rhythm - (Original Trailer) A retired vaudevillian (Charles Winninger) clashes with his producer son (George Murphy) in this MGM Technicolor musical.
Words And Music - (Original Trailer) Judy Garland, Lena Horne and Perry Como perform the songs of Rodgers and Hart in Words And Music (1948).
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.
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).
White Christmas - (Original Trailer) Bing Crosby and the most popular song of all time in the colorful seasonal favorite, White Christmas (1954).
Two-Faced Woman - (Original Trailer) Greta Garbo's last movie was the screwball comedy Two-Faced Woman (1941) about a woman who pretends to be her own twin sister to win back her straying husband.
Country Girl, The - (Re-Issue Trailer) Grace Kelly won as Best Actress for her portrayal of The Country Girl (1954) who fights her love for another man while nursing her alcoholic husband.
Kissing Bandit, The - (Original Trailer) A timid young man (Frank Sinatra) is forced to follow in his father's footsteps as a notorious outlaw - The Kissing Bandit (1948).
Pagan Love Song - (Original Trailer) Esther Williams is an American girl mistaken for a Tahitian native in MGM's Technicolor musical Pagan Love Song (1950).
Harvey Girls, The - (Original Trailer) Straitlaced waitresses battle saloon girls to win the West for domesticity in The Harvey Girls (1946), a musical romance starring Judy Garland and featuring the hit song, "On the Atchison, Topeka, and the Santa Fe."
Show Boat (1951) - (Original Trailer) Riverboat entertainers find love, laughs and hardships as they sail along "Old Man River" in the Rodgers and Hammerstein musical SHOW BOAT (1951) starring Ava Gardner, Howard Keel and Kathryn Grayson.

Companions

Marjorie Fielding
Wife
Choreographer, dancer.

Bibliography