Till the clouds roll by

Posted at the filmexperience.net:

The Story: Till The Clouds Roll By is a Jerome Kern biopic, which (in the true MGM style) fabricates or glosses over nearly all of the composer’s life in favor of a Technicolor musical extravaganza. Judy plays Marilyn Miller, a megawatt Ziegfeld Follies star whose heyday encompassed the 1920s. At her peak, Miller had had musicals and songs written for her on Broadway, including “Look For The Silver Lining,” from Kern’s musical Sally. Miller was even beginning to break into Hollywood when illness, substance abuse, and alcoholism forced her into retirement in the early 1930s. Marilyn Miller died in 1936 at age 37, another sad showbusiness story. None of this makes it into the movie, though. Besides, Judy was so focused on the upcoming birth that she may have missed the all-too-prescient warning of the woman she portrayed.

When Garland filmed her two songs for the Jerome Kern biopic, she was already four months pregnant. MGM covered up the pregnancy by fitting her clothes a little looser, and inserting a sink, some dishes (and some dancers’ hands) between Judy and the camera. Five months later (nine months before the movie was released) Judy and Vincente welcomed into the world a bouncing baby talent: Liza May Minnelli…”

Emma Brockes reported for The Guardian of 12 Apr 2008:

“…(Liza) Minnelli says it’s nice to have lunch on her days off because she can’t eat on the days she performs. “Nerves?”

“No, I have a hiatal hernia, which I got when I was pregnant and they put me upside down trying to hold the baby – and the baby passed away anyway – but I got a hernia, so if I eat and sing like that, and all that muscle, it hurts!” She laughs and I laugh and then we abruptly stop laughing and try to recalibrate. I think even Minnelli is unhappy with the way that sentence worked out. In a long-ago interview she talked about the great sadness of her three miscarriages and her regret at not having children. But the subjects revolve so quickly now that it’s whipped away as soon as it has been raised and then we are talking about her singing…”

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