Archive for December, 2010

December 1st, 2010

Buzz: The Life and Art of Busby Berkeley by Jeffrey Spivak

by Gwen




Buzz Berkeley was born to be in the theater. He was born to actors, Frank Enos and Gertrude Berkeley, and his mother was determined to keep him away from a stage career.

With no acting credits and absolutely no dance training he burst forth as a dance director shortly a few roles post service in World War I. His mother found herself unable to keep her boy off of the stage, but was never far from his side. His story is one that Hollywood dreams were made of at the time. Sam Goldwyn came calling in 1930 and the first picture he worked on for them was WHOOPEE!.

At the time, movie musicals were stale and outdated, but with a touch of the Buzz magic, they came alive. Most credit Berkeley with saving and then recreating a whole new genre of the movie musical. The book is heavy into his technique and art, but pretty light when it comes to fleshing out the picture of just who Busby Berkeley was as a man. If you are a lover of musicals, this is the book for you.

My one wish is that I could have gotten to know more about him, what he really thought about his drinking, his many many marriages, his being put on trial almost three times for vehicular manslaughter. It was is viewing Buzz from a far and only being able to see the magical numbers he created for the screen.


Buzz: The Life and Art of Busby Berkeley by Jeffrey Spivak

  • Hardcover: 408 pages
  • Publisher: The University Press of Kentucky (December 1, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0813126436
  • ISBN-13: 978-0813126432
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