One of the strangest television specials in history. The Easter Parade down New York's Fifth Avenue is a national institution, and in 1958 WABD (Channel 5) in New York planned two hours of live coverage of the parade. But it rained, and there was no parade, so the station had to fill time interviewing celebrities at a VIP lounge at the Gotham Hotel who were obviously completely unprepared for the cameras. The ensuing program is like a '50s gossip column come to life, as host Arthur Van Voren circulates among the likes of Eugenia Shepard (fashion columnist for the Herald Tribune), and a bunch of other journalist/celebrity types.
Flamenco guitarist Fernando Servent performs "Marucca," and the Gotham's chef shows how to make an orange soufflé. All of this is intercut with live shots of rain-drenched Fifth Avenue, and a host trying to make the empty streets seem interesting (and they are today, for the period cars and buses), and footage of sponsor Willoughby's (one of the country's top sporting good stores), with children's show host Fred Scott hawking the store.
The really weird moments occur when the cameras focus on someone utterly unprepared to speak, like musician Sammy Kaye, who is so rattled that he calls HOLIDAY INN (the movie that introduced the song "White Christmas") as a major flop, when it was actually one of Paramount's top grossing films. Jane Keane (THE HONEYMOONERS) and film star Wendy Barrie also appear, the latter sounding very bitter over her career. And Michael Flynn, a long-time driver on the Fifth Avenue bus line, who reminisces about his 45 years on the line. Where else could one get a live performance of David Rose conducting his most well-known piece, "Holiday for Strings"? And that's only some of what's on EASTER PARADE 1958, which has everything but the Easter Parade.
|This product was added to our catalog on Tuesday 01 March, 2011.