By Mark Griffin
Drawing on greater than a hundred interviews with such icons as Kirk Douglas, Angela Lansbury, Lauren Bacall, Tony Curtis, and George Hamilton, Griffin turns the highlight at the enigmatic “elegant director,” revealing long-kept secrets and techniques on the center of Minnelli’s genius.
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Extra info for A Hundred or More Hidden Things: The Life and Films of Vincente Minnelli
If you can do that, you can learn to photograph,” Stone told Lester. When the photographer offered Minnelli more money than he was earning at Marshall Field, he had no choice but to agree. It was time to get behind the camera. k Lester Minnelli proved to be a characteristically quick study, though he lacked Stone’s finesse in dealing with the celebrities and high-society types who streamed into the photographer’s Raymor Studio, which happened to be across the street from Marshall Field. l Lester was so bashful shooting a star that he worshipped that he hid behind the camera, quaking.
Although initially billed as “Creator of Costumes,” Minnelli would eventually design sets for a number of Balaban and Katz extravaganzas as well. “The Balabans didn’t have access to the best movies because they were latecomers to the scene in Chicago,” says David Balaban, whose great uncle, A. J. Balaban, ran the family business with an awe-inspiring military precision: There were already other chains that operated many more theaters than the Balabans. So, Balaban and Katz had to come up with another way to attract people to their theaters.
There was an older brother, born in September 1899 in Chicago, who not only survived infancy but lived to the age of sixty, and his name was Paul. After contracting meningitis as an infant, Paul Felix Minnelli would struggle with what would now be termed developmental disabilities. “Mrs. 9 Paul was living with his disability in an era that was less than enlightened about his condition. ”10 While Hughes misidentified Paul as a younger brother, it is one of the few instances where an article about Vincente Minnelli makes some reference to his otherwise unacknowledged sibling.