Meet The Legendary Producer Allan Carr!
I just read a great book about one of Hollywood’s most flamboyant and entertaining Producers, the legendary Allan Carr!
Here he is with Bob Hope, Goldie Hawn and Kurt Russell – in the 70’s, he was one of Hollywood’s biggest Producers, and was behind some incredible hits – as well as the worst debacle in Oscar history!
“Party Animals: A Hollywood Tale of Sex, Drugs, and Rock ‘n’ Roll Starring the Fabulous Allan Carr” – by Robert Hofler.
I read this book awhile ago, and I recommend it for anyone who loves entertainment and the wild and crazy times of the hedonistic 70’s.
This book looks at Carr’s years in Hollywood, both good and bad!
Here is how the book is described:
“Allan Carr was Hollywood’s premier party-thrower during the town’s most hedonistic era—the cocaine-addled, sexually indulgent 1970s. Hosting outrageous soirees with names like the Mick Jagger/Cycle Sluts Party and masterminding such lavishly themed opening nights as the Tommy/New York City subway premiere, it was Carr, an obese, caftan-wearing producer — the ultimate outsider — who first brought movie stars and rock stars, gays and straights, Old and New Hollywood together.”
As a Producer, Carr had the massive hit “Grease” and the Broadway smash “La Cage aux Folles”, but he made the decision to do a sequel to “Grease” without John Travolta or Olivia Newton-John, the stars of the first film…
A very young Michelle Pfeiffer starred in the sequel, which bombed badly…then, Carr decided to make another lavish musical – this one with a confounding cast and Director!
“Can’t Stop The Music!”
As the poster says “The Musical Event Of The 80’s”!
Producer Carr decided to capture the “disco craze” of the late 70’s by doing a big budget musical extravaganza starring Steve Guttenberg, the Village People and Bruce Jenner!
First, check out the trailer!
Go Go Nancy!
Oh, and since it was a lavish musical, they decided to get aging “character actress/never-directed-before so let’s have her do it” Nancy Walker behind the camera to direct it!
Walker was best known for her role as Rhoda’s mother on “The Mary Tyler Moore Show.”
Yes, the movie stars The Village People, who sang one of disco’s catchiest songs of all time. But it doesn’t end there!
Bruce Jenner runs around New York City in Daisy Dukes and a bare midriff, with a shrunken tee shirt!
Because it’s a musical – and because it stars the imcomparable Village People, there are a variety of wildly over the top musical sequences!
Run out in a buying frenzy to get your hands on this masterpiece…and if you need more of the worst films ever committed to celluloid, check out my list here:
But Carr’s worst debacle was still to come…
“Snow White” Bombs At The Oscars!
At the end of the 80’s, the pinnacle of Carr’s fall from grace took place when he produced the 1989 Academy Awards show – and started the show with a tone-deaf musical number that had Rob Lowe serenading Snow White, a fiasco that made Carr an outcast, and is still widely considered to be the worst Oscar show ever.
“What A Bunch Of Coconuts!”
Yes, Carr was skewered by Hollywood for the infamous opening production number in which Merv Griffin sang “I’ve Got a Lovely Bunch of Coconuts!” amid an onstage re-creation of the Cocoanut Grove nightclub before turning the stage over to a high-pitched Snow White, who boogalooed with Rob Lowe to the tune of “Proud Mary.”
The Academy Strikes Back!
The fallout from this show was immediate.
As author Robert Hofler wrote in the book:
“Allan tried to reinvent the Oscars through camp comedy.”
It was a disaster.
In an open letter, 17 prominent Hollywood figures, including past Academy president Gregory Peck, proclaimed the ceremony:
“an embarrassment to both the Academy and the entire motion picture industry. It is neither fitting nor acceptable that the best work in motion pictures be acknowledged in such a demeaning fashion.”
Carr died in 1999, but one thing about that Oscar debacle? He came up with the idea of changing “and the winner is…” to “and the Oscar goes to…”, something that has been used ever since.
The book is fast-paced and full of great insight about a wild era in Hollywood – a great read!
Categories: 70's Cinema, 70's Music, Academy Awards, Art, Awards, Books / Media, Comedy Movies, Cult Movies, Great Films, Hollywood, Los Angeles, Memoirs, Movies, Music, Obscure Movies, Talent/Celebrities, TV Show, Uncategorized
Reblogged this on johnrieber and commented:
Some more Oscar memoirs for today!
Thank you for this post. I recently read a book about the agent who found/introduced/helped start the careers of Rock Hudson, Tab Hunter and many other handsome young male actors in Hollywood. I am always fascinated to learn more about how/why we human beings make the decisions we do. Why did June Havoc agree to be a part of CAN’T STOP THE MUSIC? Why did Mr. Carr think that Nancy Walker was the person to direct it? I’ll have to take that book out of the library and find out more… Also very interesting to see Bruce Jenner wearing that outfit in the movie — knowing now what he has shared with us about the evolution of his gender identity. I wonder what (or if) Caitlyn writes about CAN’T STOP THE MUSIC in her memoir?
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Yes, the stories of Hollywood are fascinating to me as well, I am lucky enough to work in the industry so I get some up close experiences at times!
I was so taken with Valerie Perrine. Very much my ‘kind of woman’. Shame that some of the awful roles she took were just sad though. (And what’s going on with Goldie Hawn’s boobs in that photo? Tragic!)
Best wishes, Pete.
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