Cleveland International Film Festival } March 22 – April 1, 2023 } Playhouse Square

HERBERT ROSS LIVE! (w/ guest Herbert Ross, Director)

Year: 2001

Herbert Ross brings to his films experiences of a lifetime in various branches of the entertainment industry. He was a choreographer and a director in theater and ballet, and also was the choreographer and producer for "The Martha Raye Show" and "The Milton Berle Show" in the 1950s before turning to film. He choreographed the films "Doctor Dolittle" (1967) and "Funny Girl" (1968). In 1969 Ross directed his first film, a musical remake of "Goodbye Mr. Chips," starring Peter O'Toole and Petula Clark. He's been a busy director ever since.

Ross' films are marked by variety and originality and share a common bond of intelligence and taste: "Goodbye Mr. Chips" (1969), "The Owl and the Pussycat" (1970), "T.R. Baskin" (1971), "Play It Again, Sam" (1972), "The Last of Sheila" (1973), "Funny Lady" (1975), "The Sunshine Boys" (1975), "The Seven-Per-Cent Solution" (1976), "The Turning Point" (1977), "The Goodbye Girl" (1977), "California Suite" (1978).

"Nijinsky," the soon-to-be-released film about the life of the great Russian ballet dancer, is the 12th film Ross has directed. It also is the second film ("The Turning Point" was the first) which his wife, Nora Kaye, has produced. Kaye is an associate director with the American Ballet Theater and formerly was one of the premiere dramatic ballerinas in America.

In capsulizing his views of films and directing, Ross says, "Either as a craft or an art form, film directing requires an amalgam of skills and experiences. It's a fusion of choreography, painting, drama, photography, music and motion - and the challenge it presents is limitless."

A witty and sophisticated man with his creative instincts always in motion, Herbert Ross has won a distinguished place in the cinema as a film director with taste, humor and imagination. "Civilized" is the word most often applied to his films. "I appreciate human values," he says. "I admire speech which is bright and informed and witty and educated. I don't think that has gone out of fashion. You can have 'Trader Horn' and 'King Kong' too, but there was always an audience for Hepburn and Tracy and for Astaire and Rogers." Ross continues, "If there is a pattern to the films I do, it is that they all point toward an affirmation that there are enduring values by which our lives are best led."

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