Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer was the uncontested champ of the Hollywood musical in the 1940s and '50s, but one of the most beloved MGM musicals wasn't made by the studio at all. In 1957 Paramount brought aboard MGM's top talent, including Fred Astaire, director Stanley Donen, producer Roger Edens, a bundle of hits from the Gershwin songbook and an MGM lion's share of the legendary Arthur Freed musical production unit to stage the Audrey Hepburn fan-favorite Funny Face
. Unlike her other musical hit, My Fair Lady
, in which all of her songs were dubbed, Hepburn does her own singing here. The story is a romantic confection, in which Astaire is a fashion photographer who becomes captivated by a bookshop owner's "unusual" looks -- that's Hepburn's part, playing the girl no one recognizes is beautiful till she's photographed. Funny Face
also boasts the beatnik dance number the Gap featured in its 2006 commercials that reignited the nation's love affair with the star. Funny Face
screens tonight at 9 p.m. on Art Hill facing the Saint Louis Art Museum in Forest Park (314-721-0072 or www.slam.org/filmseries
). Admission is free, so get there early -- live music and the food-truck fest begin at 7 p.m.
Fri., July 18, 9 p.m., 2014