The Fabulous Allan Carr

Documentary Films | 2017 | 90 minutes

SIFF Says:

Academy Award® camp followers cherish the memory of 1989’s infamously wrong opening number, starring Snow White, Rob Lowe, dancing tables and chairs, and cameos by Roy Rogers and Dale Evans. Its mastermind, Allan Carr, and his glittering pink disco ball of a career are affectionately recounted in Jeffrey Schwarz’s doc. After growing up gay in the suburbs in the ’50s―already in high school a legendary party-thrower―the budding impresario bounced from theater producer to manager (Marvin Hamlisch, Mama Cass, Ann-Margret) to Hollywood, where he made his first fortune repackaging a Mexploitation cheapie for Americans Survive! (Andes, plane crash, cannibalism) enabled him to buy Ingrid Bergman’s house, and he was off. Record-breaker Grease! made him La-La-Land’s beloved clown prince, but the failures of Can’t Stop the Music, Grease 2, and Where the Boys Are ’84 were poleaxe blows, and that Oscar ceremony finished him off. Former beneficiaries of his Auntie-Mame-ian bon vivantisme―a generosity as expansive as his trademark caftans―now turned their backs, and Carr descended nearly alone to the grave a decade later. The Fabulous Allan Carr is an appreciation, not a reappraisal; it celebrates him as the kitschmeister he was always (more or less) content to be. Like Oscar Wilde, Hollywood’s last great showman could say “I put all my genius into my life; I put only my talent into my work.”

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Film Credits
Jeffrey Schwarz
Allan Carr, Robert Osborne, Maxwell Caulfield, Steve Guttenberg, Randal Kleiser
SIFF 2017