AMC tonight offers viewers the chance to second-guess one of the legendary Hollywood moguls.
Thanks to a relentless quest to make his studio's films shorter, 20th Century Fox head Darryl F. Zanuck saw to it that dozens of musical numbers were trimmed from such films as "Alexander's Ragtime Band" and "There's No Business Like Show Business." After all, what better way to shorten a musical than by simply cutting a number or two?
Many of those deleted sequences have survived, however, and a dozen or so are featured in "Hidden Hollywood: Treasures From the 20th Century Fox Film Vaults" (8 p.m.-9 p.m.).
Some were deservedly cut (watching Victor Mature try to lip sync is no one's idea of fun), but others are a delight: Shirley Temple singing along with (and impersonating) Jimmy Durante, Betty Grable singing a number cut from "Hot Spot" (after the film's title was changed to "I Wake Up Screaming" and Betty's occupation switched from music-store clerk to stenographer), Ethel Merman and Dan Dailey one-upping each other on "Anything You Can Do, I Can Do Better."
There's even a comedic gem: the vaudeville team of Weber and Fields performing a bit that shows how Abbott and Costello came up with "Who's On First?"
Pub Date: 11/18/97