Saturday, January 1, 1944
Pepito the Spanish Clown in the Ginger Rogers motion picture, “Lady In the Dark.” This is the only COLOR imagery known to exist of Pepito in his famous clown costume. Pepito is the clown in the green coat, on the left side of the screen, leaning over the edge of the spectator box, during the “trial” portion of the clip.
LADY IN THE DARK
(1944, United States) Directed by Mitchell Leisen
Pepito Perez (Jose Escobar Perez) …. Clown (uncredited)
Leisen, a superb visual stylist and former costume designer, was a natural to adapt for the screen the hit 1941 musical about a troubled woman fashion editor who undergoes psychoanalysis. At the time, Lady in the Dark’s story was a revolutionary idea, as was the Broadway producers’ decision to stage Moss Hart’s book as a straight play, reserving the musical numbers by Kurt Weill and Ira Gershwin for the heroine’s dream sequences. Leisen’s movie version honors this concept, although Paramount studio chief Buddy DeSylva, himself a former songwriter, insisted Leisen substitute songs by other composers for some of Weill and Gershwin’s originals. The film’s best number, The Saga of Jenny, sung by Ginger Rogers in an elaborate circus setting, is unadulterated Weill and Gershwin, however.
Paramount. Based on the musical play with book by Moss Hart, and music and lyrics by Kurt Weill, Ira Gershwin. Producer: Richard Bluementhal. Screenwriter: Frances Goodrich, Albert Hackett. Cinematographer: Ray Rennahan. Cast: Ginger Rogers, Ray Milland, Warner Baxter, Jon Hall. 35mm Nitrate, Technicolor, 100 min.