ann-margret Songs from The Swinger and Other Swingin' Songs (CD, £8.50)label: el
The Swinger and The Pleasure Seekers, films featuring the charismatic Swedish actress Ann-Margret are quintessential 1960s Hollywood pop cinema; light and frothy, flawed, but full of period bric-a-brac and stylish music. The title song of The Swinger was written by André and Dory Previn and the score composed by Marty Paich with additional arrangements by Johnny Williams and Quincy Jones. The score of The Pleasure Seekers was created by Lionel Newman and Alexander Courage (the latter destined to compose Star Trek's iconic music) and features four selections written by the Sammy Cahn - Jimmy Van Heusen song-writing team, each performed by AnnMargret Ann-Margret's film debut came in 1961 as Bette Davis' daughter in Frank Capra's A Pocketful of Miracles. Next, with her song and dance skills to the fore, she shone in George Sidney's delightful sun-filled musical Bye Bye Birdie opposite Dick Van Dyke and then found herself cast as Elvis Presley's co-star in Viva Las Vegas, her presence as love interest Rusty Martin making the film one of The King's more enduring vehicles. "The sizzling combination of Elvis Presley and Ann-Margret is enough to carry Viva Las Vegas over the top," proclaimed Variety. Ann received her first Academy Award nomination for her work in Mike Nichols' Carnal Knowledge alongside Jack Nicholson, Art Garfunkel and Candice Bergen, when her critics - she had been labeled a female Elvis or a vanilla Raquel Welch - finally had to eat their words. The film provided Ann with the best dramatic role of her career as the beautiful and troubled Bobbie, who becomes the target of Jack Nicholson’s rage. She would be nominated for an Academy Award again four years later for her depiction of Nora, the mother, in Ken Russell's film version of The Who's rock-opera, Tommy.
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