‘The Fabulous Allan Carr’: Film Review

Jeffrey Schwarz recalls a impracticable career of writer Allan Carr, from ‘Grease’ excellence to Oscar shame.

Jeffrey Schwarz, a dilettante in light gay-showbiz documentaries like I Am Divine and Tab Hunter Confidential, looks behind a scenes in The Fabulous Allan Carr, profiling a producer-manager whose substantial achievements have substantially been overshadowed by his purpose in a good Rob Lowe/Snow White Oscar disturbance of 1989. Benefiting from plenty speak footage of this colorful self-promoter, a interesting doc lacks a extended seductiveness of a Divine film yet will play good to fest auds with a clever seductiveness in low-pitched museum and 1970s/’80s Tinseltown lore.

Friends from high propagandize and college remember Carr (born Alan Solomon) as unusually gregarious; evidently, witnessing a Madison Square Garden jubilee for Around a World in 80 Days assured Carr that uncover business was a instruction he should indicate that people-pleasing energy. He used his parents’ income to furnish plays and was shortly engagement talent for a TV uncover “Playboy’s Penthouse.” There, he schooled about operative with performers, moving him to pierce to L.A. to be a manager.

Many hows and whys are left out of this discerning comment of his early years, yet Schwarz’s slim films hatred a thought of tedious us. The executive is fervent to get to Carr’s life as a abounding man. Having detected a Mexican exploitation crack and done a tiny happening distributing it in America, Carr bought a residence Ingrid Bergman once lived in and started throwing implausible parties. Fixated on Hollywood’s glamorous golden age, he done a indicate of blending aging stars with up-and-comers on a guest list. And, as an intensely “flamboyant” male who didn’t speak publicly about his sexuality, he done a indicate of mouth-watering a prettiest immature boys California had to offer.

Carr fell tough for Grease onstage and constructed a film chronicle with partner Robert Stigwood. The initial kingship check he got, we’re told, was for a cold $8 million. Can we censure a man for determining he was a genius, and pity that opinion with anybody who’d ask? Some genuine bombs followed, yet he’d lapse to credit when he introduced Broadway audiences to La Cage aux Folles.

The doc is lighter on big-name interviewees than Schwarz’s final integrate of films, maybe since a theme burnt a lot of bridges with famous friends and clients. And it goes easy on a disastrous side of Carr’s personality, yet it can frequency omit his eating disorder: He was always gaining or losing extensive amounts of weight, and took to wearing caftans and kimonos as camouflage.

When it comes to a Academy Awards, a film suggests Carr should be remembered not for that reviled opening number, yet for dual some-more durability contributions to Oscar culture: He came adult with a you’re-all-winners diction “and a Oscar goes to …,” and,more consequentially, altered a approach awards-hungry cinema are released. According to former Universal boss Thom Mount, Carr was assisting him foster a bleak-sounding play when he had a shining thought — Let’s recover this Deer Hunter thing in only one museum in NYC and one in L.A. a final month of a year, putting it uninformed in a minds of Academy members when they make a year’s nominations. The awards-contender deteriorate was born.

Production companies: Automat Pictures, Lottie Lorraine Pictures
Director: Jeffrey Schwarz
Producers: John Boccardo, Jeffrey Schwarz
Executive producer: David Permut
Editors: Carl Pfirman, Jeffrey Schwarz
Music: Michael “The Millionaire” Cudahy
Sales: Jeffrey Winter, The Film Collaborative

Venue: Seattle International Film Festival

90 minutes