Marvin Hamlisch Documentary in Preview at Elinor Bunin; On PBS American Masters December 27
By: Ellis Nassour
Pulitzer Prize, Oscar, and Tony-winning composer and conductor Marvin Hamlisch, who passed in August 2012, is the subject of award-winning filmmaker and four-time Tony-winning Broadway producer Dori Berinstein’s Marvin Hamlisch: What He Did for Love, produced for PBS/THIRTEEN’s American Masters series, is getting a sneak preview through December 12 at Film Society of Lincoln Center’s Elinor Bunin Munroe Film Center. The 90-minute A.M. season finale telecasts December 27 at 9 P.M. It will be released by PBS on DVD January 14.
Hamlisch was also awarded four Grammys, four Emmys, and three Golden Globes, a Tony Award, and a Pulitzer Prize before his untimely death, making him one of only two PEGOT [Pulitzer, Emmy, Golden Globe, Oscar, Tony] winners.
The deeply-personal documentary has access to Hamlisch’s personal ad career archives along with candid interviews with wife Terre Blair Hamlisch, family, and such stars as Woody Allen, Ann-Margret, Lucie Arnaz, Raul Esparza, Brian D’Arcy James, Quincy Jones, John Lithgow, Melissa Manchester, Idina Menzel, Kelli O’Hara, Sir Tim Rice, Carole Bayer Sager, Carly Simon, Streisand, Leslie Uggams, and Christopher Walken.
Hamlisch is known for such hits as "The Way We Were" and "Nobody Does It Better"; theater scores, A Chorus Line, They’re Playing Our Song, Smile, The Goodbye Girl, and Sweet Smell of Success; special arrangements for numerous shows; and such films as The Sting [adaptation of Scott Joplin’s ragtime tunes], and Sophie’s Choice.
"Marvin Hamlisch was a consummate artist: gifted, creative, and personable," says Susan Lacy, American Masters creator/executive producer. "His music is part of the essential soundtrack to so many of our lives,"
Berinstein, who’s finishing the Broadway musical she and Hamlissch were collaborating on at the time of his death, has high praise for her long-time friend: "Marvin’s astounding musical genius was certainly breathtaking, but it was his irrepressible joy for life and his unending generosity that constantly had me in awe."
A musical prodigy accepted to Juilliard at age six, Hamlisch defied classical expectations to create for pop and musical theater. By age 31, he achieved unprecedented success and honors with a string of smash hits, and then it ended. Faced with overwhelming pressure and sky-high expectations, he entered into what he described as " a period of suffocating despair," before rebounding.
Marvin Hamlisch: What He Did For Love is a co-production of Dramatic Forces. Music is arranged and adapted by Matthew Sklar.
Film outtake: Marvin Hamlisch: Musical Genius at Work featuring interviews with Raul Esparza, Christopher Walken, Leslie Uggams, others
Film outtake: Marvin Hamlisch: The Ultimate Mensch featuring interviews with Lucie Arnaz, Brian D’Arcy James, Kelli O’Hara, Baayork Lee, Lorin Hollander, Ebs Burnough, wife Terre Blair Hamlisch & others: