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Sidney J. FurieLife and Films$
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Daniel Kremer

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780813165967

Published to Kentucky Scholarship Online: May 2016

DOI: 10.5810/kentucky/9780813165967.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM KENTUCKY SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.kentucky.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright The University Press of Kentucky, 2022. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in KSO for personal use.date: 29 June 2022

Idol Worship in Jazz

Idol Worship in Jazz

Lady Sings the Blues and Hit!

(p.149) Chapter 7 Idol Worship in Jazz
Sidney J. Furie

Daniel Kremer

University Press of Kentucky

As a reward for delivering Little Fauss and Big Halsy under budget and under schedule, producer Albert S. Ruddy is selected to adapt The Godfather. Ruddy chooses Furie as his director, but pressures from the studio and the Italian community corner Ruddy into hiring an Italian director, namely Francis Ford Coppola. Meanwhile, Furie is brought on by producer Jay Weston to helm Lady Sings the Blues, a biopic covering the life of Billie Holiday. Furie gets the idea to cast unlikely candidate Diana Ross for the title role, and thus Berry Gordy’s Motown comes to produce (and eventually fully finance) the project. Lady Sings the Blues (1972) turns out to be a critical and box-office success, and Furie now has carte blanche to select his follow-up project. He chooses Hit! (1973), an ostensible genre item (and oddity) starring Billy Dee Williams and Richard Pryor. Penned by screenwriter Alan Trustman, the film is dismissed and quickly disappears from theaters.

Keywords:   Godfather, Puzo, Paramount, Motown, Billie Holiday, blaxploitation

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