Imagine my surprise when I heard that "City Island" opened last weekend in...the former USSR? Really? Before America gets to see it in wide release, the Russkie's do?

But--delight of delights--it turns out that our Bronx based family comedy seems to have a fairly universal appeal. Below I pasted a blackberry-ish communication from our Foreign Sales company, who seems genuinely delighted with the business we did on opening weekend in...the former USSR?

Subject: FYI: City Island - Russia - first weekend BO
admissions: 37,133

They are releasing with 120 prints or about, this is a very good start!!!

Imagine--a hit in Kiev! A sell-out in Moscow! A smash in St. Petersberg (?)...To celebrate, why not post my favorite number from the only true Cold War musical, "Silk Stockings"--music and lyrics by Cole Porter, natch. The song is the "Red Blues" and the damsel who kicks it into gear is, of course Cyd Charisee. The number is magnificently staged and directed by Rouben Mamoulian--a Russian himself and the versatile stage director of "Porgy and Bess" and "Oklahoma" as well as the director of movies such as "Love Me Tonight", "Blood and Sand", "Golden Boy" etc. Mamoulian, by the way, would be a good subject for one of my "Auteur Theater" posts--though not a writer, he truly did leave his thumbprint on every one of his movies (and he didn't make a lot of them). I'm currently working on a post about Robert Rossen ("The Hustler", "All The Kings Men") and will have it up momentarily (screenplay writing has been occupying my time, thus the paucity of posting). Last night, had the opportunity over dinner in West Hollywood with Peter Bogdanovich to discuss Rossen, as well as the truly sublime Jean Renoir. Peter didn't cotten much to Rossen, but positively glowed when discussing Renoir--the ultimate auteur of course and one of those spirits who it seems nobody has a negative word for. I'm sure there are some good Renoir interviews on the YT--once I come up for air I'll dig in...

Hang in, dear and loyal "City-Islanders." More on our movie--and forgotten auteurs--in a minute. Now here's that number I promised...

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