Remembering Gene Wilder - Champagne & Film
Hollywood Comes to Half Moon Bay!
Odd Fellows Film Series is launching its 2023-24 season on Saturday, September 23rd, with a champagne reception and special screening of Remembering Gene Wilder, a boisterously entertaining film celebrating the beloved and multi-talented Hollywood and Broadway icon.
Wilder, the “Blazing Saddles” star who blazed a trail through Hollywood and who wrote and starred in several films, was a mensch (Yiddish for a good human being.)
“When we started doing the interviews, the warmth and kindness everyone feels for him, it was very obvious,” recalled executive producer David Knight. “There’s just a lot of love. We knew Mel Brooks really loved him, but these other people we interviewed really connected with him.”
That love is sure to be felt at the Odd Fellows event, where Karen Wilder, Gene’s wife of 27 years, will be present to toast the film and opening night answer questions – and maybe tap dance! (She did after our July film, Young Frankenstein!)
The warmth of Wilder’s personality led to his lifelong friendship with Brooks when the two met backstage during the 1963 Broadway run of Bertolt Brecht’s “Mother Courage and Her Children,” which starred Wilder and Anne Bancroft (Brooks’ girlfriend and future wife). Years later, that relationship led to the classic comedy, The Producers,” “Blazing Saddles” and “Young Frankenstein.”
In Remembering Gene Wilder, this multi-talented performer is dramatically brought to life through never-before-seen home movies and photographs, as well as the intimate insights of friends and colleagues including Mel Brooks, Alan Alda, Carol Kane, Harry Connick Jr., Rain Pryor,
Gene’s wife, Karen Wilder, and Peter Ostrum, who portrayed “Charlie” in one of Gene’s most memorable roles, “Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory.” Remembering Gene Wilder reminds us of his stature as the beloved, one-of-a-kind star who could engage audiences with genuine comedic genius and pure imagination. In the words of Gene’s lifelong friend and collaborator, Mel Brooks, “He lived his life loud and eloquently. There will never be another Gene Wilder.”
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