Past Meetup

An Afternoon TRIBUTE to Legendary Director HENRY KOSTER by son BOB KOSTER

This Meetup is past

11 people went


We are privileged (thanks in large part to our wonderful member Mary-Ann N.) to also have as a member of our group the distinguished Bob Koster. Bob is the son of legendary movie director Henry Koster, but has had an impressive behind-the-scenes movie career of his own as an assistant director and unit production manager (including "Valley Of The Dolls," "Hello Dolly!" and "Futureworld").

[Above is a rare photo of "Robby" Koster held by his father Henry (wearing glasses) and to their left is actor Charles Laughton on the set of the 1942 film "Between Us Girls"]

Many of our members may not be as familiar with Henry Koster as much as other perhaps more touted film directors, but will certainly recognize his roster of acclaimed movies and the fact that he is credited with launching the career of actress Deanna Durbin. For this very special afternoon, Bob will share some of his father's very rare personal home movies followed by a screening of the Deanna Durbin movie ONE HUNDRED MEN AND A GIRL (1937).

[IMPORTANT NOTE: This event is going to be in Camarillo at Bob's private home (and was formerly his dad's home in his later years) which is about a one hour long freeway drive west of L.A. off the 101 Freeway--between Thousand Oaks and Oxnard--so due to the limited number of guests Bob can accomodate, please be considerate and DO NOT R.S.V.P. unless you are 100% sure that you are committed to attending and willing to bring a lunch dish to share. Jono will allow 3 members to carpool from his home in Los Feliz at 10:15am on this date. Please be aware of the special EARLY R.S.V.P. deadline so we will have time to provide a security list to Bob with enough lead time].

In this film, Durbin portrays the daughter of an out-of-work classical trombonist who convinces a wealthy socialite to fund the creation of a new orchestra — but when Brady’s husband finds out, he refuses to let the scheme move forward; meanwhile, the great conductor Leopold Stokowski is equally adamant in his refusal to help the daughter or her father.

Henry Koster's film career spans several decades, but some of his more popular film titles include "Jane Eyre," "The Bishop's Wife," "Harvey," "My Cousin Rachel," "The Robe," "Desiree," "The Virgin Queen," "My Man Godfrey," "Flower Drum Song" and "The Singing Nun."

According to Wikipedia, Henry Koster was born in 1905 as Hermann Kosterlitz in Berlin, Germany. His salesman father apparently left home when he was a young man, yet Henry still managed to finish high school in Berlin while working as a short story writer and cartoonist. Henry was introduced to to the movie business around 1910 when his uncle opened a very early movie theater in Berlin. His mother played the piano to accompany the films, leaving the young boy to occupy himself by watching the films. After working initially as a short story writer, Henry was subsequently hired by a Berlin movie company as scenarist then became assistant to acclaimed German film director Curtis Bernhardt. One day Bernhardt became sick and asked Henry to take over as director. Shortly after, in 1931 or 1932, Koster directed two or three films in Berlin for UFA--Germany's principal film studio.

As Bob can explain better in person, Henry eventually had the opportunity to temporarily come to Hollywood to work with producer Joe Pasternak whom he had met in Budapest, but his success motivated studio executives to keep him here in the United States and the rest is a very interesting and colorful history that Bob will elaborate on.

PARKING: Street parking is plentiful and FREE to invited guests.

[Below is a more recent photo of our gracious host Robert J. Koster in an animated photo likely talking about his love of his dad's career and movies]


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