The Curse of Fred Astaire (lost Mark Berger musical film; 1982)
The Curse of Fred Astaire is a 1982 independent film written, produced and directed by Mark Berger and starring Kelly Piper, Alan Brooks and Byron Thomas. It was a musical fantasy described by TV Guide as a "modern Faust story of a tall, overweight man who longs to be a tap dancer.". In 1982, it played at the U.S. Film Festival (later known as the Sundance Film Festival) in January and the Semana International Film Festival (later known as the Valladolid International Film Festival) in October, but has not been seen by the general public since. No footage or production stills are known to exist or be available.
Alleged VHS copies' existence
While the film was never released on home video, VHS copies are alleged to exist. On February 10, 2011, blogger sdt posted an update to his blog "auto de fey" that discussed Fred Astaire along with describing an attempt to watch Berger's film:
"The Curse of Fred Astaire" was an independent movie made in the early to mid-1980s. Obviously, the title resonated with possibilities. Friends in the industry loaned me a VHS tape, telling me, "Ya gotta see this." The story of an overweight theatre wanna-be gypsy taking dance classes (with musical numbers, of course), it was easily one of the most hysterically funny things I have ever seen. For most of the first twenty minutes. You soon realise that it isn't a send-up, it isn't satire, it isn't camp - it's serious. The remaining hour is the worst dreck I've ever seen, and I'll watch anything - except La Guerre Est Finie and Last Year at Marienbad. but that is another story. I am now prepared to admit that I couldn't watch it through to the end."
Comments on this blog post come from people claiming to be involved with the film. More than a year after this post, commenter Gigi Z claims to have had a small role in the film and is shocked to learn a VHS copy exists. Almost another year later, a user named "huey" claims to be one of the film's composers along with John Czerkowitz (possibly misspelling John Czerkowicz), and tells Gigi they have a VHS copy that they can try to copy for her.
As of October 2023, this VHS copy of the film or even the film has yet to see the light of day.
- TV Guide listing. Retrieved 23 Oct '23
- Listing at the Semana International Film Festival. Retrieved 23 Oct '23
- auto de fey blog post. Retrieved 23 Oct '23