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Scarsdale at the Movies

the fabulistThis week we noted that three former Scarsdalians are featured in three films currently on view.

First, former Scarsdale resident and famed storyteller Sandi Marx is profiled in a new documentary called THE FABULIST, that follows her life for the past two years. The film chronicles the life of Marx, a successful talent agent for nearly 25 years who decided to take up a new career as a Live Storyteller at an age when most people are retiring. The Fabulist tells her story as she navigates the NY Storytelling and Comedy scene, performing in bar basements and back rooms while battling the challenges of her age and compromised health. Marx calls the film “A love letter to my friends, family, and the story telling community.”

The film has been selection by the Big Apple Film Festival Winter 2020 and will be shown on Tuesday February 11 at 9 pm at the Cinepolis Theater at 260 West 23rd Street. Click here to view the trailer and click here to buy tickets.

Another Scarsdale celebrity Jacob Appel is the subject of a documentary now streaming on Amazon Prime. By all accounts a genius, Appel grew up in Scarsdale where he attended the Heathcote School when he was inspired by teacher Ed Grossman to write his first play. At Scarsdale High School he distinguished himself as the #1 debater in New York State. He went on to study at Brown, and then earned a total of nine advanced degrees, including a masters in American History, an MFA in creative writing, an MFA in playwriting, an MPH from Mt. Sinai School of Medicine, a medical school degree from Columbia University and a law degree from Harvard, all while writing stories and plays at the same time. The movie has some wonderful scenery of Scarsdale and includes retired SHS Teacher Neil Ginsberg who said, “Jacob is so smart but treats everyone as an equal.” For his part, Jacob credits the high school with offering him so many teachers “who cared a lot about me.” Today he writes and teaches ethics at Columbia Medical School.

The description of the 46-minute film says, “He's a doctor, a lawyer, a bioethicist, a college professor, a licensed New York City tour guide, a poet, a playwright, an award-winning novelist, a devoted son and a true friend. In this upbeat documentary profile meet the most prolific, most Jacobaccomplished, least boastful person in America. Brilliant and humble, that's him, alright. That's Jacob Appel.” The movie also features another Scarsdalian, writer and actor Peter Grosz. The documentary, called “Jacob,” is streaming free on Amazon Prime.

Last, we watched Judy, the movie about Judy Garland’s late years, starring Renee Zelwegger, who puts on a stunning performance. The film chronicles Judy’s late career, when she battles her third husband Sidney Luft for custody of their two young children, Lorna (born 1952) and Joey (born 1955). Liza Minelli, her first child was already 22at the time and living in California. The movie largely takes place in London where Judy is attempting to rekindle her career.

So how does Scarsdale figure into this? As it turns out, Liza lived in Scarsdale with Liza, Lorna and Joey from June to December 1961. After Garland divorced Luft, she lived with Lorna and Joey at the home shown below at 1 Cornell Street.Lindenwald1 Cornell Street, Scarsdale

According to the Scarsdale Cultural Reconnaissance Survey, the home, called Lindenwald is thought to have been erected for the Gail Bordon and his wife Margaret. Gail was the son of the founder of the Borden's Condensed Milk Company.

Here is a memory of the family’s time in Scarsdale. “Both Lorna and Joe have fond memories of their time in Scarsdale, which included a class trip to the zoo and trick-or-treating with their mother dressed as a clown. Liza was enrolled at Scarsdale High School, where she starred in their drama club’s production of The Diary of Anne Frank. The play was so successful that they took the production on a tour of Israel, Athens, and Rome.”

When she died from an overdose at the age of 47 in 1969, Garland was buried at Ferncliff Cemetery in Hartsdale. However her remains were ultimately moved to Forever Cemetery in Hollywood so that she could be buried alongside her children Lorna and Joey.

The movie is now streaming on Amazon Prime Video.

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