SOURCE: Innovative Films

February 23, 2010 08:01 ET

Innovative Films Announces Start of Production of "The Outrageous Sophie Tucker" Feature Documentary With Award-Winning Filmmaker William Gazecki Set to Direct and Co-Produce

Susan and Lloyd Ecker, Innovative's Founders and Co-Writers, to Produce With Gene Schwam Serving as Executive Producer

NEW YORK, NY--(Marketwire - February 23, 2010) -  Innovative Films today announced the start of production of "The Outrageous Sophie Tucker," a feature length documentary film based on the life and times of the flamboyant Vaudeville and Burlesque star of the Roaring 20s. Sophie's risqué songs and off-color humor made audiences blush with laugher and launched her as one of the most popular musical entertainers of the Prohibition Era.

Multi award-winning documentary filmmaker William Gazecki ("Waco: Terms of Engagement") has been signed to direct and co-produce with Innovative founders and co-writers Susan and Lloyd Ecker producing, and Gene Schwam as Executive Producer and Director of sales, marketing and promotion.

"The Outrageous Sophie Tucker" docufilm will primarily focus on her tumultuous early days as an iconic renaissance star and recording artist who ruled the 1920s Flapper Era. Tucker infatuated audiences with her bold, bawdy and brassy style unlike any other performer of the time. "In her day, Sophie was as provocative as you could get, yet the public flocked to see her like no other," noted the Eckers.

"Onstage," said Gazecki, "Sophie painted a humorous and likeable picture of oversized womanhood, marriage, sexuality and pleasure that went way beyond acceptable norms -- even for the Roaring 20s. Sophie was the rage on stage and her controversial shows made her a true trailblazer for many of today's superstar performers including Madonna, Cher and Bette Midler."

"Hundreds of startling, humorous and inspiring stories will be integrated into the film including those of Tony Bennett, Barbara Walters and many others who worked with and loved her," added Gazecki, who also co-produced Bette Midler's Grammy Award-winning 1980 hit "The Rose."

The Eckers became life-long Sophie Tucker fans 37 years ago when they met an up-and-coming singer named Bette Midler, who then and still to this day, integrates a form of Sophie's humor and double entendres and takes them into an even higher level of bawdy in her hugely popular nightclub act.

"We've been fortunate to find so many fabulous and prominent people who have incredible stories to tell about Sophie Tucker that we decided to make the movie about this amazing, bigger than life, show business legend," said Sue and Lloyd.

Tucker will forever be remembered as "the Last of the Red Hot Mamas." Sophie was constantly reinventing her unique stage presence to suit her fans and the era which helped her to continue as a headline performer for 60 years until her passing in 1966 at the never old age of 80.

Over the last four years, the Eckers have researched Tucker's life extensively. They have become the world's leading authorities on her career by acquiring a plethora of previously unpublished Tucker archives. Their efforts have recently led to the compiling of a unique 72-page mini-book and CD with a collection of rare illustrations, anecdotes and memories. Also included is a foreword by Michael Feinstein, an appreciation by Carol Channing, and a CD of Tucker's first 24 recordings called "Origins of the Red Hot Mama." The Eckers earned a Grammy nomination last month (January 2010) for Best Album Notes. Sophie's CD received a Grammy nomination for Best Historical Album.

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