Silk Stockings - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Silk Stockings Reviews

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Super Reviewer
½ September 5, 2010
This is a musical version of Ninotchka, and with a better cast, I enjoyed it. It's a lot funnier than the first movie too.
½ January 20, 2014
Surprised by how much I enjoyed this one. A very sexy movie (and musical) for the mid '50s. Cyd Charisse was very beautiful, and it helped that the script was based on Ninotchka. Astaire is solid as usual, but it's Charisse who really shines in this.
May 18, 2009
Fun dance numbers with Astaire and Charisse. Somewhat of a soft core propaganda piece against the Soviet Union.
½ February 14, 2008
Interesting adaptation of "Ninotchka" with Astaire and Charisse (who plays Garbo's role). Dance numbers are very good, and some of the humor from the original is still there.
½ June 28, 2007
I always enjoy a good Astaire movie. Great musical numbers but definitely not as good as his other ones. Entertaining but not a masterpiece.
August 8, 2015
One of Fred Astaire's best films. While it might be his work with Ginger Rogers that has entered the pantheon of film, It's his later pairings that I actually find more enjoyable, and this particular one is the best. Cyd Charisse is not only a fine dancer, but a great actress and comedienne. This is a great script and a great production that's out loud funny and greatly entertaining.
August 14, 2013
Cyd Charisse was Fred's best dancing partner in film, only Barrie Chase from his NBC TV specials was more talented. Outstanding Cole Porter score.
½ May 18, 2012
Fred Astaire is a movie producer all the way in Paris to grab onto a famous composer to conduct a score for a new Hollywood picture he's making, which is going to star the "swimming girl" Janis Paige. It turns out that that conductor is from Russia, and because the government of his country is so darn strict, they send over a slew of comrades. When the three there fall in love with the City of Lights they don't want to leave, so Russia sends in a new comrade, a la Cyd Charisse. She's ready to do her deeds, but of course with Fred's sly charms that he's always up to, she falls in love with him, changes her attitude, and decides to live a more "romantic" lifestyle. If that darn actress Janis Paige wouldn't stop getting in the way of their budding relationship ... "Silk Stockings" was *sigh* the last big-budget Hollywood musical for both Fred Astaire AND Cyd Charisse. Okay, I'll admit it, Fred was way past his prime at this point, but Cyd ... oh, it's so sad. Luckily for the both of them, "Silk Stockings" is a good way to say goodbye. Yes good, not great, but still charming and entertaining. Sure, the dancing isn't as good as it was in 1953's "The Band Wagon" (their first outing together), but in this film Fred was 58 going 59, and Cyd was 36. But thanks to Cole Porter, the songs are simply terrific, especially the superb "All of You", which could make anybody swoon over. And the fact that this movie was based on the always charming comedy "Ninotchka", it evokes that euphoric Hollywood feel that we all love to see Fred in. It doesn't have anything on "Easter Parade" or "Top Hat". But hey, it's still good. And with great performances by both Cyd and Janis Paige, "Silk Stockings" shows power at a time where musicals just weren't that popular anymore.
½ January 29, 2012
'Paris Loves Lovers' still has me humming
½ July 7, 2011
Sparkling musical revamp of the Ninotchka story - with Cyd Charisse in her finest film role and Fred Astaire in the last of his great dance musicals. The music by Cole Porter is, at times, absolutely sublime with the best moments coming during the quieter numbers (such as "All of You") - Charisse singing (dubbed) and dancing with Astaire; or dancing solo - the tone is pure romance. The supporting cast provide a lot of the comedy - they include Peter Lorre and also Janis Paige (who belts out "Stereophonic Sound"). Astaire produces some dazzling dance routines, as always. Oddly it's the bigger numbers where it doesn't quite hit the heights - "Red Blues" and "Ritz Roll and Rock" - which seem to acknowledge the changing times in popular music. Astaire chose just the right moment to bow out - but he did so here on a high!
½ March 4, 2011
Silk Stockings is something of an enigma. Even though it is a remake, this film is fun to watch. The music is excellent to listen to. Fred Astaire and Cyd Charisse give amazing performances. The script is still good. Rouben Mamoulian did a great job directing this movie. I enjoyed this motion picture because of the romance. Silk Stockings is a must see.
May 10, 2005
½ April 14, 2005
I've been avoiding [i]Silk Stockings[/i] for years for the same reason I avoided [i]High Society[/i]. Both are based on films I love ([i]Ninotchka[/i] and [i]The Philadelphia Story[/i]) starring actresses I worship (Kate the Great and Garbo). And I generally don't like remakes. But I was home sick yesterday and had a lot of time to kill and this seemed like a perfectly harmless diversion.

[i]Silk Stockings[/i] was originally produced on Broadway in 1955 with songs by Cole Porter. Broadway musicals are frequently based on popular films with varying results, on a scale of [i]Carrie[/i] to [i]42nd Street[/i]. I would guess [i]Silk Stockings[/i] falls somewhere in the middle. The cast album went out of print before I could get my hands on a copy so I've never heard the score as it was presnted on the stage.

[i]Ninotchka[/i] is just about perfect as a film, so the only reason for exploring [i]Silk Stockings[/i] is the work of Cole Porter. Sadly, this is not the Cole Porter of [i]Anything Goes[/i] or [i]Kiss Me, Kate[/i]. This is not even the Cole Porter of [i]Out of This World[/i]. This is the Cole Porter of [i]Can-Can, High Society[/i] and, well, [i]Silk Stockings[/i]. Which is to say that, while there are some good tunes, the overall quality of the score varies and never approaches the level of, say, "So in Love" or "Brush Up Your Shakespeare."

Fred Astaire and Cyd Charisse are in the roles originated by Melvyn Douglas and Garbo, with a pair of silk stockings filling in for the couture hat as the symbol of excess capitalism. Nina/Ninotchka is sent from the Soviet Union to bring a Russian composer back from Paris, as well as the three yahoos already dispatched on the same mission. The three yahoos are played by Joseph Buloff, whose only other screen credit I recognize is as Joe Volski - a character I don't remember - in [i]Reds[/i]. The second yahoo is Jules Munshin, the Cromagnon man from [i]On the Town[/i]. The trio is filled out by Peter Lorre, proving that there is something worse for a great actor to do than playing opposite a seal in [i]20,000 Leagues Under the Sea[/i]. Sigh. Janis Paige is pretty damn funny as an American actress based on Esther Williams about to appear in her first non-swimming film, [i]War and Peace[/i].

Charisse is no Garbo* and maybe I just couldn't get past that fact. Sadly, director Rouben Mamoulian is no Lubitsch, despite his very Lubitschian [i]Love Me Tonight[/i] from 1932, one of the best screen musicals ever. Neither [i]Ninotchka[/i] nor Ninotchka are well musicalised. Charisse sings far too early in the proceedings for the character to work. I could understand her breaking out into song as an expression of throwing off the emotional restaints of Soviet ideology, but in her first scene with Astaire, she sings a counterpoint to his "Paris Loves Lovers" and it's just not believeable, even in the realm of the musical. On the flip side, the character is beautifully explored in a solo dance by Charisse where she strips off her grey commie frock and black (woolen?) stockings and dresses herself in Parisian couture, silk stocking and all. It's a really beautiful expression of character and the film almost won me over entirely. Then Ninotchka goes back to the Soviet Union, [i]where she and her comrades break out into [/i]"The Red Blues." I actually had to turn on the closed captioning because I just couldn't believe that that was an actual Cole Porter song. There's also the dreadful "Ritz Roll and Rock" and the "Always True to You" retread "It's Chemistry, That's All." Sigh.

Astaire does well enough in his last starring role in a musical. His dances, choreographed by Hermes Pan (the rest were by Eugene Loring) from the RKO days with Ginger, make the movie. He's reteamed with Charisse from [i]The Band Wagon[/i] and they work together beautifully. Which brings me to my recommendation. Rent [i]Silk Stockings[/i] on DVD. Jump ahead to any song that doesn't feature Peter Lorre except "The Red Blues" which must be seen to be believed. Ignore the rest of the film. Then wait for [i]Ninotchka[/i] to be released on DVD. You're time will be better spent.

There you have it, kids. Six paragraphs on a movie musical I didn't really like and that put me to sleep. Welcome to Rodolfanadu.

*Charisee played another Garbo role when she replaced Liliane Montevecchi as Grusinskaya in the Broadway musical [i]Grand Hotel[/i].
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