The Barkleys of Broadway (1949) - Rotten Tomatoes

The Barkleys of Broadway (1949)

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AUDIENCE SCORE

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Movie Info

The Barkleys of Broadway became Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers' "reunion" picture purely by accident. Originally conceived as a follow-up to the successful Astaire-Judy Garland vehicle Easter Parade, Barkleys was to have starred Fred and Judy as a successful musical comedy team that breaks up when the female half decides to become a "serious" artist. Just before shooting started, Garland fell ill, Rogers replaced her, and the rest, as they say, is history. The script is as thin as a spider's web, a mere coat-rack upon which to hang several topnotch musical numbers. Fred and Ginger aren't quite as footloose and fancy-free as they were in their RKO heyday, but they still work together seamlessly. The film's highlights include "My One and Only Highland Fling," "You'd Be Hard to Replace," a reprise of "They Can't Take That Away From Me" (originally performed by Astaire and Rogers in Shall We Dance?), and Oscar Levant's keyboard rendition of "The Sabre Dance." The film's least memorable moment is the play-within-a-play wherein Rogers, cast as the young Sarah Bernhardt, passionately recites "The Marseillaise" as an audition piece!

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Cast

Fred Astaire
as Josh Barkley
Ginger Rogers
as Dinah Barkley
Billie Burke
as Mrs. Livingston Belney
Oscar Levant
as Ezra Millar
Gale Robbins
as Shirlene May
Jacques François
as Jacques Barredout
George Zucco
as The Judge
Clinton Sundberg
as Bert Felsher
Inez Cooper
as Pamela Driscoll
Carol Brewster
as Gloria Amboy
Jean Andren
as First Woman
Laura Treadwell
as Second Woman
Melinda Wood Allen
as Taxi Driver
Hans Conried
as Ladislaus Ladi
Forbes Murray
as Guest in Theater Lobby
Frank Ferguson
as Mr. Perkins
Bess Flowers
as Guest in Theater Lobby
Louis Austin
as Guest in Theater Lobby
Betty Blythe
as Guest in Theater Lobby
William Tannen
as Doorman at Theater
Mahlon Hamilton
as Apartment Doorman
Sherry Hall
as Chauffeur
Nolan Leary
as Stage Doorman
Esther Somers
as Sarah's Mother
Helen Eby-Rock
as Sarah's Aunt
Joyce Mathews
as Genevieve
Mary Jo Ellis
as Clementine
Jack Rice
as Ticket Man
Roger Moore
as First Man
John Albright
as Photographer
George Boyce
as Photographer
Mimi Doyle
as Actress
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Critic Reviews for The Barkleys of Broadway

All Critics (11) | Top Critics (1)

It isn't very witty - although it's supposed to be - and it isn't really satire, in the sense of Singin' in the Rain or The Band Wagon.

January 1, 2000 | Full Review…

...of interest as a possible peek into Rogers and Astaire's actual working relationship.

January 22, 2017 | Rating: 2/4 | Full Review…

Though one of their weakest teaming, it's worth seeing this late (and last) Astaire-Rogers musical for historical reasons; Rogers replaced the ailing Judy Garland.

March 24, 2012 | Rating: C+ | Full Review…

Astaire and Rogers last teaming, and full of wit, music, dance, and comedy.

February 18, 2008 | Rating: 5/5

It doesn't help that the music by Harry Warren and Ira Gershwin is slight.

May 19, 2007 | Rating: C+ | Full Review…

This is a weak reteaming, unfortunately, and it's the screenplay by Betty Comden and Adolph Green which does that.

August 29, 2006 | Rating: 3/5 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for The Barkleys of Broadway

The tenth and final in a long Rogers and Astaire saga, the Barkleys emphasize all the real life struggles of the pair: Rogers trying her hand at being a serious actress, the pair's unprecedented hospitality in their real life partnership, and the follies of show business. Including one of Rogers most dramatic and sensational turns, and a shoe stepping routine unheard of in musical theater, the Barkleys took Broadway and the film industry by storm.

Spencer S.
Spencer S.

Super Reviewer

A decade after their ninth and final film together, Rogers and Astaire were paired together again, thanks to a twist of fate. Although Judy Garland was originally cast to star opposite Fred Astaire, she became ill, and Ginger Rogers was tapped to replace her.

And as an added bonus: Geez that Oscar Levant is a monster talent. The man appointed by George Gershwin to interpret his music, Levant proves again his musical and his acting ability.

For historical purposes, if for nothing else, this Rogers and Astaire tenth and final project together must be seen.

Lanning : )
Lanning : )

Super Reviewer

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