The Barkleys of Broadway (1949) - Rotten Tomatoes

The Barkleys of Broadway (1949)




Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

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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!
Classics , Comedy , Musical & Performing Arts , Romance
Directed By:
Written By:
In Theaters:
MGM Home Entertainment

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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
Wilson Wood
as Larry
Jean Andren
as First Woman
Laura Treadwell
as Second Woman
Hans Conried
as Ladislaus Ladi
Melinda Wood Allen
as Taxi Driver
Frank Ferguson
as Mr. Perkins
Forbes Murray
as Guest in Theater Lobby
Dee Turnell
as Blonde
Bess Flowers
as Guest in Theater Lobby
Louis Austin
as Guest in Theater Lobby
Betty Blythe
as Guest in Theater Lobby
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
Wilbur Mack
as Guest
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 (10) | 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.

Full Review… | January 1, 2000
Chicago Reader
Top Critic

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.

Full Review… | March 24, 2012

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

February 18, 2008

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

Full Review… | May 19, 2007
Ozus' World Movie Reviews

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

Full Review… | August 29, 2006
Film Threat

It's Fred and Ginger and in color, but the movie's pretty bad.

January 16, 2003
Mountain Xpress (Asheville, NC)

Audience Reviews for The Barkleys of Broadway


Astaire & Rogers' first film together after a ten-year hiatus has all the Technicolor and style that one would expect from an MGM musical but none of the wit or charm of the dance team's early RKO musicals; the musical highlights include "My One and Only Highland Fling" and Astaire's big solo number "Shoes with Wings On."

Michael Troudt
Michael Troudt

This is one is light on entertainment and the duo had seen their better days pass. The dancing is less grand, the costumes are less grand, and the charm is barely there

Vadim Dyment
Vadim Dyment

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

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