The Belle of New York Reviews
The main gimmick at fault is the use of blue/green screen to continually portray Astaire a-dance upon air. One minute he's tapping across the top of the Washington Square Arch (well, an obvious set-piece made to appear atop it), the next minute, he's tippy-toeing his way all over the nothingness between its flagposts. It all just looks too strange, a ruining of the viewing experience.
The balance of the song and dance is entertaining, but not anywhere near Astaire's top-drawer work. His second solo, "Wanna Be A Dancin' Man," might be called an exception.
When 31-year-old Vera-Ellen dons a full-length black-sequined number for her solo "Naughty But Nice," her well-maintained 19-inch waistline (effected by her constant anorexic purging) is plain enough for all to see (though not so much so as within 1954s "White Christmas" w/ Bing Crosby). Vera ditched Hollywood for good just five years after "Belle."
RECOMMENDATION: OK for completists, everyone else should at least see Astaire's "Top Hat" and "Swing Time" first.