Brittany Runs a Marathon
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Fred dancing is always nice to watch, even when the story doesn't intrigue me.
Witty Columbia musical (with a score by Cole Porter) pairing Fred Astaire and Rita Hayworth; Fred dances to the Oscar-nominated "Since I Kissed My Baby Goodbye" but the highlight is Astaire & Rita dancing to "So Near and Yet So Far."
This post-Ginger Fred Astaire vehicle sees him partnered with young Rita Hayworth but the script is a dud - not enough dancing, a very bad Busby Berkeley rip-off set piece on a tank, and some especially dated comedy featuring "double-talk" (which apparently was all the rage in the early 40s). Poor Fred seems more hapless than usual and he has little onscreen chemistry with Rita. Still, the datedness of everything makes it a strange "found object" to view from the vantage point of the 21st century, probably not unlike how people in the future will feel about Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure (or some more recent variant). But, stay away, it's ultimately boring.
Weak story, but Rita Hayworth is gorgeous and does some solid dancing.
Pure Hollywood escapism with an enjoyably silly plot, though it flags towards the end. A young, sparky Rita is at her most beautiful, and seems thrilled to be dancing with her idol.
This film turned Rita Hayworth in to a major star. It's my first film seeing Fred Astaire, he plays Hayworth's dance teacher. Eventually because of some misunderstandings he joins the army, the whole film concerns Astaire trying to win back Hayworth. My favorite song was "Since I Kissed My Baby Goodbye." Some of the funniest sequences involve Cliff Nazarro as Swivel, who uses double-talk antics. It's a fine film, enjoyable throughout but clearly not Hayworth's best work and I'm pretty sure it's not Astaire's best also.
Not Fred's best but still lovely ...Both Fred and Rita being elegant as they are who's to say they're not entertained !
fred rita pairing goes down smooth
This film came as a neatly wrapped gift from the heavens above for both its leading stars. Rita Hayworth was already well known but despite more than two dozen film credits, she had few important parts to her credit (most memorable were Only Angels Have Wings and Susan & God) and was now languishing at a career stand-still at her studio Columbia. This was her first movie âon loanâ to another studio.
Fred Astaireâ(TM)s career had of course already soared too much more dizzying heights, but since his split from cinematic partner Ginger Rogers his career had also plateau-ed and was now showing signs of going the way of the Dodo.
Along came this little song and dance film, which revived Astaireâ(TM)s career and proved him financially viable even without Rogers; and which propelled Hayworth to the height of fame, eventually leading her to playing the title role in Gilda, thus becoming one of the most recognizable and legendary actresses of all time. Not a bad achievement for a not all that impressive little film.
Now donâ(TM)t get me wrong, I enjoyed this musical, so when I say it is not that impressive, I only mean that it doesnâ(TM)t really stand out in any way, other than that it solidified the careers of two actors destined to become legends.
Few people will be able to hum any of the songs from the film, despite their popularity at the time, and an Oscar nomination for one of them. If you enjoy the grand musical genre of this period, then you will enjoy the songs though.
Astaire is of course, with Gene Kelly, one of the two most identifiable dance-musical stars of his era (and of all time, letâ(TM)s not be coy), but if criticism must be levied at the man, then it is that despite his great prowess, he did tend to stick to a certain type of dancing. In contrast this film features a routine with Hayworth â" The Boogie Barcarolle â" which is unique in his entire career.
As a final note: Rita Hayworth is one of the Golden Age of Hollywoodâ(TM)s many famed troubled stars, mentally tortured both by the ânew type of fameâ that emerged around the time, and by the almost inhuman Studio System (a system which destroyed or nearly destroyed the careers â" and often lives â" of many actresses, including Judy Garland, Jean Harlow, and Marilyn Monroe just to name a few). Looking back on a troubled career, colourful marriage history and other misfortunes, she was quoted as saying wistfully that the only jewels in her life were the films she made with Fred Astaire, naming this particular one with great fondness.
Flimsy plot and not so memorable songs contribute to the overall flatness of the film. Astaire is Astaire and Hayworth is lovely; they make a great pair and both do what they can to save the picture, though it's not really enough. Oh, and the insufferable comic stylings of Motormouth (or whatever his name was) nearly drove me insane.