Shall We Dance
this time the Gershwin's wrote the sound track including some of their timeless classics including one of my favourites They Can't Take That Away From Me. My DVD has a lovely introduction with Ava Astaire MacKenzie in which she says of Hermes Pan working with a pianist trying to work out dances for the score shaking his head and telling the pianist that he just can't work with this music only to find out later that the pianist was George Gershwin himself. Well thankfully they did find a way to work with the music, only this time there aren't as many joint dances but what there are are special.
Directed once again my Mark Sandrich and featuring Edward Everett Horton and Eric Blore and including some of the best exchanges between them and one of the most delightful entanglements, we are back at the Gay Divorcee with confusion about marital status, this time caused by Horton's impressario and Astaire himself the rumour goes around that Astaire/Petrov is married to Linda/Rogers resulting in tooing and froing and an eventual marriage so that Ginger can divorcee him as no one believes them to be unmarried.
Fred is excrutiating when he plays Petrov when he first meets Linda, he is of course American but playing Russian, a joke on the fashion of the time for ballet dancers to have Russian names. When she finds out she is first cross then melts and starts seeing Petrov then is cross again when their false marriage is leaked. The backwards and forwards of this romance is punctuated by such numbers as I've Got Beginners Luck, Slap That Bass sat in the engine room, They All Laughed sang by Ginger and then danced wonderfully with Fred, the irrespressible Let's Call The Whole Thing Off danced on roller skates, it's quite a number and topped off with the romantic They Can't Take That Away From Me and the showstopper Shall We Dance danced with lots of Ginger masks.
This is another great teaming, there really isn't much in between the musicals to seperate them in terms of which is best, I think it depends on my mood and whose songs I feel like listening to. This is a great film in the Astaire/Rogers cannon, probably the longest but doesn't feel like it. They have really honed their partnership and I find myself getting sad that I am nearly at the end of the journey, what a shame they split up the partnership, I wonder why? Fred was never as seductive and romantic, the nearest to the sexiness displayed with Ginger comes for me only with Cyd Charisse, there's plenty of comedy in Fred's other outings and many pleasant and good partnerships but he never matched the magic with Ginger.
Edward Everett Horton, he did have some roles as good and has a range as an actor but for me he is forever Fred's stooge, often in place as an impressario but often a buffoon holding his position because of Fred's talent and his own kind nature.
Fred, Ginger, Gershwin, Cole Porter, Hermes Pan, Jerome Kern, Edward Everett Horton, Eric Blore et all it just doesn't get better than these movies and music
Failure is unimportant. It takes courage to make a fool of yourself - Charlie Chaplin