Did Fred ever kiss Ginger?

Discussion of the actors, directors and film-makers who 'made it all happen'

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Ayres
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Post by Ayres »

Yeah, Tim Satchell's biography of Astaire alleges that, too. That is the only place I'd ever read it before Epstein.

The one coming out in the fall that you mention--do you mean Peter Levinson's? I understand that Alvin Yudkoff (who wrote a biography of Gene Kelly) also has one in the works.
shak88
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Post by shak88 »

no, it's the joseph epstein book from the 'icons in america' series that will be out in october, if you google 'astaire joseph epstein' you'll find the exerpt from the book on fred and ginger that i was referring to. and i believe epstein was quoting satchell in regards to the AFI incident.
thanx for the heads-up on the yudkoff and levinson books, i will keep an eye out for them.
Synnove
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Post by Synnove »

Ada Astaire, Fred's daughter, said that the two had a good working relationship. Of course she would want to present her father in a positive light, but if they didn't have a good working relationship, I wonder that they managed to perform so many difficult dance routines together and make it work.

I agree that Ginger brings out the romantic in Fred, even if he had a great chemistry with other dancers as well. Fred and Ginger's romances have a more innocent feel, I think.
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Ayres
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Post by Ayres »

Ava told some great stories about her father at the conference we put on at Oxford (more on this at www.faconference.org).

One that tickled the audience: FA did not often lose his temper, but if anyone were mean to Ava, that was IT. Once she complained in passing to Fred that a drug store employee had been rude to her that day, and he went down and told the guy off!
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molo
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Post by molo »

The Fred and Ginger films had a look and style that sets them apart from the other musicals Fred made. The early ones especially had a certain gloss that must have sparked the dreams of countless depression era filmgoers. I've been slowing making my way back through their films recently.

The Gay Divorcee still remains my all around favorite because it has so many elements I enjoy. It also ranks high on my list of comedic films because the supporting cast is just so darn hilarious. Edward Everett Horton, Alice Brady, Eric Blore and Erik Rhodes combine to make one of the most delightful supporting casts I've ever seen. Throw in a Betty Grable specialty and movie magic ensues.

I have the interview he did with Dick Cavett and he seemed so shy and uncomfortable. He talked just a little about Ginger saying that she was really the one that made their films work. He was very humble. When he got up to sing and dance he was much more relaxed and in his element. He really put on quite a show.

When he died I remember that Ginger appeared on the news show Nightline. She was of course very complimentary.

I liked both of his films with Rita Hayworth. I remember You Were Never Lovelier being my favorite but it has been a long time since I've seen that one.

The Band Wagon remains my favorite of the fifties films. The "Dancing in the Dark" number with Cyd Charisse is one of the most elegant and romantic moments I've ever witnessed on screen. I actually had a chance to see this film on the big screen at one of our restored movie palaces her in Richmond. It was a packed house and you could just here the sighs from the audience and at its conclusion everyone erupted in applause.

One film I need to revisit soon is The Barkleys of Broadway. I don't really remember that one very well.
Synnove
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Post by Synnove »

I have heard that he was very humble too, that he apparently didn't care for his own singing voice, for example. I think both his and Ginger's voices are very nice. They might not work on a Broadway stage, but in films it's more important to have character than to be able to belt. Their singing voices are extensions of their speaking voices. Besides that, they're not bad at all, especially Ginger's.

I agree about The Gay Divorcee. It's one of their wittier musicals, and in some places it's like a precode. I wonder, was it made before the code came into effect, or after?

I still haven't seen any of the films Fred made with Rita Hayworth, but they sound brilliant.
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charliechaplinfan
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Post by charliechaplinfan »

I've enjoyed reading this thread, I'm glad you've kept it going for my whilst I've been away.

I've heard that they didn't get along. I hope it was just fodder for the magazines, I like to think that got along well.

I got a book on the Astaire Rogers partnership by Hannah Hyam. I hope it's good, I've not started it yet.

They had a style and an essence that was so special and all of their own.
Failure is unimportant. It takes courage to make a fool of yourself - Charlie Chaplin
shak88
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Post by shak88 »

i had read that one reason fred resisted being linked to a partnership with ginger was because he'd already had ONE long partnership on stage with his sister adele and now wanted a solo career. in fact, after ginger, he insisted on only two appearances tops with subsequent partners, no matter how successful the teaming, to avoid being associated in another partnership.
so recently i've been turning my attention to the little known (by me) fred astaire/barrie chase partnership on television. i had no idea they had worked so many times together..... fred broke his long standing rule here, and indeed, it was the THIRD significant partnership in fred's career, i had no idea.
i've recently found a site on the web (ioffer) where you can buy some of astaire's television specials on dvd, and in doing some research to find out how many times they worked together, i was quite amazed to find how extensive the work of the barrie chase-astaire team was:
1. an evening with fred astaire '58
2. another evening with fred astaire '59
3. astaire time '60
4. the fred astaire show '68
and TWO episodes of "the hollywood palace" ('65, '66) where fred was the host.
so that makes chase second only to rogers in the amount of appearances made with the master.
wow, that fred was amazing...... a broadway/vaudeville legend with adele, the iconic, mythic astaire-rogers film series, nearly 20 years (1940-1957) of magical film musicals co-starred with the best dancers hollywood could offer, and STILL DANCING on television right into the sixties......an amazing career!!
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charliechaplinfan
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Post by charliechaplinfan »

He was an amazing man that's for sure.
Failure is unimportant. It takes courage to make a fool of yourself - Charlie Chaplin
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Birdy
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Post by Birdy »

OF course...The Gay Divorceeis my favorite of all the Fred and Ginger movies. (Actually, not only is it my favorite Fred-movie; it's my favorite movie of all time...all genres...all formats.)

As to how much kissing Fred and Ginger did, I've been in a discussion about this before and was surprised how little there was. They is so much tension and romance that you almost don't notice and the look in their eyes seems to replace the action in their lips. In modern movies, everyone slobbers all over the place but they are often more explosion than sizzle. Personally, I prefer sizzle.

Fred was an amazing and diverse actor and performer. "Rather like a mountain goat..."

Birdy

PS - Thanks for the link to the conference; Did you see me there? (wink)
jdb1

Post by jdb1 »

I think you are right on the mark, Birdy. It's been endlessly discussed by film historians, how Fred and Ginger's dance sequences were metaphors for sex between them. (Maybe one of the many reasons their movies remain so popular.)
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