HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
Newest Reviews
Arctic
Fate of Lee Khan, The
El Camino: A Breaking Bad Movie
Ladyworld
Rocketman
Kid Who Would Be King, The
Making Waves: The Art of Cinematic Sound
America America
Darkest Minds, The
Along Came Jones
Hummingbird Project, The
Under the Table You Must Go
Harry Birrell Presents Films of Love and War
Hanging Tree, The
Godzilla: King of the Monsters
Scooby-Doo! Camp Scare
Itsy Bitsy
Witchmaker, The
Prey, The
If It's Tuesday, This Must Be Belgium
Happy Death Day 2U
Full Moon High
Strange But True
Kamikaze 1989
Never Grow Old
Time of Your Life, The
Mountain Men, The
Epic
Best Before Death
John Wick Chapter 3: Parabellum
Isabelle
Non-Stop New York
Once Upon a Time in Deadwood
Oblomov
Alita: Battle Angel
We the Animals
Ibiza Undead
Wings of Eagles, The
Beats
Body Parts
   
 
Newest Articles
Growing Up in Public: 7-63 Up on Blu-ray
Learn Your Craft: Legend of the Witches and Secret Rites on Blu-ray
70s Psycho-Thrillers! And Soon the Darkness and Fright on Blu-ray
Split: Stephen King and George A. Romero's The Dark Half on Blu-ray
Disney Post-Walt: Three Gamechangers
But Doctor, I Am Pagliacci: Tony Hancock's The Rebel and The Punch and Judy Man on Blu-ray
Once Upon a Time in Deadwood: Interview with Director Rene Perez
Shit-Eating Grim: Salo, or the 120 Days of Sodom on Blu-ray
Stallone's 80s Action Alpha and Omega: Nighthawks and Lock Up
Python Prehistory: At Last the 1948 Show and Do Not Adjust Your Set on DVD
You Could Grow to Love This Place: Local Hero on Blu-ray
Anglo-American: Joseph Losey Blu-ray Double Bill - The Criminal and The Go-Between
Marvel's Least Loved and Most Loved: Fantastic 4 vs Avengers: Endgame
Battle of the Skeksis: The Dark Crystal Now and Then
American Madness: Sam Fuller's Shock Corridor and The Naked Kiss on Blu-ray
Flight of the Navigator and the 80s Futurekids
Trains and Training: The British Transport Films Collection Volume 13 on DVD
Holiday from Hell: In Bruges on Blu-ray
The Comedy Stylings of Kurt Russell: Used Cars and Captain Ron
Robot Rocked: The Avengers Cybernauts Trilogy on Blu-ray
Hammer's Bloodthirsty Bad Girls 1970: Lust for a Vampire and Countess Dracula
Hammer to Fall: Kiss Me Deadly on Blu-ray
Home of the Grave: The House That Dripped Blood and Asylum on Blu-ray
Wondrous Women: Supergirl vs Captain Marvel
Things Have Changed: Films You'd Be Insane to Make Now
   
 
  Barkleys of Broadway, The Ritzy ReunionBuy this film here.
Year: 1949
Director: Charles Walters
Stars: Fred Astaire, Ginger Rogers, Oscar Levant, Billie Burke, Gale Robbins, Jacques François, George Zucco, Clinton Sundberg, Inez Cooper, Carol Brewster, Wilson Wood, Hans Conried
Genre: Musical, Comedy, Romance
Rating:  5 (from 1 vote)
Review: The Barkleys, Josh (Fred Astaire) and Dinah (Ginger Rogers) are the toast of Broadway with each successive show they perform there, and after tonight's staging they are brought out to take a bow with their musical director Ezra Millar (Oscar Levant), whereupon they lavish so much praise on one another, ascribing any credit to their partner, that Ezra has to stop their gushing because the audience don't know what to make of it. Finally, the couple are in the taxi back to their apartment and are still in full agreement that it all went very well, reassuring each other about their individual quality - oh, but maybe, says Josh, there was something Dinah could have improved upon, just a minor thing, and before they know it they're conducting a blazing row.

The Barkleys of Broadway was big news back in 1949 since after ten years away from one another in separate projects, the silver screen's most beloved dancing couple were back together in a musical, and this time, unlike their RKO productions, we could see them in full colour. In fact, this was supposed to be the follow up to Easter Parade for Astaire and Judy Garland, but she was suffering one of her breakdowns and rather than hold it up they decided to go ahead with Rogers seeing as how she liked the idea of a reunion. However, there's a reason this wasn't mentioned in the same breath as something like Top Hat or Swing Time, and that's because overall it was really pretty foolish.

You could pin the blame on a few causes, though not on Fred and Ginger who were game for anything Betty Comden and Adolph Green's script conjured up for them, it was just that the results were continually ridiculous. Now, fair enough you could go back to their nineteen-thirties classics and see some very silly storylines, but they were handled with wit, sophistication and a sense of skilled good fun whereas here they were obviously trying to recapture that particular tone without noting that by then, post-war, things had changed in the musical landscape. Indeed, there were numbers here among the worst things this pair had ever performed, the most blatant being the tribute to Scotland.

Hearing Fred, then Ginger, mangling the Scottish accent as they promenaded across the theatre stage in one of their invented shows (the plot of which was what, exactly? Who knows?) then spinning around with their kilts flying up (no true Scotsman Fred, you may be relieved to learn) was beneath their dignity even for a lighthearted musical, but there were other issues. Take impossible to perform live routine where Fred danced solo with animated shoes which kick him up the arse, stand on his toes and generally humiliate him, so much so he produced two revolvers and starts opening fire. Quite what director Charles Walters thought he was doing is a mystery, but the more restrained dances appeared to be more his forte, including finally a routine to They Can't Take That Away from Me.

As far as the storyline went, the arguing Barkleys are torn apart when jealousy rears its ugly head, both professional and romantic. What some found interesting was that although this was earmarked for Garland, the narrative bore some resemblance to the relationship between Astaire and Rogers; they were never romantically linked, but there were always rumours they never got on as well as they did before the cameras and Ginger had indeed gone off to try a dramatic career after her pairings with Fred. If this irked him, he never was so ungallant as to admit it, but you can imagine some went to watch this to see if they could discern any tension, though if they did they would be disappointed, they still enjoyed that effortless chemistry no matter what they thought of one another privately. Oscar Levant showed up as the best friend, but more to dispense the jokes the other stars couldn't and play a couple of classical pieces on the piano, demonstrating his great ability but holding up the action. All in all, a regrettable enterprise, no matter how nice it was to see them together once more. Music by Harry Warren and Ira Gershwin.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

This review has been viewed 1555 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 
Review Comments (0)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which star do you think makes the best coffee?
Emma Stone
Anna Kendrick
Michelle Rodriguez
Sir Patrick Stewart
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Darren Jones
Paul Smith
Andrew Pragasam
  Rachel Franke
Enoch Sneed
Paul Shrimpton
  Desbris M
   

 

Last Updated: