HOME |  JOIN |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
Newest Reviews
Resident Evil: The Final Chapter
Their Finest
Stella Cadente
Water Drops on Burning Rocks
Replace
Belladonna of Sadness
Aquarius
Erik the Conqueror
Baghead
Guns at Batasi
Gang Story, A
Magnificent Ambersons, The
Climber, The
It's a Big Country
Raw
Last Man Standing
Transfiguration, The
Alien Nation
Kajaki
Certain Fury
Life
Hundra
Wonder Woman
Francesca
Jimi Plays Berkeley
Berlin Syndrome
Cure for Wellness, A
Warriors Gate, The
Zombie Ass: The Toilet of the Dead
Obsessed
   
 
Newest Articles
Two Sides of Sellers: The Party vs The Optimists
Norse Code: The Vikings vs The Long Ships
Over the Moon - Space: 1999 The Complete Series on Blu-ray Part 2
Alpha Males and Females - Space: 1999 The Complete Series on Blu-ray Part 1
Animated Anxieties: From the Era of the Creepiest Cartoons
Manor On Movies--Clegg (1970)
Plans for Nigel: The Crunch... and Other Stories on DVD
Let's Get Harry: Repo Man and Paris, Texas
Shut Up, Crime! The Punisher at the Movies
Thunderbollocks: The Golden Age of Bond Rip-Offs
   
 
  Broadway Melody of 1940 On With The ShowBuy this film here.
Year: 1940
Director: Norman Taurog
Stars: Fred Astaire, Eleanor Powell, George Murphy, Frank Morgan, Ian Hunter, Florence Rice, Lynn Carver, Ann Morriss, Trixie Firschke
Genre: Musical, Comedy, Drama
Rating:  7 (from 1 vote)
Review: Song and dance man Johnny Brett (Fred Astaire) could do better. At the moment he's employed by a New York ballroom that drums up publicity by holding weddings and Johnny is the man who gives the brides away, though he's not happy about it. With his dance partner King Shaw (George Murphy) they perform just about every night, but with little recognition except from those who they are in debt to, and tonight a man gives Johnny his card - not to arrange a job, but to let him know that he's going to get King to pay up whether he can afford it or not. However, when they take to the floor and go into their routine, there is a talent agent watching, Bob Casey (Frank Morgan), and he's impressed with Johnny; if only there wasn't a mix up and King takes the casting call instead...

The last of the Broadway Melody musicals that had begun way back in 1929, this was probably the best known outside of the original thanks to the pairing of two dancing legends in Astaire and Eleanor Powell. Powell plays, no, not a up and coming performer who gets her big break on Broadway, but an established star who is looking for a new partner for her latest show. Scripted by Leon Gordon and George Oppenheimer from a story by Jack McGowan and future head of MGM Dore Schary, it's a very typical musical of the period, but distinguished by the superb dancing and the songs by Cole Porter, at least two of which you'll probably recognise.

The whole plot hinges on a series of misunderstandings that put strain on the relationship, both working and professional, between Johnny and King. Unbeknownst to anyone but himself, Johnny has loved star Clare Bennett (Powell) from afar and takes every opportunity to see her shows, so imagine how he feels when King gets the chance to work with her instead of him. Casey realises the error only when it's too late, and the result is a not always smooth mixture of comedy and drama, although Morgan is highly amusing as the permanently flustered agent whose trick is to take out young women with the promise of wearing an ermine cape that he retrieves at the end of the evening.

The revue aspect can be viewed when every so often a speciality act is wheeled on, such as a juggler who provides a dazzling display of balance and precision, although there's a neat gag later on when we think yet another such performer is going to do his act and he zooms on riding a unicycle and promptly collapses into the orchestra pit. But the real highlights are the dance numbers, from lighter than air Astaire and the chunkier yet agile Murphy's opening where they dance a duel, to the final, celebrated "Begin the Beguine" marathon on the reflective black stage, the film's most famous scene. The filmmakers hold off from giving us too much Astaire and Powell hoofing in unison, in fact you have to wait over an hour before they get together, but the wait is worth it, with some truly terrific tap dancing. All this and a happy ending too.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

This review has been viewed 3084 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
Who's the best?
Robin Askwith
Mark Wahlberg
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Ian Phillips
Jensen Breck
Enoch Sneed
Paul Smith
Stately Wayne Manor
Paul Shrimpton
  Vikki Sanderson
   

 

Last Updated: