Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Swing Time

George Stevens, 1936, bw (8.2*)
One of the best of the nearly interchangeable Fred Astaire-Ginger Rogers musicals. This one stands out due to some very innovative musical numbers, especially Astaire's tribute in blackface to legendary tap dancer William "Bojangles" Robinson, in which dramatic lighting (or special effects) has Astaire dancing with 3 giant shadows of himself.

In this thin plot, he's trying to get enough money together to marry his fiance, but of course, Ginger Rogers intervenes as usual. Other than The Gay Divorcee, the plots of these musicals are forgettable. Each runs something like this: a musical performer, usually Astaire, who is usually betrothed to some high society girl he actually despises, meets Ginger Rogers, who is either a dance instructor or an out of work chorus girl or singer; right way they dance like seasoned pros together, fall in love, and once Fred is out of his current relationship, he and Ginger happily dance off together into the closing credits. [Astaire later admitted that his favorite dance partner was actually Rita Hayworth.]

The Gay Divorcee had the most original and comedic plot, as Rogers hired a professional corespondent (named Tonetti) to get out of a divorce, meets Astaire, who becomes the new and real reason for a divorce. What may set any of the others apart is the quality and originality of the dance numbers, which is the achievement of Swing Time, not to mention that this one has master director George Stevens (Shane, Giant, Suddenly Last Summer) at the helm.


About Me

My photo
Artist, photographer, composer, author, blogger, metaphysician, herbalist

About This Blog

This is our new template: ProBlogger.

These are the individual film reviews of what I'm considering the best 1000 dvds available, whether they are films, miniseries, or live concerts. Rather than rush out all 1000 at once, I'm doing them over time to allow inclusion of new releases - in fact, 2008 has the most of any year so far, 30 titles in all; that was a very good year for films, one of the best ever.

Author at EZines

  © Blogger templates ProBlogger Template by Ourblogtemplates.com 2008

Back to TOP