Jump to content


Fred and Ginger


  • Please log in to reply
37 replies to this topic

#16 dirac

dirac

    Diamonds Circle

  • Board Moderator
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 24,099 posts

Posted 15 December 2004 - 05:06 PM

I’m afraid I wasn’t too crazy about “Silk Stockings,” although I enjoyed Janis Paige, and Charisse’solo, wherein she discards her Soviet clothes for a series of lacy silken scanties she has hidden around her hotel room. (She was a TERRIBLE substitute for Garbo, though!)

I was used to getting those fabulous Fred solos from his movies with Ginger and Rita



There are many of Astaire’s movies apart from the ones he made with Hayworth and Rogers where his solo is really the only dancing high point (or the only high point, period). I liked his number with the umbrella in FF, but it's not one of his really memorable ones.

You're very right about Hayworth's pride in the Astaire movies, canbelto. I think she added "Cover Girl" with Kelly to that list, too.

#17 dirac

dirac

    Diamonds Circle

  • Board Moderator
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 24,099 posts

Posted 05 May 2005 - 10:09 AM

I haven't seen a release date yet, but I understand that Warner Home Video is bringing out all the Astaire-Rogers movies in two separate DVD collections. (I am fortunate enough to live near a repertory film theatre that revives them at regular intervals. Nothing like seeing them on the big screen.)

#18 glebb

glebb

    Gold Circle

  • Senior Member
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 807 posts

Posted 06 May 2005 - 05:09 AM

I haven't seen a release date yet, but I understand that Warner Home Video is bringing out all the Astaire-Rogers movies in two separate DVD collections. (I am fortunate enough to live near a repertory film theatre that revives them at regular intervals.  Nothing like seeing them on the big screen.)

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>


Can't wait!

#19 dirac

dirac

    Diamonds Circle

  • Board Moderator
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 24,099 posts

Posted 06 May 2005 - 08:43 AM

Details available from DVD Times:

http://www.dvdtimes....contentid=57013


How thoughtful of Warner, albeit a trifle puzzling from a marketing standpoint, to include the two best films of the series, Top Hat and Swing Time, in the first set.

#20 Ari

Ari

    Gold Circle

  • Member
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 887 posts

Posted 06 May 2005 - 10:15 AM

The division of films between the two sets is indeed puzzling. Other than The Barkleys of Broadway, this first set includes the duo's best and most popular movies. In the second set (which I assume will contain the other five films), the biggest draws will be Roberta and The Gay Divorcee. Flying Down to Rio, Carefree and the Castles are all lesser efforts.

No mention of any extras, although I don't know what those could be.

#21 dirac

dirac

    Diamonds Circle

  • Board Moderator
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 24,099 posts

Posted 06 May 2005 - 10:34 AM

The extras are listed under each individual title. They include a few featurettes. There's commentary from writers, etc. and vintage cartoons and shorts, apparently unrelated to F&G.

The movies will be released individually as well, so it will be possible to pick and choose, fortunately.

#22 canbelto

canbelto

    Platinum Circle

  • Senior Member
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,769 posts

Posted 15 October 2005 - 07:21 PM

I saw "Swing Time" tonight on TCM, and I have to admit I was a bit disappointed. I love Ginger's earthiness, and her beautiful white chiffony costumes, and the final dance, but I didnt find the storyline amusing or believable AT ALL, and the Bojangles routine seems pasted into the movie senselessly. Plus I dont think Fred or Ginger were good enough singers to carry a whole song -- and thus one of my favorite all-time songs "The Way You Look Tonight" was somewhat ruined. I kept thinking what a great pdd it would have made had they DANCED it instead.
Is Top Hat better?

#23 Old Fashioned

Old Fashioned

    Silver Circle

  • Senior Member
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 596 posts

Posted 15 October 2005 - 09:40 PM

Is Top Hat better?

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>


No.

I know how you feel. I was slightly disappointed when I saw the Fred and Ginger movies on first viewing, but then I came to accept them as they are. I don't think the films were ever intented to be great, they only serve as vehicles for displaying a great dance partnership. As for their singing, I enjoy their rather subdued voices. It doesn't overshadow their dancing and I find it to be a nice respite from the popular powerhouse singing of the likes of Bing Crosby and Judy Garland (not that I find anything wrong with that style, either).

#24 Farrell Fan

Farrell Fan

    Platinum Circle

  • Senior Member
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,930 posts

Posted 16 October 2005 - 06:44 AM

Fred Astaire was a wonderful singer -- a sensitive stylist who was absolutely the greatest interpreter of Irving Berlin ever. I would not have described Bing Crosby as a "powerhouse" singer, but he was terrific too.

#25 Helene

Helene

    Administrator

  • Administrators
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 10,585 posts

Posted 16 October 2005 - 08:34 AM

Fred Astaire was a wonderful singer -- a sensitive stylist who was absolutely the greatest interpreter of Irving Berlin ever.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

I, too, think Fred Astaire is a wonderful singer. I can't count the number of times I've chosen his "Steppin' Out" album over everything else on my iPod. (I really liked the interview on the last track.)

#26 dirac

dirac

    Diamonds Circle

  • Board Moderator
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 24,099 posts

Posted 18 October 2005 - 04:41 PM

Is Top Hat better?


Yes. These two titles are generally regarded, correctly IMO, as the best of the Astaire-Rogers movies. Top Hat is the most famous of them all and Astaire’s own favorite. For many years it was the undisputed champ, but more recent conventional wisdom has Swing Time as Number One – Arlene Croce, for one, called it so in her book on Astaire and Rogers. I still prefer Top Hat. The dance numbers, taken in all, are not as distinguished as the very best of Swing Time, but they are excellent. Top Hat also has the archetypal Astaire number in “Top Hat, White Tie, and Tails.”

canbelto, it’s true that Astaire and Rogers, as singers, can take some getting used to (or, as George Gershwin once observed, “the amount of singing one can tolerate from these two is limited” (quoted from memory, please note). However, Irving Berlin said he would rather have Astaire introduce his songs than any other performer, and among the musical stars only Ethel Merman had more great songs written for him/her. Astaire's musicianship is always a pleasure, and composers loved the fact that he sangs the songs as they were written with no funny business.

Yes, the plots are awful, but they’re not so bad if you don’t mind the conventions of the French farces that many of them employ. I don’t mind the implausibilities of The Gay Divorcee and Top Hat, for example, both of which work on their own terms, but I do mind the flatfooted storyline of Swing Time, which is just – well, it’s just retarded.

I’d also suggest that the Bojangles number isn’t ‘pasted in senselessly,’ although it doesn’t emerge from the plotline as we’ve been trained to expect. Astaire is a performer at the club and that’s supposed to be sufficient justification for showing us the number. (Also, it’s an awesome routine, arguably Astaire’s best ever, and overpowers all objections, save for the blackface. Yes, I know, Croce said it was a “homage.” I don’t care. Yuck.)

#27 carbro

carbro

    Late Board Registrar

  • Rest in Peace
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 6,361 posts

Posted 25 October 2005 - 02:33 PM

Is Top Hat better?

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Well, now you can see for yourself!

:jawdrop: Warner Brothers :yahoo: is releasing a collection of Astaire-Rogers films, remastered for our digital enjoyment! :yahoo: Vol. I includes both Top Hat and Swing Time.

:yahoo:

Lloyd Schwartz gave his review on NPR's Fresh Air. Audio available.

#28 dirac

dirac

    Diamonds Circle

  • Board Moderator
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 24,099 posts

Posted 29 December 2005 - 11:00 AM

Copying Walboi's post from another topic:

Last night I played a dvd from Fred Astaire, en Ginger Rogers, namely "The Barkleys of Broadway". Boy did I enjoy myself. Dancing numbers like Fred's shoes with wings on, takes your breath away. I always enjoy dance-musical films especcially the ones with Astaire and his many partners. Gene Kelly off cause and so many others. Out of this came my curiosity to find out about classical ballet.

They released only a few well mastered dvd's to this date, mostly the latest ones, like the beautiful "The Bandwagon" . And I saw a few older films released on obscure labels that I threw away in the bin, the quality was that there was no quality.

And off cause I am also interested what your favourite dancing movie is, I for one am very much taken by The Girl in the red shoes, which I saw a few days ago, and made me sit upright, the one from Pressburger. Have to find the details of this film. I knew it was on the market but I did not see it yet in the shop.



#29 walboi

walboi

    Member

  • Member
  • PipPip
  • 77 posts

Posted 02 January 2006 - 03:54 AM

This thread was most helpfull, lots of info about Astaire.
:yahoo: everyone that contributed.
Walboi

#30 dirac

dirac

    Diamonds Circle

  • Board Moderator
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 24,099 posts

Posted 15 March 2012 - 02:06 PM

Arlene Croce has a piece in The New York Review of Books writing on two new Astaire-related books. Not much new information for Astaire buffs or new insights for Croce close readers, but nice to see her in print again.

But he is quite wrong to say that Astaire’s treatment of Berlin’s great ballad “lacks any dramatic through line.” The two dancers are distinctively characterized: Astaire is the continually active partner, while Rogers is continually passive, gradually gaining confidence until she is able to join him in that huge burst of a side-by-side exit. The drama is so deeply embedded in the dance that it may take several reseeings to grasp it all, as I was finally able to discover to my regret, years after having published a rhapsodic account of the number; the artist in Astaire simply wouldn’t let him “act” a story when he could dance it. We all love “Never Gonna Dance,” the lyrical climax of Swing Time (1936), but it may have contained too much plot-dependent dancing to suit Astaire. Today, in large-screen DVD viewing, “Let’s Face the Music” stands as the apotheosis of Astaire-Rogers.




0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users


Help support Ballet Alert! and Ballet Talk for Dancers year round by using this search box for your amazon.com purchases (adblockers may block display):