Bil’s rating (out of 5): BBBBB.
USA, 1936. RKO Radio Pictures. Screenplay by Howard Lindsay, Allan Scott, from a story by Erwin S. Gelsey. Cinematography by David Abel. Produced by Pandro S. Berman. Music by Jerome Kern. Production Design by Van Nest Polglase. Costume Design by Bernard Newman. Film Editing by Henry Berman.
My favourite musical starring Ginger Rogers and Fred Astaire is this fantastic George Stevens film that features lively musical numbers, snappy dialogue and a fun story. When his wedding is thwarted by his concerned friends, Astaire finds himself going to the big city to make some money that the bride’s father feels he owes the family in order to make things right and have another wedding take place. While trying to start up his own dance instruction business, he meets Rogers and they naturally make such a great team that they stick together, and once he realizes he didn’t really want to marry his intended fiance, he and Rogers REALLY stick together. Songs by Jerome Kern include the Oscar-winning “The Way You Look Tonight”, which has never in musical history sounded better than Astaire’s performance of it in this film. Marvelous!
The Criterion Collection: #979
Academy Award: Best Original Song (“The Way You Look Tonight”)
Nomination: Best Dance Direction (“Bojangles of Harlem”)