Bil’s rating (out of 5): BBB.
USA, 1946. Paramount Pictures. Story by Irving Berlin, adaptation by Allan Scott, Screenplay by Arthur Sheekman. Cinematography by Charles Lang, William E. Snyder. Produced by Sol C. Siegel. Music by Robert Emmett Dolan. Production Design by Hans Dreier, Hal Pereira. Costume Design by Waldo Angelo, Edith Head, Barbara Karinska. Film Editing by LeRoy Stone. Academy Awards 1946.
Fred Astaire and Bing Crosby pair up extremely well in this beautifully colourful, enjoyable musical. Astaire is a singing star on the theatrical stage and Crosby is the crooning restaurateur who both fall in love with chorus girl Joan Caulfield. She has a stormy romance with one and an unrequited friendship with the other and the story never veers far off the well-known, weather-beaten soap-opera track. What puts the steam in this engine, then, is the vast collection of Irving Berlin tunes, some old and some new, that punctuate every point in the story. The film benefits from a rich score, gorgeous voices and some stand-out dance numbers by Astaire, including “Puttin’ On The Ritz”, plus some incredibly scene-stealing moments by the wonderful Olga San Juan, “The Puerto Rican Pepper Pot”, who kicks it high style with songs like “You’d Be Surprised” and “Heat Wave”.