Bil’s rating (out of 5): BBBB.
USA, 1949. Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer. Screenplay by Betty Comden, Adolph Green. Cinematography by Harry Stradling Sr.. Produced by Arthur Freed. Music by Lennie Hayton. Production Design by Edward C. Carfagno, Cedric Gibbons. Costume Design by Valles. Film Editing by Albert Akst. Academy Awards 1949.
Judy Garland’s physical inability to fulfill her commitment to this film robbed movie audiences of another teaming between her and Fred Astaire after Easter Parade the year before. Instead, Astaire’s long-estranged dancing partner Ginger Rogers stepped up to bat for one more round with her old friend, and the result is a colourful musical with lots of fun numbers and playful chemistry between them. They play a show business couple who nearly experience a complete falling out when she decides she wants to be more than just a girl on his arm but desires to be seen as a serious actress (not too far from their real story, actually, except that Astaire and Rogers were never romantically linked in public when they were dancing together). Numbers include “My One and Only Highland Fling”, “They Can’t Take That Away From Me”, and Rogers doing a passionately dramatic reading of the French national anthem.