Ava Gardner, Cary Grant, Charles Boyer, Clark Gable, Eleanor Parker, Fred Astaire, Ginger Rogers, Greer Garson, Greta Garbo, Hedy Lamarr, Jean Harlow, Joan Crawford, Kim Novak, Laurence Olivier, Marlene Dietrich, Mary Pickford, Monique classique, Myrna Loy, Nils Asther, Olivia de Havilland, Theda Bara
I am currently watching some Rogers & Astaire films. I have 5 of them on DVD. Today I enjoyed “The Gay Divorcee” and maybe tomorrow I will see “Top Hat”. The only color film with Ginger and Fred is their last motion picture together and also my favourite, “The Barkleys of Broadway”.
The last film of the iconic couple of dancers Fred Astaire-Ginger Rogers, “The Barkleys of Broadway” is a wonderful, vivid, and colourful spectacle. Produced by MGM and directed by Charles Walters, this film tells the story of a successful musical comedy team, Josh and Dinah Barkley. There is a moment in which their separation is imminent, owing to the fact that she wants to become a tragic actress. But things turn out fine in the end, as Ginger and Fred keep dancing, having fun…and kissing. This film has several nice, romantic scenes with Hollywood’s golden couple, and you will certainly enjoy also the musical numbers of Oscar Levant, a very talented pianist, who performs Tchaikovsky’s “Concerto in B-flat Minor for Piano”. You will also get to watch Fred Astaire in the delightful musical number “Shoes With Wings On”, in which he is dancing with several pairs of shoes that somehow come to life. And, of course, don’t forget about his musical numbers with Ginger, that were created by George and Ira Gershwin. Furthemore, the settings and costumes are splendid. You will see Ginger wearing several colourful dresses – my personal favourite is the pink one (a photo is posted in this article). All in all, “The Barkleys of Broadway” is a good ending for the team Astaire-Rogers (their 10th film together). It was nominated for an Oscar for Best Cinematography, Color, and it’s still an enchanting cinematic experience, not just for the fans of the two great hollywoodian stars, but also for any moviegoerwho likes “oldies, but goldies”.
“The Barkleys of Broadway” is a personal favourite of mine and I thought it appropriate to put an end to the “Recommendations” series with this particular film. Starting from 2015, the blog will be dedicated to other types of articles, such as “Actress of the Month”. The first one will be Deborah Kerr. I will analyze her filmography and will recommend her best films. Other articles will be related to “Actor of the Month”, “Couple of the Month”, and “Famous Sisters”.
Thank you all for visiting my blog and I promise I will keep on the good work!
Happy New Year!
Based on the famous and extremely popular play “Chicago”, from the 1920s, “Roxie Hart” is still one of the most famous films of the Golden Hollywood Era. This production of the 20th Century Fox studios was directed by William Wellman and it starred Ginger Rogers as Roxie Hart (a role initially intended for Alice Faye, but she became pregnant and was replaced at the last moment), Adolphe Menjou and George Montgomery. The story of “Chicago” was turned into a very successful musical and it was adapted again for the big screen in the homonymous musical from 2002, with Catherine Zeta-Jones, Renée Zellweger and Richard Gere. At only 75 minutes, “Roxie Hart” is a more than enjoyable movie for a summer night. As a bit of trivia, it is one of Stanley Kubrick’s favourites. I, personally, was very much impressed with Ginger’s performance. She was a terrific comedienne and the role fit her to perfection, even more because of the musical numbers. The film emphasizes her magnetic beauty and in most of the scenes she looks so modern as if one would believe she lives in our times. The hairdo is unusual to her style, but even if she looks different from her iconic blonde doll image, she is still a darling, and you will be able to watch her acting at superlative. So, don’t miss “Roxie Hart”. It’s pure entertainment, of good quality – just like the musical on Broadway.