Broadway Melody of 1940 Message Board
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Matthew Parker posts a message on 4/4/2005 1:50:19 PM
This is one of the finest examples of mid 'golden era" period of musicals. Typically the plots at the time were rediculous situations, and one has to suspend belief to watch this type of movie. But that's the point. It's the showcasing of the musical/dance numbers that are the thing to watch. This movie doesn't dissapoint. It is evident that Eleanor Powell and Fred Astaire enjoyed working together on this one, and it shows in their perfomances. Fred met his equal when he teamed with Powell. While it is a pity they didn't do more together, one could understand MGM's reluctance to put two great dancers together frequently. They could get more bang for their buck keeping them separate, since each could easily carry their own movie. The dance numbers are suberb, especially the finale with Powell and Astaire tapping out a breathtaking routine. The number with Fred doing the solo "I've Got My Eyes On You" routine is classic Astaire. Watch him closely and you will see him imitate Powell's signature hand under the chin gesture while he looks at her picture during the routine. I had to watch it a couple of times to realize what that was. The novelty numbers are interesting, but obligatory for the Broadway Melody format. George Murphy is about as good as he gets in this one. While a good dancer, he at times looks like he is participating in a sporting event rather than dancing. The production values for the major musical numbers are outstanding, with sets so huge they could never have existed on a real stage. This was one of the last major B&W musicals at MGM, and it remains one of their best.