SWINGTIME

Coming on June 11th,2019 from Criterion , SWING TIME on blu-ray. And with lots of extras: archival interviews with Fred and Ginger;

a new interview with George Stevens Jr.;

“In Full Swing”, a program on the film’s choreography and soundtrack.

 

Just a pity the scripts of the Astaire/Rogers films weren’t nearly of the same quality as the inspired musical numbers. In this one, I find Victor Moore particularly annoying and unfunny. But Helen Broderick in support is always good value.

 

”Listen, no one could teach you to dance in a million years. Take my advice and save your money!”

Earlier Fred says to Victor Moore, “Hoofing is alright, but there’s no future in it.”

Fred and Ginger in “Pick Yourself Up”, a terrific number and one of the great songs written by Jerome Kern and Dorothy Fields.

 

Pick Yourself Up.

 

Fred sings “The Way You Look Tonight” and Ginger forgets she’s just washed her hair. Whipped cream produced the required affect on Ginger’s hair.

 

 

Another fabulous number, “Never Gonna  Dance”, and a great Art Deco set of the ‘Silver Sandal’ nightclub. But that orchestra pit in the centre behind  Fred is tiny!

 

My favourite number in the film,  the “Bojangles of Harlem” salute to Bill ‘Bojangles’ Robinson.

I just  love  the tune  and lyrics and brilliant choreography. The special effects above, with Fred competing with three giant shadows of himself, are amazing.

I read Fred was also saluting another great dancer, John W. Bubbles who played ‘Sportin’ Life’ In PORGY AND BESS on Broadway.

 

George Stevens and Ginger Rogers.

George Stevens was 32 when he directed Swing Time. His father, Lander Stevens, played Betty Furness’s father in the film.

 

Fred on the set. Look at these enormous lights and wiring  behind  him.

Apparently another Kern/Fields song, “It’s not in the Cards” was cut from the film – which suggests  it was filmed. Wonder if we will ever see it.

 

Fred and Ginger with director George  Stevens discussing their number, “A Fine Romance.”

 

Hermes Pan, Fred Astaire, George Stevens

Hermes Pan was Oscar -nominated for his choreography in the film.

 

“It Follows  the Fleet  and tops Top Hat!”

 

 

4 responses »

  1. Victor Moore really annoys me in this movie (he doesn’t always) and it mars my enjoyment of the grand musical productions and the wonderful chemistry between Fred and Ginger. I don’t know who to yell at – George or Victor – but somebody has to take the blame.

    • So right, Patricia. Someone has to take the blame! Frankly, I just want to fast forward and just watch the fabulous musical numbers.

  2. With all due respect, I don’t dig your beef with Victor Moore. Let’s lighten up ladies. He was very big on broadway in the in Gershwin, Cole Porter and Irving Berlin musicals. Maybe you had to be there. I loved him in LOUISIANA PURCHASE, IT’S IN THE BAG & THE 7 YEAR ITCH. But then, maybe he was meant to be taken in small doses. That’s my 2 cents worth.

  3. Oh to have been at a few Broadway shows in the 20s and 30s . Victor was in some of the best – Funny Face, Anything Goes, Oh Kay.
    But , personally, his character in Swing Time is just annoying.
    Glad to have your two cents.

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