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The Broadway Melody of 1940 PDF Print E-mail

Directed by: Norman Taurog

Starring:

Fred Astaire

Johnny Brett

Eleanor Powell

Clare Bennett

George Murphy

King Shaw

Frank Morgan

Bob Casey

Ian Hunter

Bert C. Matthews

Produced by: Jack Cummings

Written by: Walter DeLeon, Leon Gordon, Vincent Lawrence, Albert Mannheimer, Jack McGowan, Eddie Moran, George Oppenheimer, Thomas Phipps, Dore Schary, Sid Silvers, Preston Sturges

Choreographed by: Bobby Connolly

Cinematography: Oliver T. Marsh, Joseph Ruttenberg

Words and Music by: Cole Porter

Production Company: MGM

Premiere: New York, March 28, 1940

Synopsis (from VideoHound's Golden Movie Retriever 2001): The last entry in the series features the only screen teaming of Astaire and Powell. The flimsy plot is just an excuse for a potent series of Cole Porter musical numbers. (2½ out of 4) 

P.J. Says:

It is a trifle painful to watch Fred get stepped all over in this movie by George Murphy, especially since the movie makes very clear that George is nowhere in Fred's class and is being held up by Fred. Right from the start, "Don't Monkey With Broadway" makes it abundantly clear even to a non-dancer like myself that Fred is a cut above George. His dancing is sleeker, sharper, smoother.

With Eleanor Powell, though, Fred creates some really great numbers. "I've Got My Eyes On You", "Begin The Beguine", and the "Jukebox Dance" are truly terrific numbers that are always mentioned when people talk about their favourite Fred dances. The "I Concentrate On You" number, though, is a trifle overblown and artsy.

With all that's going on, it seems like the romance got left on the sidelines. It's only implied that Fred and Eleanor fall in love. After making Fred's infatuation with her such a major point, they leave us hanging by not resolving it, merely hinting at it in a short forgettable scene.

That aside, Eleanor has to be the best tap dancing partner Fred ever had, and "Begin The Beguine" is absolutely incredible, so dancing-wise this movie is near the top. Other than that, it's not fantastic. A good solid movie from Fred, but nor enough to lift him out of the post-Ginger slump.

The final word:

Dancing value: 9.5/10
Acting value: 7/10
Entertainment value: 8/10

Overall Ranking: 11/31

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Last Updated on Thursday, 05 November 2009 13:01