Directed by: Stuart Heisler
Billy De Wolfe
Olga San Juan
Produced by: Sol C. Siegel
Written by: Irving Berlin, Allan Scott, Arthur Sheekman
Choreographed by: Hermes Pan
Cinematography: Charles Lang, William E. Snyder
Songs and Music by: Irving Berlin, Robert Emmett Dolan, Fred Astaire (Additional Music)
Production Company: Paramount
Premiere: New York, October 16, 1946
Synopsis (from VideoHound's Golden Movie Retriever 2001): Former dancer turned radio personality Astaire flashes back to friendship with singer Crosby and the gal (Caulfield) that came between them. Flimsy plot is just an excuse for some 20 Irving Berlin songs and Astaire's split-screen dance number, "Puttin' On The Ritz." (3 out of 4)
This movie breaks one of the primary rules of script writing: make the audience sympathise with your characters. Fred is a silly lovesick idiot, we can empathise with that. Bing is in love too, his wife leaves him, so we sympathise. BUT what about Joan?? So maybe she wants stability. Maybe she doesn’t care that Bing is making a killing in the industry, selling his nightclubs for a profit and opening successively bigger and more successful nightclubs. But to leave your husband, take your little girl and join a TOURING SHOW in order to gain stability….
Actually, in my opinion it’s all Fred’s fault. She doesn’t love you! Give it up, you fool! Stop chasing her around. Stop waiting for her on the rebound. She loves Bing, full stop. Just let her go and meet someone else. Who was it who said, “If you really love someone, you have to set them free?”
The only people worth watching in this movie are Billy De Wolfe and Olga San Juan. They’re funny in their supporting roles, except for the boring, boring, boring Mrs. Megatroyd monologue.
Think what audiences had to go through. Fred’s “last performance”, and he has to suffer such slings and arrows of misfortune, heartbreak, and sadness, topped off by him falling off a bridge and never dancing again. If he ever wanted to kill off his on-screen counterpart, this would’ve been a pretty effective way to do so. If I had seen this movie in 1946, I would’ve been extremely unhappy. Until 1948, at least.
The final word:
Dancing value: 8/10
Acting value: 5/10
Entertainment value: 6/10
Overall Ranking: 25/31
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