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And the Nominees are.....

  1. The Gay Divorcee, Cole Porter

  2. Top Hat, Irving Berlin

  3. Swing Time, Jerome Kern and Dorothy Fields

  4. A Damsel in Distress, George and Ira Gershwin

  5. The Bandwagon, Arthur Schwartz and Howard Dietz

And the Winner is.....

A Damsel In Distress, George and Ira Gershwin

The fields and manors of old England were never better evoked than by two Jewish brothers from Brooklyn, New York. The score has an extremely unified feel to it, with all incidental music also tying into the English air. In fact, some of the music seems so authentically English that it is hard to believe it was written specially for the film. Oscar Levant observed that "The Jolly Tar and Milkmaid" was "so deceptively authentic that most of those who heard it accepted it as seventeenth century English" and that "Sing of Spring" had "the circumstance if not the pomp of Elgar."

The other numbers all became hits. Two of them, "A Foggy Day" and "Nice Work If You Can Get It" have become standards in the American musical canon. Those two and "Things Are Looking Up" have a wonderfully dreamy quality that perfectly epitomises the feel of the English countryside. On the flip side, the two fun numbers, "Put Me To The Test" and "Stiff Upper Lip", both have a snap and crackle to them that makes them pop. Also, "I Can't Be Bothered Now" is wonderfully witty and fits the Astaire persona perfectly.

Credit must also go to the other staff- music director Victor Baravelle, arranger Robert Russell Bennett, and rehearsal pianist Hal Borne, who regularly contributed to the score by helping adapt difficult spots for dancing. 

This score, regrettably, was George Gershwin's last complete score. Imagine, with the sheer quality of this one, what treasures he had left in him.

What do you think? Vote for your choice!

Best Set Design

Last Updated on Monday, 12 October 2009 10:12