Lady Alyce Marshmorton must marry soon, and the staff of Tottney Castle have laid bets on who she'll choose, with young Albert wagering on "Mr. X." After Alyce goes to London to meet a beau... See full summary »
Johnny Brett and King Shaw are an unsuccessful dance team in New York. A producer discovers Brett as the new partner for Clare Bennett, but Brett, who thinks he is one of the people they lent money to gives him the name of his partner.
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Tom and Ellen Bowen are a brother and sister dance act whose show closes in New York. Their agent books them in London for the same period as the Royal Wedding. They travel by ship where ... See full summary »
A musical remake of Ninotchka: After three bumbling Soviet agents fail in their mission to retrieve a straying Soviet composer from Paris, the beautiful, ultra-serious Ninotchka is sent to ... See full summary »
Susan is about to be married, but the wedding may get called off after her fiancee summons three former beaus. Each reveals a different portrait of Susan: one describes her as a naive ... See full summary »
William A. Seiter
Lady Alyce Marshmorton must marry soon, and the staff of Tottney Castle have laid bets on who she'll choose, with young Albert wagering on "Mr. X." After Alyce goes to London to meet a beau (bumping into dancer Jerry Halliday, instead), she is restricted to the castle to curb her scandalous behavior. Albert then summons Jerry to Alyce's aid in order to "protect his investment." Written by
Diana Hamilton <firstname.lastname@example.org>
In the late Thirties, Fred Astaire's box-office appeal temporarily dimmed somewhat. This film has been labeled a financial disappointment. Following next, the final two Astaire-Ginger Rogers pairings of the decade failed to equal the hefty profits of their seven prior match-ups. See more »
[Gracie answers the telephone]
It's a Hawaiian.
Well he must be. He says he's Brown from The Morning Sun.
See more »
Fred's first film for a while without Ginger was a money-loser for RKO, and it is easy to see why. The main problem is the lacklustre playing of young British actress Joan Fontaine, out of her depth in a film that requires her to be both alluring and a fitting dance partner for Astaire. That she is no dancer is made clear by George Stevens's ham-fisted direction of their one duet, using trees as bad camouflage for her lack of skill.
Aside from a fitting leading lady, though, there's quite a few things that keep you watching. Fred Astaire has some fine solo dance pieces to do, especially using percussion instruments. There's a lot of interplay with the talented comics George Burns and Gracie Allen, too, which lifts the pace a lot. One section has the three of them ending a Fun House trip by dancing in the Hall of Mirrors.
There's a good Gershwin score, including such gems as 'Nice Work If You Can Get It', and there's even an opera-loving butler, whose obsession comes to a head in a hugely enjoyable piece of humour. But 'A Damsel in Distress' is ultimately let down by the damsel, who doesn't measure up!
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