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Blue Skies (1946) Poster

(1946)

Trivia

Filming began with Paul Draper as Jed Potter. Draper was fired over either his impatience with Joan Caulfield, who was not a professional dancer, or his stutter. He was replaced by Fred Astaire.
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This marked the second time that Irving Berlin's song "White Christmas" was used in a film.
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Fred Astaire, then 47 years old, planned to retire as a leading man with this film. He was planning to only work with his dance studios and breed racehorses. Easter Parade (1948), having recently lost Gene Kelly to a broken ankle, brought Astaire out of retirement. He danced on film and on television until he was nearly 70.
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After Fred Astaire announced his retirement after completing this film, New York's Paramount Theater generated a petition of 10,000 names to persuade him to come out of retirement.
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Ever the perfectionist that he was, Fred Astaire spent a grueling 5 weeks rehearsing his dance routines for the "Puttin' On the Ritz" number's challenging and most irregular rhythmic tempo.
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Mark Sandrich, who directed several of the Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers films, was the original director, but he died suddenly of a heart attack. He was replaced by Stuart Heisler.
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The film begins in the late 1910s, and the costumes of Joan Caulfield, and other prominent female players, reflect a vague attempt to at least somewhat recreate the styles of that period, with ankle length hobble skirts, slit to the knee. But as the story progresses, through the 1920s and 1930s, the fashions never change, with Caulfield still wearing a similar ensemble 20 years later during the 'Blue Skies' number.
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Irving Berlin's 'Puttin' on the Ritz' was written in 1929, and includes the name of 'Gary Cooper', a high ranking and popular newcomer, in the lyrics, but in this film it is supposedly performed in the early 1920s, several years before it was actually written, at which time Cooper was unknown, but the lyrics remain the same.
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This was Paramount's biggest hit of 1946.
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One of over 700 Paramount Productions, filmed between 1929 and 1949, which were sold to MCA/Universal in 1958 for television distribution, and have been owned and controlled by Universal ever since. It was released on DVD 6 May 2003, in tandem with Birth of the Blues (1941), as part of Universal's Bing Crosby Collection, and again 11 November 2014 as one of 24 titles in Universal's Bing Crosby Silver Screen Collection. Since that time, it's also enjoyed an occasional airing on cable TV on Turner Classic Movies.
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Billy De Wolfe impersonates Frankenstein's monster à la Boris Karloff, yet this part of the movie takes place in the early 1920's, about a decade before Frankenstein (1931) was actually filmed.
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