Josh and Dinah Barkley are a successful (though argumentative) musical-comedy team, yet Dinah chafes as Galatea to her husband's Pygmalion. When serious playwright Jacques Barredout envisions her as a great dramatic actress, Dinah is not hard to persuade. Written by
Diana Hamilton <email@example.com>
A mesh of MGM and the old format of variety television.
It's weird the things that get stuck in your memory. I never thought of this as an inferior film just because the formula is MGM rather than RKO. It's also made in 1949, why not up the ante a little bit? Our favorite dancers perform in color and are established as a married couple for the first and only time (although they *eventually* get married in two of the RKO films). So what's the thought here: do the critics want Astaire and Rogers to be young forever? People grow up, even on screen. In fact, when I watch the dance of 'They Can't Take That Away from Me,' it feels like I'm watching an exhibition from live television rather than a movie musical (television was a new medium at the time, but curiously, a medium that Astaire and Rogers never performed in together). The dance is lovely, but almost- I don't know- cold. But maybe this is how a former screen team performs 10 years after the fact; they are 38 and 50 respectively, and harbor enough magic to saunter off stage (with Rogers' head tilted downward), and excite an audience into applause- as if they've been watching THE ED SULLIVAN SHOW. It's extraordinary that ten years after Rogers remade herself doing straight award-winning drama and Astaire remade himself as a solo performer and a man who could dance with just about anyone, they could settle back into one more film and not have one strain of foot or hair out of place. MGM formula and Oscar Levant aside, it's a very nice way to end a professional marriage.
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