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William A. Seiter
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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.
Song-and-dance man Bert Kalmar can't continue his stage career after an injury for a while, so he has to earn his money as a lyricist. Perchance he meets composer Harry Ruby and their first song is a hit. Ruby gets Kalmar to marry is former partner Jessie Brown, and Kalmar and Jessie prevent Ruby from getting married to the wrong girls. But due to the fact that Ruby has caused a backer's withdrawal for a Kalmar play, they end their relation. Written by
Stephan Eichenberg <email@example.com>
When Astaire, Wynn, and Skelton are talking about the play never being produced, there are several pictures of M.G.M. stars on the wall. First, from left to right, is Judy Garland, then Spencer Tracy, then Katharine Hepburn, and another I could not identify. The time period in the movie was at that point during the mid 1930s, but those photos were all from the late 1940s. See more »
This was a wonderful, feel-good movie with tons of songs, many of them appealing. There also were some great dancing scenes, no surprise there since Fred Astaire is one of the stars. Astaire and Vera-Ellen paired up well for those numbers.
This is one of the few films, even in the musicals, in which all the characters were nice people. In other words, there were no villains, no nasty people, which is refreshing to see now and then. It is supposedly the true-life account of songwriters Bert Kalmar (Astaire) and Harry Ruby (Red Skelton). Ruby is good at writing tunes, but not with lyrics. Kalmar supplies the lyrics and dance. Skelton also shows he had a decent singing voice.
The only unhappy moments in the movie are the squabbles between the two leading men, but that's not overdone and sometimes it's humorous. Skelton's character is the nicer of the two.
The leading ladies are wholesome-looking beautiful women. Vera-Ellen is a Shirley Jones-type pretty blonde with a great dancer's body. She's enjoyable to watch. Arlene Dahl, who was stunning, is the other leading female but her role was minor, unfortunately.
The movie is a good mixture of song, dance, comedy and drama and is an underrated film in that it that doesn't get a lot of publicity. Astaire was quoted as saying this was his favorite film. I agree. It's my favorite of his, too.
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