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 »
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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 Ellen meets and becomes involved with Lord John Brindale. This causes her to miss a rehearsal. Tom (Astaire) uses the time to dance with a hat rack and gym equipment. Later Tom and Ellen attempt a graceful dance number as the ship rolls. Upon arrival Tom holds auditions and meets Anne. There is much indecision by the siblings about their romantic partners even though they are in-the-clouds. Tom dances on the walls and ceiling of his hotel room. All ends well in this light musical. By the way, there is a vaudeville-style dance number in their show that features slapstick. It's a hoot. Written by
Of course, there is Fred Astaire's delightful, legendary, innovative dance on the ceiling and his dance with a hatrack in the gym, both of which are great. But then there are also his delightful partnerings with Jane Powell, playing his Adele Astaire-esque sister and dancing partner. These include the opening number, "Every Night At Seven," their cute little attempt to dance aboard a rocky boat, and the dynamite "How Could You Believe Me, etc." AND "I Left My Hat in Haiti." Powell, known mostly for her operetic soprano that never quite seems to match her speaking voice, (and which can also be heard in a few forgettable songs here) rivals Ginger Rogers in her ability to keep up with Astaire and match him every step of the way. Not to be missed if you love musicals, dancing in musicals, and/or Fred Astaire dancing in musicals.
As for the rest of the film, the plot is thin as expected but breezes along smoothly. The characterizations of the English are silly caricatures. (Alan Jay Lerner wrote the screenplay and lyrics, but remember, this was five years before "My Fair Lady") Keenan Wynn does okay with the double role of an American agent and his British twin counterpart, though. Peter Lawford is Powell's English honey bun. (In real life, Adele Astaire did leave dancing when she married an English lord) And yes, that is Sarah Churchill, Winston's daughter, as about the only romantic partner of Fred's on film that was his own age.
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