In squeaky-clean New York at the turn of the century, playboy Charlie Hill falls so much in love that he can walk on air. The object of his affections is beautiful Angela Bonfils, a mission...
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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 »
Donald Elwood meets after the war his former USO partner, Kitty McNeil, who is now a rich widow with a little child. She tries to evade her paternal grandmother, who wants her to live in a ... See full summary »
B.G. Bruno, a rich bachelor, the head of a successful greeting-card company in Scotland, is essentially a kind man but respectable to the point of stodginess and extreme stuffiness. An ... See full summary »
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 »
In squeaky-clean New York at the turn of the century, playboy Charlie Hill falls so much in love that he can walk on air. The object of his affections is beautiful Angela Bonfils, a mission house worker in the Bowery. He promises to reform his dissolute life, even trying to do an honest day's work. Written by
Diana Hamilton <email@example.com>
During the "Currier and Ives" segment they are skating on a frozen pond in the "Winter" sequence. The refrigerant pipes for freezing the pond are clearly visible under the ice in several shots. See more »
It's a shame that someone couldn't have written a better screenplay for the Belle of New York, because there are some wonderful elements in this film. Fred Astaire and Vera-Ellen made a great team. A seductive, charming and talented dancer, Vera-Ellen's graceful yet physical style was a good match for Astaire's smooth elegance. As it is, we only get to see them dance together a few times in the Belle of New York, and most of the time Vera-Ellen is bound up in an unflattering Salvation Army-type uniform. But, hey, it's something. And they do have several good solo turns. Astaire dances on top of the Arch in Washington Square in New York City (or Hollywood's version of New York circa 1900), which is kind of fun. Vera-Ellen does a great job in "Naughty But Nice," finally shedding her austere clothes for a colorful and sexy French Can-Can outfit. And Astaire also sings and dances to what could have been his signature tune, Harry Warren and Johnny Mercer's "I Wanna Be a Dancin' Man."
Alice Pearce provides some much-needed comic relief in a secondary role, and Keenan Wynn and Marjorie Main do their best, but they're pretty much defeated by the weak writing and the undeveloped and uninteresting story. The score by Warren and Mercer is mostly strong. And, as always, Fred's sheer talent, joy and artistry make up for a lot. If you want to see Fred dance on a horse's back (or the Hollywood version of a horse's back) this is your film. But you'll have to get through some pretty campy and technically suspect special effects that show people "dancing on air." For the general viewer, I'd recommend about 20 other Astaire musicals before this one. The Belle of New York is mostly for serious Fred fans, Vera-Ellen fans or those who are in the mood for an inoffensive Technicolor musical about ye olde New-York.
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