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Tony Hunter, a famous singer/dancer movie star, is feeling washed up and old hat (old top hat, tie and tails to be exact). The reporters are out for Ava Gardner, not him. But his old friends Lily and Les Martin have an idea for a funny little Broadway show and he agrees to do it. But things begin to get out of hand, when bigshot "artistic" director/producer/star Jeffrey Cordova joins the production, proclaims it's a modernistic Faust and insists on hiring a prima ballerina, Gabrielle Gerard, to star opposite Tony, and it's hate at first sight. And her jealous choreographer isn't helping to ease the tension. The show is doomed by pretentiousness. But romance, a "let's put on a show" epiphany, and a triumphant opening are waiting in the wings. After all, this is a musical comedy! Written by
During the "Louisiana Hayride" number, Nanette Fabray gashed her leg when she broke through the top of a prop crate she was standing on. She said that shooting the "Triplets" number, which was filmed later and where she was forced to stand on her knees, was so painful that she had to take large numbers of pain pills. See more »
At the New York opening night, the theater name on the marquee is Alcott Theatre, but the program cover has Stratton Theatre. See more »
Just saw this again, for the first time in 10 years. What a show! This is unquestionably the last of the great line of MGM and, therefore, Hollywood musicals . . . the last real flowering of Arthur Freed's genius at holding together a team of top production talents which had produced such a fine string of musicals. Not a dull spot in the entire movie and tremendous style in Minnelli's direction. Nice to see Jack Buchanan getting a last chance in the spotlight his top hat routine with Astaire is one of the highlights of the movie. Astaire himself, playing the fading musical star which he was by 1953, has a magnificent opening with two contrasting numbers the wistful By Myself and the exuberant Shine on your Shoes tailored to set up his character perfectly. The Girl Hunt ballet is, of course, the dancing highlight of the movie and it is here that the utterly wonderful Cyd Charisse comes into her own. Apart from being arguably the best female dancer in Hollywood history, she was certainly the most beautiful: the scene in the ballet in which she appears on a bar stool and slips off her coat to reveal a dramatic red dress oozes with as much sex appeal as any movie moment I've ever seen.
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