The star of an upcoming Broadway production, Janet Hallson, walks out during rehersals. The producers of the show, Ted Sturgis, Leo Belney and Bob Dowdy begin to search a replacement. After... See full summary »
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Dick Van Dyke,
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The star of an upcoming Broadway production, Janet Hallson, walks out during rehersals. The producers of the show, Ted Sturgis, Leo Belney and Bob Dowdy begin to search a replacement. After a quick audition, each favors someone else: Madelyn Corlane, Joanna Moss, Suzie Doolittle. The rest of the movie tells in a series of musical and dance scenes how they finally pick ... Written by
Gerhard Gonter <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Give a Girl a Break is a 1953 musical that uses the show-within-a-show convention to present some wonderful dancing. A Broadway revue is being cast and three women are up for the female lead. The three actresses are Debbie Reynolds, Helen Wood and Marge Champion. All three acquit themselves as actresses, but their dance talents are fantastic.
The actors who play the lead roles in this film are adequate, but sometimes stiff, in their acting. Perhaps because Bob Fosse and Gower Champion were picked more for their dancing.
In any event, I say watch this movie for its dancing. There is enough of it to be interesting. The film is directed by Stanley Donen and has numerous similarities to Singin' in the Rain, released the year before. A good pedigree. Gower Champion, Stanley Donen and Bob Fosse choreographed. Although Fosse's idol was Astaire, you can definitely see similarities to Gene Kelly's dance style.
The rooftop dance is jazzy (highlighting the great music in this film), and might be seen to predate West Side Story.
For me, the best part is the trio of dream sequences, each featuring one of the three actresses and her admirer. I could write paragraphs about them. The dance that features reverse motion might be gimmicky, but it's clever.
The movie's end is anticlimactic, there are some awkward choices in staging, and other production aspects might have been sacrificed for quality dance numbers, but if you watch it just for the dance, it delivers.
The plot is really about the sacrifices that dancers make for their craft. To paraphrase one character: You can always get another husband, but this is a once in a lifetime (dance) part.
How can you go wrong with the cute-but-sometimes-sexy Reynolds, the classy Marge Champion, Helen Wood (yowza!), smooth Gower Champion, and the dynamic Bob Fosse?
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