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 »
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 »
The Acunas, a rich Argentine family, have the tradition that the daughters have to get married in order, oldest first. When sister #1 gets married, sisters #3 and #4 put pressure on Maria, ... See full summary »
William A. Seiter
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 »
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Dr. Tony Flagg's friend, Steven, has problems in the relationship with his fiancee, Amanda, so he persuades her to visit Dr. Flagg. After some minor misunderstandings, she falls in love ... See full summary »
After his wife discovers a telltale diamond bracelet, impresario Martin Cortland tries to show he's not chasing after showgirl Sheila Winthrop. Choreographer Robert Curtis gets caught in ... See full summary »
Football player John Kent tags along as Huck Haines and the Wabash Indianians travel to an engagement in Paris, only to lose it immediately. John and company visit his aunt, owner of a posh... 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 complete their mission and to retrieve them. She starts out condemning the decadent West, but gradually falls under its spell, with the help of Steve Canfield, an American movie producer. Written by
John Oswalt <firstname.lastname@example.org>
This was the last film directed by Rouben Mamoulian. Although he was considered for several other film productions he never directed another film. Instead, he spent the rest of his career directing plays on Broadway. See more »
When the first commissar of art gets sacked, there's a yellow lamp hanging over his desk (he actually walks behind it) and then when Markovitch answers his phone, the lamp magically disappears and is replaced by Vera. See more »
There are a number of good things about Silk Stockings, but there also is a professional finality about the movie that makes it easier to observe than to be delighted by it. It was one of the last of the big MGM musicals coming from Arthur Freed's production unit. It was the last musical Fred Astaire made as the lead. It was the last film directed by Rouben Mamoulian. It was based on the last Broadway musical Cole Porter wrote. Silk Stockings also was used to make a statement about the excesses some thought were ruining films and music...the advent of rock and roll and the technological changes in films with wide screen and stereo sound. It even takes a crack at the fashion for ballet in many musicals. You've got to be very clever and original to successfully parody things which are already self-parodies. Silk Stockings, even with its many entertaining moments, isn't that clever.
The story is based on Ninotchka, the female Soviet commissar who comes to Paris and finds romance reluctantly...and then enthusiastically. Paris is presented as a place where decadence was never more innocent and persuasive.
One of the things that seems so odd is that, for a Fred Astaire film, Astaire spends a good deal of time doing knee drops, full-length on-the-floor sprawls and athletic dance moves that limit the sophisticated and smooth Astaire style. He was 59 when he made the picture, and this might explain the relative shortness of some of the sequences. Still, while he is assured and immensely watchable (and while he can still do wonders with a cane), three major dance productions he is in just seem choppy.
Most of the songs from the Broadway show were retained and Porter wrote a couple of new ones. It's become routine with Porter to say that whatever his latest show was, the score was never one of his best. In this case, it's true. The romantic songs are great, but the topical specialty numbers just seem tired. Siberia and The Ritz Roll and Rock in particular miss the mark, in my opinion.
Astaire, as always, is first class. Charisse is easy to look at and a fine dancer. George Tobias, as a commissar in Moscow and Ninotchka's boss, gives a sly and dead-pan performance. Some of Porter's songs are very good. Mamoulian brought the film in on time and under budget. And Silk Stockings was a success with ticket buyers.
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