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Silver Skates (1943)

5.7
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Claire (Patricia Morison), owner of an ice-show, faces bankruptcy because Belita (Belita), star of the show, is about to leave and marry her sweetheart Tom (Henry Wadsworth). Danny (Kenny ... See full summary »

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(as Jerry Cady)
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Belita ...
Patricia Morison ...
Claire Thomas
Werner Groebli ...
Frick, Comedy Skating Act Frick and Frack
Hans Mauch ...
Frack, Comedy Skating Act Frick and Frack
Irene Dare ...
Juvenile Skater Katrina
Danny Shaw ...
Juvenile Skater Billy Baxter
Eugene Turner ...
1941 National Skating Champion
...
Lucille
...
Eddie
Paul McVey ...
Roscoe Hayes
John Maxwell ...
Blake
Henry Wadsworth ...
Tom
George Stewart ...
Jitterbug Skater
JoAnn Dean ...
Jo Ann Dean, Jitterbug Skater (as Jo Ann Dean)
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Storyline

Claire (Patricia Morison), owner of an ice-show, faces bankruptcy because Belita (Belita), star of the show, is about to leave and marry her sweetheart Tom (Henry Wadsworth). Danny (Kenny Baker), singer with the show, and Claire are in love but Claire refuses to wed until she can get the show back on its feet. Katrina (Irene Dare), 10-year-old orphaned refugee from Holland, comes to the show looking for her uncle, now in the service. Claire wants to adopt the girl but has to be married, so she decides to accept Danny's proposal. He, however, has been making a play for Belita, hoping to keep her with the show. Belita quarrels with her fiancee and Danny soon, and unintentionally, finds himself engaged to both Claire and Belita. Written by Les Adams <longhorn1939@suddenlink.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

ice skating | See All (1) »

Genres:

Musical | Sport

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Details

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Release Date:

26 February 1943 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Patins de Prata  »

Company Credits

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 »
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Runtime:

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Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Quotes

Danny Donovan: They're still Frick and Frack, the greatest comedy team on ice.
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Soundtracks

Dancing on Top of the World
(uncredited)
Written by Dave Oppenheim (as David Oppenheim) and Roy Ingraham
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User Reviews

Rhythm on Ice
15 February 2015 | by (Kissimmee, Florida) – See all my reviews

SILVER SKATES (Monogram, 1943), directed by Leslie Goodwins, with entire production and supervision by Lindsay Parsons, is, by its label title, an ice skating musical, but not one starring the queen of the ice skating musicals herself, Sonja Henie. Of the films for which she appeared, Henie never had "skates" among her movie titles. Yet SILVER SKATES, which stars Kenny Baker and Patricia Morison, features Monogram's very own ice skating specialty, Belita, labeled in the opening credits as "star of the ice." While the Henie musicals produced by 20th Century-Fox centered around her mostly in plot and ice skating portions of the film, SILVER SKATES shares Belita with other specialties of the day as youngsters Irene Dare and Danny Shaw doing their own ice skating techniques, George Stuart, Eugene Turner and Jo Ann Dean playing themselves. There's also some time out antics by comedy team of Frick and Frack whose routines may have one think of the Ritz Brothers, but being no threat to that team nor any other comedy team for that matter as a result.

The story, set in the Broadway district of New York City, finds Claire Thomas (Patricia Morison), producer of "Silver Skates Ice Revue," may go out of business after her star ice skating attraction, Belita (Belita) finishes her two week engagement to marry Tom (Henry Wadsworth), a Chicago businessman. Claire, who's loved by Danny Donovan (Kenny Baker), refuses to marry the singer in the show until she can clear herself of back debts. Thanks to Eddie (Frank Faylen), a stage hand, who, after receiving his two week notice, spreads a rumor that Belita secretly loves Danny, and because of that, feels that this would start of a romance that have Belita remain in the revue, thus keeping his job. During the complications which finds Danny engaged to two women at the same time, Claire encounters a little Dutch girl named Katrina (Irene Dare) in the lobby of her Broadmoor Arms apartment. It is learned that Katrina not only has gotten separated from Miss Martin (Ruth Lee) of the Netherlands Relief Commiittee, but turns out to be an orphan awaiting news about her Uncle Conrad Humperdinck, a former skater in Claire's shows. Learning Uncle Conrad has gone to serve in the Army, and her parents killed in an air raid, Claire assumes responsibility for the child with the intent on adopting her. Complications occur as Claire tries to induce Danny to marry her, only to learn about his "engagement" to Belita. Other members of the cast include the ever reliable Joyce Compton (Lucille, Eddie's girlfriend); Paul McVey (Roscoe Hayes, the booking agent); John Maxwell (Blake); Ruby Dandridge (The Maid); and Ted Fio Rito and his Orchestra.

With the plot being as ordinary and secondary as forties musicals go, the song interludes, particularly the ice skating portions choreographed by Dave Gould, certainly highlight this production. With pleasing music and lyrics by David Oppenheim and Roy Ingraham, song numbers include: "Lovely Lady" (sung by Kenny Baker, skated by Belita); Dream sequence skating number with Irene Dare with Holland setting; "Cowboy Joe" (sung by chorus, skated by Danny Shaw); "Can't You Hear Me Calling From the Mountain?" (performed by Frick and Frack); "A Boy Like You, a Girl Like Me" (Sung by Kenny Baker and Patricia Morison); "Hollywood Victory Party" (skating sequence by Irene Dare and Danny Shaw); "Dancing on Top of the World" (sung by chorus, skated by Irene Dare); "Love is a Beautiful Song" (sung by Baker); and finale, "Sing a Song of the Sea" (Baker, Belita, chorus).

With Monogram Pictures having a reputation of being second features of low-budget production value, SILVER SKATES comes as a surprise for anyone expecting very little. Though not quite 20th Century-Fox nor Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, it is an interesting effort in Monogram's attempt on rising itself to better quality films. Though not quite Academy Award winning material, the film overall is an entertaining 73 minutes from its ten minute ice skating opening to grand scale final, with a little in-between amusements of amusing wisecracks and some hit and miss comedy. For anyone familiar with Patricia Morison, it's interesting finding her playing against her bad girl/ femme fatal type for decent, caring woman for a change. Her musical participation with Kenny Baker comes as a sheer reminder of the crooning style of Dick Powell and Ruby Keeler from his thirties musicals, yet something of a disappointment listening to Morison singing to an obviously dubbed vocalization. The star attraction, Belita, may not a good actress but somewhat forgivable in terms of being a newcomer to films who presents herself well enough as an agreeable new screen personality.

Virtually forgotten by cast, title and reputation due to lack of television broadcasts since the 1950s or so, and never distributed to home video, SILVER SKATES was resurrected on cable TV's Turner Classic Movies in May of 1997 as part of its then monthly viewer's movie request. After that sole broadcast, it wasn't repeated again until many years later starting in October 2014. SILVER SKATES is definitely a "B" class musical regardless of its "A" production effort, but a worthy rediscovery as ice skating musicals go. (**1/2)


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