Roguish gambler/dancer "Lucky" Garnett is challenged by his fiance's father to come up with $25,000 to prove he's worthy of her hand. But after he falls in love with a dance instructor, Luck... Read allRoguish gambler/dancer "Lucky" Garnett is challenged by his fiance's father to come up with $25,000 to prove he's worthy of her hand. But after he falls in love with a dance instructor, Lucky'll do anything to keep from earning the bucks.Roguish gambler/dancer "Lucky" Garnett is challenged by his fiance's father to come up with $25,000 to prove he's worthy of her hand. But after he falls in love with a dance instructor, Lucky'll do anything to keep from earning the bucks.
John "Lucky" Garnett (Astaire) loves home-town sweetheart, Margaret (Betty Furness), and wants to marry her or, at least, he thought he did. After the master-gambler moves to New York City to acquire a $25,000 dowry for the wedding, he comes upon beautiful dance instructor Penny Carroll (Rogers), immediately recognising that she is the woman for him. Wasting no time to consider the logic of his actions, Lucky signs up for dancing lessons, and his incredible "progress" leads the pair towards considerable success. A promising romance begins to bloom, but Lucky cannot bear to tell Penny that he's already engaged to marry another woman; at the same time, he deliberately resists achieving success in his gambling activities, lest he win enough money to return home to Margaret. Pop Cardetti (Victor Moore) and Mabel Anderson (Helen Broderick), knowing members of an older generation, stand around to witness the pair's irregular romance, and form a close friendship of their own, though everything is thrown into turmoil when sleazy musician Ricky Romero (Georges Metaxa) attempts to coax Penny from Lucky's grasp.
The absence of Edward Everett Horton unfortunately detracts from the effectiveness of the film's comedy, though Victor Moore provides an amusing substitute; his tone and mannerisms are so ridiculously adorable that he could accurately be described as a real-life Elmer Fudd. Jerome Kern's musical numbers vary from lighthearted tap dance numbers ("Pick Yourself Up") to sarcastic quicksteps ("A Fine Romance") to a virtuoso, emotion-filled ballroom routine ("Never Gonna Dance"), perhaps the most stirring performance that Astaire and Rogers ever did. There's a certain indescribable desperation to the way in which the two dancers leap and twirl across the dance floor, their movements escalating almost imperceptibly from an idle walk, and Rogers' long dress twists and turns in the air behind her. In Astaire's continual search for creative perfection, his routines were filmed, wherever possible, in a single take, and this particular number was attempted no less than forty-seven times. Also notable is Astaire's frenetic tribute to Bill "Bojangles" Robinson, performing in black-face against three tall synchronised shadows on the wall behind him.
- Mar 23, 2008