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The Andrews Sisters
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Lady, Let's Dance was a 1944 black and white film directed by Frank Woodruff that was nominated for two Oscars. Produced by Monogram Studios, the film is unique as an ice skating musical. Lady, Let's Dance starred ice skaters Belita, James Ellison, Werner Groebli and Hans Mauch (more commonly known as 'Frick & Frack') and Walter Catlett. Also cast was ice skating artist Mrytle Godfrey. The Oscar nominated score included: "Golden Dreams", "Silver Shadows", "In the Days of Beau Brummel", "Ten Million Men and a Girl", "Dream of Dreams", "Rio", "Happy Hearts", "Esperanza", and the title song "Lady, Let's Dance". Ms. Godfrey sported the same green bonnet with ostrich plume worn by Vivien Leigh in Gone With The Wind.Written by
Long overdue praise for a very good ice skate-dance musical.
I am going to tell you this straight: LADY LETS DANCE is a good musical, outright, and a sensational and spectacular ice skating dance film... and one neglected or cold shouldered for far too long (approx 63 years). The second of Monogram's major forays into big and expensive 40s musicals and with a guaranteed Olympic champion in the awesomely gorgeous Belita, LADY LETS DANCE deserves a proper crystal clear stereo DVD reissue with her other three major Monogram films: SILVER SKATES, SUSPENSE and THE GANGSTER. The two musicals (SUSPENSE and THE GANGSTER are terrific crime dramas) are very enjoyable... and with an absolute avalanche of great swing orchestra music with madam in well designed sexy outfits and really beautiful hair and makeup, BELITA must have made millions for Monogram in these films. LADY LETS DANCE is nothing short of an A grade music and dance spectacular. It is crammed with big set pieces, splashy routines, good costumes and some startling stunt comedy from Frick and Frack a Euro comedy team who are as hilarious as they are clever. The sparkling title number LADY LETS DANCE is on par with the 1955 Doris Day number "Swingin The Blues Away" in LOVE ME OR LEAVE ME at MGM, however here we have Belita skating and swinging and out sexing Doris on ice. It really is the climax of the film, with a following 'victory' number almost superfluous. The usual putting on a show antics carry the LLD scenes, and it is superior in every way to SILVER SKATES made the year before, which looks like a practice run for this film. Now that Warner Bros own the Monogram Allied Artists library, I hope someone there reads my reviews for films like this and lets them be seen for new generations. We do not in any way today have musicals as spectacular or full of sexy stunts like this one is and with a big hole in the DVD marketplace for 40s swing skate dance pix (or 50s) there is no better place to start than with LADY LETS DANCE. Like SUSPENSE, this is a good film, unjustly lampooned and unjustly neglected. Dance direction as with SILVER SKATES is by WB musical maestro Dave Gould, a competitor to Busby Berkeley. Ask WB DVD for this film and lets get it out there for kids who would never know a film as spectacular, clever and as swingin as this could ever exist. LADY LETS DANCE! Indeed! Nominated for 2 Oscars, it certainly deserves the one for Orchestration: the music and arrangements are uniformly excellent.
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