Jed Potter looks back on a love triangle conducted over the course of years and between musical numbers. Dancer Jed loves showgirl Mary, who loves compulsive nightclub-opener Johnny, who can't stay committed to anything in life for very long.Written by
Diana Hamilton <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Dancing from Fred Astaire. Singing from Bing Crosby. Songs by Irving Berlin. How could one go wrong? Luckily the three main attractions do not disappoint at all, but as an overall film Blue Skies could have been better.
Blue Skies does suffer from a rather tired and over corny story, and it also feels rather thin with a romance that felt like filler and not much else. Joan Caulfield is both incredibly bland and sometimes annoying in a very underwritten part, and the comedy was patchy. In fact, a lot of the comedy falls as flat as a lead balloon and this is not helped by the overplaying of Billy De Wolfe(though he has his moments). And as good as Bing Crosby is, he comes over as rather stiff and clumsy in his acting here, which is a shame as he has shown a lot of natural presence and likability before.
The film looks great however, with some very clever photography in the Puttin' On the Ritz scene and charming costumes and sets. Irving Berlin's songs are marvellous, the Oscar-nominated You Keep Coming Back Like a Song and the unforgettably energetic Puttin' On the Ritz being the standouts, Blue Skies is a beautiful song too. The score is lush and whimsical. Every bit as good as the songs is the characterful and graceful choreography, the truly outstanding number being Puttin' On the Ritz, the whole scene is spectacular and one of Astaire's most classic routines. Crosby sings absolutely beautifully and Olga San Juan brings fire and charm to a rather one-dimensional part with her particularly shining in the Latin rhythm duet I'll See You in Cuba with Crosby, but other than Puttin' On the Ritz, it's the divine dancing and performance of Fred Astaire that makes Blue Skies worth watching.
All in all, decent film but with the likes of Crosby, Astaire and Berlin involved you expect more than just decent. 6/10 Bethany Cox
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