In Buenos Aires, a man who has decreed that his daughters must marry in order of age allows an American dancer to perform at his club under the condition that he play suitor to his second-oldest daughter.
William A. Seiter
Josh and Dinah Barkley are a successful (though argumentative) musical-comedy team, yet Dinah chafes as Galatea to her husband's Pygmalion. When serious playwright Jacques Barredout envisions her as a great dramatic actress, Dinah is not hard to persuade.Written by
Diana Hamilton <firstname.lastname@example.org>
For their reunion and final screen pairing, Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers were teamed again by MGM in The Barkleys of Broadway. They play a pair of musical comedy performers who do have their occasional spats off the stage.
One thing Arthur Freed at MGM did for the pair was give them a better and more mature story to work with than they ever did at RKO back in the Thirties. That was part of the charm though, you didn't really care about the silliness of the plots with music written by folks like, Kern, Gershwin, Porter, and Berlin.
As in real life Fred was the creative one of the pair and he's criticizing Ginger a bit too much at times. So much so that she's very receptive to French director Jacques Francois's overtures to star in a straight dramatic play about young Sarah Bernhardt. This presents quite the dilemma for Fred in his professional and personal life.
Harry Warren and Ira Gershwin wrote the score for The Barkleys of Broadway. I like very much the song You'd Be Hard To Replace it so fits Fred and Ginger for singing and dancing.
Creative continuity was established with the RKO films as They Can't Take That Away From Me which was introduced in Shall We Dance and written by Ira and George Gershwin sung and danced elegantly here. It's one of my favorite ballads ever.
Oscar Levant is his usual laconic and witty self here who inflicts the Saber Dance on party guests and later does Tschaikovsky's Concerto in B Flat in the grand and classical style. Levant's reputation as a wit overshadows his very real skill as a pianist, but not in this film. Also his close association with the Gershwin brothers gives some more official continuity with this film.
I suppose Fred and Ginger could have done more films together, but I suppose that in The Barkleys of Broadway they left their fans on a high note. They'll never dancing partners like them ever again.
16 of 17 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?
| Report this