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Easter Parade (DVD)
Don Hewes (Fred Astaire) is devastated when his longtime dancing partner, Nadine Hale (Ann Miller), breaks up the team to set out on her own. Determined to prove that he can succeed without her, Astaire vows that he can pick any random chorus girl and make her a star. Fortunately for him, the chorus girl he picks happens to be one of the greatest entertainers of the 20th century, Judy Garland (playing Hannah Brown). Easter Parade turned out to be the first and only collaboration between the two screen legends. Garland made the 1948 film despite ongoing health problems then had to pull out of a planned follow-up, The Barkleys of Broadway (Ginger Rogers replaced her); Astaire had retired following Blue Skies in 1946 but was brought in for this film as an emergency replacement after Gene Kelly broke his ankle playing touch football. Fortunately, Easter Parade always feels like an Astaire film rather than a Kelly film, from its Pygmalion-esque plot (which helps explain the principals' 23-year age disparity) to its score of Irving Berlin standards (some new, some recycled from earlier films). The film capitalizes on the strengths of both stars, Astaire in dance solos, including "Drum Crazy" and "Steppin' Out with My Baby" (MGM's take on Astaire's earlier, persona-defining "Top Hat, White Tie, and Tails"), and Garland in vocal solos, including the torchy "Better Luck Next Time." The stars especially shine, however, when they perform together in their vaudeville numbers, most notably the persona-defying hobo routine "We're a Couple of Swells." Watch this classic every Easter. --David Horiuchi --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Top Customer Reviews
Hewes is in love with his dance partner Nadine Hale (Ann Miller), so he is distraught when she tells him that she has signed a contract to star in her own show. Hewes seeks comfort at a local club, where he drowns his sorrows and swears that he can take any young lady and turn her into a magnificent dancer, even someone like Hannah Brown (Judy Garland), one of the club's chorus girls. The following morning, he regrets asking Hannah to be his new partner, but when she shows up saying she quit her job to accept his offer, he has little choice but to fulfill his promise to her.Read more ›
Strolling along 5th Avenue or going with a couple of bums with A Couple of Swells. Judy Garland and Fred Astaire lead a parade of music [17 Irvin Berlin tunes and an Academy Award® winning adaption score arranged by Johnny Green and Roger Edens] and gotta-dance fun [including Fred Astaire's Drum Crazy] in this never-ending delight and co-starring Ann Miller [performing a knockout Shakin' the Blues Away] and Peter Lawford [gamely crooning "The Fella with the Umbrella"] with Judy garland. Don't let this colourful Easter parade pass you by!
FILM FACTS: The film won the 1948 Academy Award® for Best Original Music Score. The writers of the film also received the Writers Guild of America Award for Best Written American Musical. It was the most financially successful picture for both Judy Garland and Fred Astaire as well as the highest-grossing musical of the year.
Cast: Judy Garland, Fred Astaire, Peter Lawford, Ann Miller, Jules Munshin, Clinton Sundberg and Jimmy Bates
Director: Charles Walters
Producer: Arthur Freed
Screenplay: Albert Hackett, Frances Goodrich and Sidney Sheldon
Composers: Irving Berlin, Johnny Green and Roger Edens
Cinematography: Harry Stradling Sr.
Video Resolution: 1080p [Technicolor]
Aspect Ratio: 1.37:1
Audio: English: 1.0 DTS-HD Master Audio Mono, Spanish: 1.0 Dolby Digital Mono, Spanish: 1.0 Dolby Digital Mono, German: 1.0 Dolby Digital Mono and Portuguese: 1.Read more ›
The plot: Dancer loses his partner (who he is also in love with) as she goes it alone. When tipsy, he pulls Garland out of a line and claims he will make her a great star. Come to find out that for psychological reasons she doesn't even know her left foot from her right. In the end, she's great, and also in love with you know who. She has to throw a few tantrums before Astaire wakes up to his unacknowledged feelings for her as well.
The best here are the wonderful and bountiful musical numbers: "We're a Couple of Swells" perhaps being the heighth of musical artistry for Astaire and Garland.
One aside: When Jimmy Bates (the boy who follows Astaire around a toy store while Fred performs "Drum Crazy," finished the filming of his segment and was about to leave the studio, Fred was a sweetheart enough to present him with the gift of a bicycle. Jimmy grew up to be one of this country's greatest dancers (modern, ballet and tap) and became the head of a dance department at a Northern California university.
Another element of this perfect film is the stunning fashions. Too bad women don't wear those gorgeous hats anymore which so adorned their faces and garnished the style of an era. An era captured beautifully in this what-more-can-you-say-about-it movie.
Most recent customer reviews
Easter Parade(released June/48)stars,among others,Fred Astaire,Judy Garland,Ann Miller and Peter Lawford.It is just by accident that Mr. Read morePublished on June 2 2013 by Robert Badgley
I have always enjoyed this movie...if you enjoy musicals, it is a must Garland/Astaire....what a combination. I love it and know you will to...Published on April 30 2013 by Joan Black
Very good quality DVD. The Blu-Ray is just coming out now but this one has all the bells and whistles you can ask for at a much lower price point. Good value.Published on April 15 2013 by Jacqui
Ce film est tout simplement extraordinaire. Il m'a aussi été livré rapidement et conforme a la description du produit. Read morePublished on Dec 20 2012 by David
How can you go wrong with Judy Garland and Fred Astaire? Excellent film and one I am glad I added to my collection.Published on Nov. 22 2011 by Jan Crawford
Don Hews (Fred Astaire), a song and dance man gets a new contract, he finds out the he is being jilted by the girl he had an understanding with Nadine Hale (Ann Miller); she... Read morePublished on July 24 2007 by B. Chandler
It goes without saying that Easter Parade is one of the greatest MGM musicals ever made. Fred Astaire and Judy Garland make a wonderful dancing, singing and acting team! Read morePublished on July 18 2004 by Matthew G. Sherwin
A fantastic musical. A sure-fine collectable that they couldn't ever make a remake of. This has many classic songs I once sung in choir; unforgettables such as "Stepping Out... Read morePublished on June 19 2004 by Young "Oldies" lover