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Content by Steven L. Katz
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Reviews Written by
Steven L. Katz "H.S Katz" (Newton, MA United States)

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3 used & new from CDN$ 64.20

5.0 out of 5 stars better than what people say, June 25 2004
This review is from: Barkleys/Broadway (VHS Tape)
people say that this is the weakest of the A/R bunch but I strongly disagree. It may not be their strongest (Top Hat & Swing Time) but it's not their weakest. It may even be in the top five. I agree with the other reviewers that the first time you watch it you're like "Ok, that was just fine." the secind time you watch it you say "that was actually very good" and the third time "that was wonderful!" This is a better than average MGM movie, and quite sophisticated too. JUdy annd Fred were fine in "Easter Parade" but who could beat our beloved Ginger Rogers with Fred? The direction is wonderful, some of the best they'd had. The acting is excellent, it's funny witty and the dances I think are superb. The technicolor is also beautiful, and it's nice to see Gin's blue eyes and deep red lip rouge. Ginger is no longer a lithe little thing with a delicate baby face, but she's beautiful and very grown up looking. She is in a woman's body now, and after not doing a real musical for almost 10 years (!) she is in incredible form. Her dancing is really up to par with Astaire.
Some intersing technical notes, in the Barkley's house. They have one bed that they share. Nowadays that seems like nothing, but back then the censors were still hot on the idea that married people shouldn't share a bed in movies, because it suggested sex. (So where DO babies come from then.) (At one point Fred does think Ginger's pregnant, but by 1949 the censors still couldn't read between the lines.) Another interesting thing is that they have their own bathroom, divided by a shoulder height wall. It comes to principal use when Roger's is undressing and we (including astaire only) see her shoulders and up.(God forbid she take off her shirt in front of her husband!)
The dance number are really exceptional in this. 0We see Swing Trot through the credits, but we catch the end alone, and it's really swell, then, Astaire croons to Rogers back at their house after bickering (again) while they're in bathrobes. (almost like the famed scene in Swing Time when he sings "the way you look tonight" and she come sout with shampoo in he hair) this time he sings, "you'd be so hard to replace" as if to remind the audience that for ten years, his partners haven't been up to the par as Ginger was. then there's 'Bouncin' the blues' i think one of their best taps together. it's a rehaersal number, and it's just adorable, sweet, and loads of fun to watch. It's that old Astaire/Rogers magic. It's almost like a grown up version of "I'll be hard to handle" Ginger and her liquid hips make a stripper's exit at the end of the number, with Fred leaning on her exended arm. Later that day, Josh and Dinah go to an art museum, where they are to see the unveiling of a new portrait of them. It shows Dinah as a pancake, and Josh, as the plate that molds her, (which is the common conception people had of A/R throughout their careers.) Ginger retorts at the sculpture in deadpan style. "Why is my face a pancake?" It's quite a funny scene. "my one and only highland fling" renews teh comical stuff they could do together. Ginger had a knack for putting on accents and mocking people. which is seen throughout her 73 movie career. 'MOAOHF' is a delightful number, and the ending is sweet. "A day in the country" is sund to Oscar Levant, as they take a trip to the country for a while, while he wants to go back to NY" Ginger's voice is extremely good in this song, it seems to have develpoed a bit. "Shoes with wings on" is Fred's customary big solo and it's very good. what else can you say about the man who defied dancing? It's really quite good. But we can''t waut for his reunion with Gin. (They'd split at this pouint) Possibly the best number in the fil, "They can't take that away from me" a reprise from their 1937 movie "shall we dance?" it's one of my favorite songs period, and he sings it beautifully to her on stage. If you watch Her face expressions, you'll realize how much this number really means. The dance is gorgeous too. After the song is over, Ginger starts to cry, which she has always done with such emotion. Manhatten downbeat is their last dance together and it's a big splashy finish, with beautiful costumes. The very end show a close up of the greatest dancing team's faces.
20 years after Barkley's, they reunites at the academy awards, where they presented an oscar. They did a swirl and dip for old times, and the applause was so overwhlmind, the forgot to stop holding hands. :-)

Top Hat
Top Hat
DVD ~ Fred Astaire
Offered by Uncover Treasures
Price: CDN$ 26.50
2 used & new from CDN$ 14.00

5.0 out of 5 stars rivals swing time, June 21 2004
This review is from: Top Hat (VHS Tape)
Fred may have danced with other girls, and Ginger may have had other leading men, but together, there were no others. (despite what the plot suggests, we know they'll end up together) Ginger is absolutely gorgeous in every scene, and in the cheek to cheek scene, she looks like a porcelain doll. Fred of course is unbeatable, just watch top hat white tie and tails to see what I mean. They go beyond chemistry in this film, they are the greatest dancing team in history for a reason. We can't imagine them with anyone else. In KITTY FOYLE, for which Ginger won the oscar, she had to choose between 2 men. If Fred had popped in, she wouldn't have given it a second thought. In TOM DICK AND HARRY the following year, Gin has to choose between 3 men. Had Fred been one of the choices, the movie would have been and hour shorter. In TOP HAT, we can't imagine them in any other movies, for they are just ASTAIRE AND ROGERS, and to quote Shall we Dance "they can't that away from me."

Astaire and Rogers Gift Set #1
Astaire and Rogers Gift Set #1

5.0 out of 5 stars wonderful, June 15 2004
These two may have had other leading men/ladies, but when they're together, it's nothing but... heaven, i'm in heaven...

42nd Street (Sous-titres français) [Import]
42nd Street (Sous-titres français) [Import]
DVD ~ Warner Baxter
Offered by stephensstuff
Price: CDN$ 24.95
14 used & new from CDN$ 0.01

5.0 out of 5 stars very funny, June 9 2004
this is one of my all time favorite movies. I think that the humor is wonderful, and the cast, sining and dancing are just fine. Ruby Keeler is simply adorable as Peggy Sawyer, Bebe Daniels is rightly used as the fading star, Warner Baxter, Ned Sparks, and Guy Kibbee make the most of their parts. Una Merkel is ducky as wisecracking Larraine, and a scene stealing Ginger Rogers is a gem. ALthough I loved her in dramatic roles, stright comedy, and with Fred Astaire, there's something about the way she examplifies a wisecracking-secondlead-chorine that is just so wonderful. I believe that this is one of Ginger's best performances, that goes for the whole cast. A similar film with mostly the same cast, (Ginger, Guy, Ned, Ruby, and Dick Powell, and chorus dancers) and the same famous Busby Berkeley overhead shots, watch Goldiggers of 1933. I think that these two are some of the funniest musicals ever made.

Kitty Foyle [Import]
Kitty Foyle [Import]
5 used & new from CDN$ 21.92

5.0 out of 5 stars Ginger's victory all the way, June 5 2004
This review is from: Kitty Foyle [Import] (VHS Tape)
Any best actress oscar winner of 1940 would have been controversial. I think Ginger deserved it as well as any of the others. She is wonderful in this drama, and she portrays KItty with a certain realness. watch her facial expressions. I believe that Ginger had the most expressive and beautiful eyes in hollywood history. after losing her baby in childbirth, kitty's look on her face whenever she sees a child afterwards is devestating. the whole cast is fine, and you could cut Gin and Dennis Morgan's chemistry with a knife. Ginger had a strange power to bring out so much chemistry from all her leading men. In the early scenes, she is adorable as little kitty. I don't believe that this is a soap opera, because the situations are NOT ridiculous and the characters are very real, but nevertheless it is a heavier type of drama, so don't expect a SWING TIME-like experience, and keep the tissues handy. I highly recommend this film, not only for Ginger's performance, but for the movie as a whole.

Little Women (Collector's Series) (Bilingual)
Little Women (Collector's Series) (Bilingual)
DVD ~ Susan Sarandon
Price: CDN$ 9.75
37 used & new from CDN$ 0.01

2 of 4 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars blah, June 5 2004
if one was to compare katharine hepburn to winona ryder, the results would be obvious. the book isn't supposed to be a feminist account, it's supposed to be a civil war tale of a family. since it's so modern, and the acting and even the colors are modern, we never feel the full experience, or that we are in the 1800's. In the 1933 version we feel a part of the family. This is less than inspiring. how clare danes became Beth, i'll never know, what Kirsten dunst is doing here is a mystery. Although SUsan Sarandon is fine, she is the best thing in here, but nowhere near spring bryington. Christian bale is too dreamy, and his and winia'a chemisrty isn't right. it doesn't follow the book, and the cast is miscast. I don't recommend, instead watch the beautifully done 1933 CLASSIC, or even the 1949 one with June Allyson and Margaret O'brien. Skip this.

Gold Diggers of 1933
Gold Diggers of 1933

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars berkeley's the tops, May 26 2004
This review is from: Gold Diggers of 1933 (VHS Tape)
one of busby's best.ruby's adorable, alice macmahon is hilarious, and Joand Blendell is wonderful, especially on "forgotten man" Ginger Rogers is Fay Fortune, the rival of those three. (mostly just alice)she sings "we're in the money" in pig latin, and steals every scene she'a in. (about 6) but she's still hilarious.
Ginger: If Mr Brown could see me in clothes... (meaning repesctable clothes of course)
Alice: He wouldn't recongniza ya!

Gay Divorcee,the
Gay Divorcee,the
2 used & new from CDN$ 49.99

5.0 out of 5 stars a joy to watch, May 26 2004
This review is from: Gay Divorcee,the (VHS Tape)
This is such a great movie! In their first starring roles, Fred and Ginger carry the movie on their shoulders. Alice Brady is more than hilarious, so is Edward E. Horton. Look for a very young Betty Grable singing "lets knock knees."
the night and day nember is incredible. Ginger looks like something out of this world with her soft features. The look that she gives him at the end of night and day make the rest of the picture unnecessary. but then you would miss Fred's hilarious looks, especially when he's confused. The nice thing about this movie is that the mistaken identity plot only lasts for a little while. (about 13 minutes) the continental is great too.

Flying Down to Rio [Import]
Flying Down to Rio [Import]
4 used & new from CDN$ 19.98

5.0 out of 5 stars early success, May 26 2004
I love this movie for 2 reasons.
1: The friend relationship that Fred and Ginger have. They get along so well and that helped to heighten the chemistry.
2:Ginger's wisecracks. SHe still has that wisecracking-second-lead-chorine type attitude that she would lose in coming pictures. she sings "music makes me" with an adorable smile and swiveling hips.
the best scene is in the cafe, where ginger can't take her mind off food.
"OOH, cookies"
"I'd rather split a banana split 3-way"
"Wanna cookie? Take your choice!"
This is just an early sampling of the greatest dance teams magic.

Carefree [Import]
Carefree [Import]

5.0 out of 5 stars hypnotic, May 26 2004
This review is from: Carefree [Import] (VHS Tape)
in retalliation the the review thing at the top, since when was the Yam supposed to be a dance craze? when were any of their dances supposed to be a dance craze? No one else could danc elike that! anyway, I love this movie because it so funny. Ginger has incredibly funny running-amuck scenes with perfect timing. Her facial expressions arer superior. You also realize what a superb actress she was. This movie isn't the typical Fred/Ginger formula, but who minds a little change if it turns out as well as this?

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