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bobhopefan1940

~ The Sand Man ~ (Fred Astaire Favorites)

562 posts in this topic

I know you'll have fun reading it. What I like best is what happens with Lord Marshmorton in the book! A guide to character name changes:

 

The movie's Jerry is George in the novel

 

Alyce is Maud in the novel

 

There is a character named Alyce in the novel who does not appear in the movie

 

And there is a wonderful chorus girl character named Billie Dore who does not appear in the movie, but definitely should have! (The novel has no George and Gracie, however.)

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> Hi Bophopefan---long time! I watched as much of A

> Damsel in Distress as I could this morning before

> leaving for work. I wish I had taped it as it's been

> ages since I saw it all the way thru. I love George

> and Gracie and I have always has a fondness for the

> supporting actor, Reginald Gardiner. He was so witty

> and elegant always. Looked like the sort of fellow

> you would be guaranteed to have a great time with on

> a night on the town or at parties. Too bad there

> aren't more like him!

>

> BTW, are you thrilled that March is Gene Kelly

> month on TCM?

 

Hi there, Ms. G!

 

It has been a long time, hasn't it? I usually read over your posts over in the Coop fan thread, so even though you may not see me - I'm always listening in ;) Thanks for the feedback on A Damsel In Distress from you and Ms. Ayres. I'll look for that supporting actor, and the scene where Astaire claims he is not very handsome. Isn't there something just plain appealing about a man who doesn't think he is handsome? We all know just how good looking FA is (not was) ;)

 

I'm absolutely thrilled about Gene Kelly March, though I know it is almost sacreligious to speak of him in here (just joking!)

 

As (obviously) some of you already know, I am a huge Kelly fan. Though I already have alot of the films that are showing in March in my library, I will be paying special attention to:

 

For Me And My Gal, 5th @ 9:30 pm

The Devil Makes Three, 26th @ 2:30 am

The Cross of Lorraine, which I suppose will be a good role for Mr. Lorre as well... 27th @ 7:15 am

 

Also should be some good Van Johnson flicks coming up, along with some interesting movies with Lew Ayres (not to be confused with Mr. Astaire's character in Flying Down To Rio ;) )

 

April should be an excellent month of programming, as well. So I wonder what is everyone complaining about in General Discussions? :P

 

bhf1940

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Hello To One and All !

I remember a special shown on TV about George and Gracie and in it there was a scene with FA (I can only surmise it was from "Dansel in Distress") where the three of them were dancing with what looked like cloth dusters or something of the sort. I am probably confusing a TV special with FA as a guest star.

There a lot of Gene Kelly movies being shown on TCM in GB and I recorded most of them (the rest I already have). But....I cannot wait for the FA films I mentioned I have not got and I hope that they will show them on TCM (GB).

FA was so self-effacing and that really annoys me ! Surely he must have known his lady fans thought him really handsome. I just hate it when he grimaces everytime he looks at a mirror in a film...ooooh !!!! Well, you must all know by now that he is my favourite gent and the most handsome man EVER. He was not only gorgeous looking but had charisma with a capital C, charm, wit, good manners and the most lovely smile any actor has ever had (the only other one who had a similar charming smile was Sir Alec Guinness). As for his dancing: I call him Feathered Footed Fred ! :)

I agree: FA can be described in the present because he will always be there showing his art from one generation to the next. The epitomy of grace and style.

 

Kind regards,

Julie

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Morning, BHF!

 

Have you ever seen the movie Kelly directed and starred in called THE HAPPY ROAD? If not, do try to see it if TCM airs it next month (which I imagine they will). I think it's one of the sweetest films ever---one you can watch with the kids, even. It is filmed on location in France (not in color, alas) and is about two children who run away from boarding school to rejoin their respective parent (Kelly and french actress, Barbara Laage). It poses still relevant cultural clashes between very American Kelly and tres French Laage along the way. Cute stuff.

 

I have always been enamored of Fred's innate and genuine modesty. It was adorable how self-effacing he was on the Dick Cavett interview that was recently released on dvd. "There will never, ever be another you" could have been written just for him.

 

I seldom read over all the threads like I used to, so I'm not familiar with the latest "wrangles" in General Discussions. What's so controversial about April? Surely it can't be as "bad" as February has been (not that I think it's been bad, just a little "top heavy" if you know what I mean).

 

Miss G

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Like I said to BHF in my post to her----"There will never, ever be Another You..." is a graceful lyric that could have been written about the inimitable Mr. A.

 

I'm glad he's not here to see the ghastly things on TV today!

 

Miss G

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Hi there Miss G!

I have never seen that Kelly movie, The Happy Road. To the best of my knowledge I did not write it down for my recording in March, but I hope I just happened to miss it when I was looking over the schedule. I'm going to look it up to find out what year it is, ect. I love any movie that features Gene Kelly with children! Wasn't he adorable with them in movies like An American In Paris or Living In A Big Way?

 

There were alot of threads referring to the "downfall" of Turner and all that... I don't know. There were like four over there suddenly.

 

I wish I could run over the board right quick but I must be off to a family gathering... :P Argh.

 

bhf1940

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If you're looking for an unusual movie directed by Gene Kelly try "The Cheyenne Social Club." Its a comedy western starring of all people Jimmy Stewart and Henry Fonda. It's not a great movie, some my think it's not even very good, but I think it's a real treat watching two life long friends working together.

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Here's a little trivia question - probably our friend QueenA knows the answer off the top of her head! Do any of you know of any movies in which Allen Jenkins appeared with FA? I can't think of any, but there must be some due to the period. I'll look into it while you're thinking. I'm pretty sure he's not in any of my favorite 5 (with Ginger), but not sure about the others. He was such a funny character.

 

Also - regarding Wodehouse. I love all his books - they really are like watching a movie in your mind! And of course, I love that character humor and the crazy plots! I was reading a Wodehouse a month this summer but have slowed down.

You can join a whole Wodehouse society thing if you really want to emotionally invest!

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Hi, Birdy! Allen didn't happen to make any movies with Fred; the chief reason being that he was at Warner Bros. for the better part of his career, and Astaire only made one picture there, Finian's Rainbow (unless you count The Towering Inferno, which was made by both Warners and Fox together).

 

I've always liked Jenkins, too. Wrote about him in this article on actors who appeared in Stage Door Canteen or Hollywood Canteen:

 

http://www.porthalcyon.com/features/200503/canteen01.shtml

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The Cheyenne Social Club - Thanks for the tip on it, Chris! I'll be sure to check it out if I see it on... I have catched alot of films that I would never have looked into if they had not been recommended by friends on this site, and have never regretted doing so. :)

 

Hi all you FA fans! Hi BIRDY, hope you are doing well... I've got alot of catching up to do on my viewing! Have alot of Astaire movies I have not watched yet do to time restraints, but that just gives me all the more to look forward to, doesn't it? I had to go to the theatre tonight and I saw the Blond Bond in action. Pretty exciting movie, but the romance didn't do much for me. It just makes me look all the more forward to watching A Damsel In Distress!

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Most people who love Fred Astaire find it odd that my favorite Astaire film is FINIAN'S RAINBOW. I just love him in that role. He was perfection in it. I think it's a unique film. Almost the entire film takes place outdoors; and, ecept for a couple of obvious studio scenes, much of it is filmed outdoors, which is so important to me. I want film to be cinematic, and true to its medium. Getting out of the studio, is always a good thing to me. Especially, for musicals when the action take place outdoors! Anyway, I love Fred Astaire in FINIAN'S RAINBOW. A lot of other films, as well.

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Hi !

I like the "TCSC" movie because I always liked JS and HF. Particularly loved scenes when Hank does not stop talking. Wasn't JS's horse called Pie or Piebald ? I know HF painted and gave his pal JS a painting of the horse.

Will check my Gene K movies to see if I have the one mentioned, but I have a feeling that I have only one b/w GK movie (it might be that one...I hope so !).

 

Kind regards,

Julie :)

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I've never seen Finian's Rainbow. Sounds like I need to check it out.

 

Fred was also great in another one of my favorite "outdoors" scenes

in Funny Face during the bridal shoot.

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Not everybody likes Finian's Rainbow as some found it a bit dated by the time it got made into a movie. However it's definitely worth checking out if you're a fan of FA or of Francis Coppola's early career.

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I think that "Finian's Rainbow" could have been a far better film because some of the dancing was not well shot. The dancers feet were often "lobbed off". As FA used to say " Either the camera dances or I do" and this saying is very apt with the photography in this movie. The main critic was the director himself and he said he would have done it differently and allow the viewers to enjoy the choreography had he shot it better.

Having said this, I think FA is marvellous in it...so nimble and agile for a man in his late sixties. I must watch it again ! :)

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No doubt, FA is still fascinating to watch in his very last movie, That's Entertainment! Part 2. And while Finian's Rainbow wasn't perfect it did have some old-fashioned charm, and of course you can't fault Coppola for lacking experience at making musicals, he was still a bit wet behind the ears, but he'd learn fast! :)

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Julie:

 

Stewart's horse was named "Pie." Fonda talks almost nonstop through the whole movie. But especially through the opening scenes and titles. I think it's funny the way Fonda is always seen coming out of different girl's rooms.

 

This film is in color (if you were referring to this one) and made in 1970.

 

All The best.

 

Chris

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Thanks for the lovely photos, Ayres.

 

Here goes:-

Bottom photo= "Damsel In Distress"

Middle photo= " The Vernon and Irene Castle Story"

Top photo= "You were Never Lovelier"

 

I am guessing with "Damsel In Distress" because I have never seen it but I recognize Joan Fontaine !

 

Kind regards,

Julie :)

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PS: Just noticed in the middle photo that Ginger is wearing gloves but in that scene in the film she does not have them on ! :)

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Mifty,

Take another look at the scene. When Vernon and Irene meet Lew Fields, she has them on. As they prepare to do the dance, they move to a side table where she removes her hat and gloves to do the dance.

An interesting side note to this dance number: many years after this film, Ginger was in the audience in New York to see "No, No Nanette" on Broadway and when a dance number came on, she sat up and took more notice - the choreographer had copied this dance number step for step. When she went back stage to say hello to the principles, the choreographer approached her and asked if she noticed anything about the dance number. She said, "You mean the one Fred and I did from the Story of Vernon and Irene Castle?" He said, "I hope you don't mind. We ran the film over and over and over to get it just right" "You did a good job" was her reply.

A couple of years later, Ginger was asked to do "No No Nanette" in Texas. She said she would do it and requested that the dance number be incorporated into the script for her character.

So, 33 years later, she did "Waiting for the Robert E Lee" again!

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Wow, great anecdote. Thank you!

 

That is one of my favorite dances, btw--for a swing dancer it is a thrill to see them do the Texas Tommy and the step-over drop and other things that we used to do out on the dance floor. And they both look so happy while dancing it.

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