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Terrence1

Vera-Ellen

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I am in the process of reading a book by Jeanine Basinger about the studio system of the 30's, 40's, and 50's. In the book she refers to Vera-Ellen as a "mediocre dancer." This caught me completely by surprise, since I've always enjoyed her movies, especially "On the Town", "White Christmas", and "Three Little Words." And her interpretation of "Slaughter on Tenth Avenue" with Gene Kelly from "Words and Music" is a great piece of entertainment. How do others feel about Vera-Ellen? Maybe I just have my head in the clouds.

 

Terrence.

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> {quote:title=Terrence1 wrote:}{quote}

> I am in the process of reading a book by Jeanine Basinger about the studio system of the 30's, 40's, and 50's. In the book she refers to Vera-Ellen as a "mediocre dancer." This caught me completely by surprise, since I've always enjoyed her movies, especially "On the Town", "White Christmas", and "Three Little Words." And her interpretation of "Slaughter on Tenth Avenue" with Gene Kelly from "Words and Music" is a great piece of entertainment. How do others feel about Vera-Ellen? Maybe I just have my head in the clouds.

>

> Terrence.

 

I think that whoever this Jeanine Basinger is, she knows absolutely nothing about dance. Vera-Ellen, imo, is the best dancer who ever lived. Even if you don't think that, to call her mediocre just shows your ignorance. Based on that comment alone, I wouldn't think of reading anything she wrote.

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Thanks, John, for your response. It's good to know that I'm not off-base on that one. Since I have loved her dancing for so long, it really hurt that someone supposedly knowledgeable on movies would say something like that. It's true that Vera-Ellen could not sing and had her singing dubbed in, but so did other great dancers, like Cyd Charisse and Rita Hayworth. Anyway, from one Vera-Ellen fan to the other, a huge thanks.

 

Terrence.

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I ADORE Vera-Ellen . She's incredible. I too read that line in Basinger's book. Ordinarily, I love Basinger's work. However, she was way off-base in this case. VE was one of the FINEST dancers ever to grace a musical!!!

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I agree with both of you. Describing Vera-Ellen as a mediocre dancer? That's absurd; like calling Frank Sinatra an average singer. Vera-Ellen was a tremendously skilled, athletic dancer, always a joy to watch. In fact, her dancing skills were her forte; it's been said that the studios weren't interested in casting her in other roles (which is unfortunate, since she was probably underrated as an actress). She was a dancer on Broadway and a Rockette before making it to Hollywood. It's unfortunate that her career was a little shorter than some of the other greats but I would certainly include her in any top ten list of Hollywood's greatest female dancers. If you Google her, by the way, you will find a pretty good tribute page and a Facebook fan page among other things.

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