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kaslovesTCM

Fred Astaire or Gene Kelly

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Kelly danced like a man. Astaire danced like an angel. Kelly looked like a construction worker. Astaire looked like Stan Laurel's brother

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Nice summary. No, an excellent description!

 

Astaire's dancing was ethereal, but Kelly was beefy and lustable.

Astaire was humorous, and the icing on the cake was Edward Everett Horton.

I can watch an Astaire movie over and over, but I cannot say the same thing about Kelly.

Astaire could NOT have danced in the rain, no way, no how, like Kelly danced in the rain.

 

 

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I taught tap dancing for 10 years. I could teach ANYBODY who could walk and chew gum at the same time some of the steps in "Singin' in the Rain".

 

I could not dance or teach anybody one step from a Fred Astaire solo because I never knew exactly what he was doing.

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> {quote:title=willbefree25 wrote:}{quote}Nice summary. No, an excellent description!

>

> Astaire's dancing was ethereal, but Kelly was beefy and lustable.

Exactly....two very different styles. I probably favored Gene Kelly, because his work was often like watching an athlete or gymnast at work...if ever there were a cross between athletics and dancing, Gene would be the one to define it.

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Apples and oranges-- they both have so much to offer and are both so different. Gene's great for athleticism and pure masculinity, but Fred is great for that suave and smooth dancing. Although both can really hoof. Yeah, I couldn't make that decision.

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> Apples and oranges-- they both have so much to offer and are both so different. Gene's great for athleticism and pure masculinity, but Fred is great for that suave and smooth dancing. Although both can really hoof. Yeah, I couldn't make that decision.

 

Lonesome,

 

I agree! I don't understand the need to choose one over the other. They were two very different dancers. Shouldn't we appreciate them and their talent for the wonderful films they left for us to enjoy instead of making a choice of which one is better?

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I don't have to choose so I won't.

 

Although, if Fred is on I am more likely to watch . And he had Ginger !! :x

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That's cool to know, cujas. I think tap is wonderful, and marvel at the Hines family and the Nicholas brothers. You might enjoy this? It's a tap instructor's top ten favorites:

 

http://mightygirl.com/2009/08/17/top-ten-best-tap-numbers-in-film/

 

Speaking of top ten, the question was asked as to why a comparison. Because as long as message boards exist, there will be comparisons. Even if they're the same comparisons that were asked a year ago and a year before that. They're fun, and make some people smile to think about their favorites. I could ask about Cagney or Grant, and I know the answer but would still enjoy reading what people had to say about each.

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Main point in Astaire's favor: In addition to being one of the best dancers this side of the Nicholas Brothers, he was the greatest cue artist that Hollywood has ever known, including Jackie Gleason. Don't let his "angelic" looks fool you.

 

Main point in Kelly's favor: His performance in Singing in the Rain led us to our first sustained gander at Cyd Charisse's gams.

 

The tiebreaker: Kelly resisted the reactionary tide of Hollywood politics in the 50's, while Astaire never said much about anything once he stepped outside the lot. Nothing wrong with that, but I gotta give Gene the edge here.

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Andy, you can't bring up the Nicholas brothers in this discussion. It isn't FAIR to Astair or Kelly. I mean, THOSE guys defied every law of physics possible!

Sepiatone

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Different styles of dancing, but I definitely prefer Astaire, particularly in his '30s films with Rogers. Gene Kelly is one of that handful of actors whom I just don't like. And I'm not a big fan of the MGM-style musicals of the later (late '40s-early '50s) period.

 

 

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Andy, you can't bring up the Nicholas brothers in this discussion. It isn't FAIR to Astair or Kelly. I mean, THOSE guys defied every law of physics possible!.

 

The Nicholas Brothers were featured in a movie called Orchestra Wives that played on the Fox Movie Channel in December. If you've never seen it, be sure to check it out---they were on towards the end and completely stole the show.

 

On a loosely related note, there's a great story about Billy Eckstine that I heard just after he'd passed back in 1993. Seems like Old Blue Eyes had looked in on one of Eckstine's concerts and let it be known to one of his managers that he'd "love to have a voice like that" , meaning a voice like Mr. B's.

 

 

When the manager passed on Sinatra's compliment, Eckstine didn't miss a beat: "You tell that mother###### give me his money, and he can *have* my g*dd*m voice!"

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Kelly, Kelly, Kelly. His athleticism, the clarity of his taps, his inovations in cinema dance, his good looks, sex appeal and smile!

 

 

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> {quote:title=AndyM108 wrote:}{quote}

>

> The tiebreaker: Kelly resisted the reactionary tide of Hollywood politics in the 50's, while Astaire never said much about anything once he stepped outside the lot. Nothing wrong with that, but I gotta give Gene the edge here.

>

Interesting point here Andy, and one I hadn't really considered before.

 

I think you've kind of hit on something which hasn't been mentioned so far in this thread, which is the issue that while both of these gentlemen could dance like nobody's business, Kelly was the one who could stretch his acting abilities to include more darker roles and characters, and where Astaire would mostly stick to lighter fare.

 

 

Take for instance Kelly's very believeable turn as H.L.Mencken-inspired cynical newspaperman E.K.Hornbeck in 1960's *Inherit the Wind,* or his role in 1950's *Black Hand* as the revenge seeking Johnny Columbo, or in 1954's *Crest of the Wave* as U.S. Naval Lt. Bradwell.

 

 

Yep, when it came to more than just acting in light romantic comedies, Kelly with his abilities to define a character's darker side, had it all over Astaire in this regard.

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> {quote:title=finance wrote:}{quote}Despite a thin voice, Astaire was a very stylish singer. Kelly's singing was merely functional.

 

Irving Berlin felt the same way. (Not about Gene Kelly, but about Fred Astaire.)

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Astaire and Kelly each had their definative styles. Fred was all about sophistication while Gene was more street if that makes any sense.

 

 

 

Each brought their own innovations to the world of cinematic dance. Astaire's 'dancing on the ceiling" in *Royal Wedding* is iconic while Kelly's *Cover Girl* solo "dancing alter ego" broke ground.

 

 

 

Since purchasing a good amount of Astaire/Rogers films over the last few months my appreciation for Mr. Astaire's dance style has grown but Mr. Kelly will always be my favorite.

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> {quote:title=doctorxx wrote:}{quote}Kelly danced like a man. Astaire danced like an angel. Kelly looked like a construction worker. Astaire looked like Stan Laurel's brother

>

>

>

>

> Ha, Ha, Ha! this is hilarious. I always thought that Astaire looked almost like a Twin to Stan Laurel. But I didn't know anyone else did. Fred has the edge in voice. Kelly was the superior athlete, and more attractive to the ladies. Both were brilliant dancers with extraordinary talent.

>

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