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TopBilled

EASTER PARADE (1948)

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BTW-- Stage Door is a 1937 RKO movie. Just look around and see Katharine Hepburn and Ginger Rogers in the mid-1930s and you should know you're not at MGM.

 

Ann Miller signed with Metro in 1948.

 

Thanks for the correction.   Yes,  it was RKO that Ann fooled into believing she was 18 when she was only 13. 

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Thanks for the correction.   Yes,  it was RKO that Ann fooled into believing she was 18 when she was only 13. 

I wonder if there were studio bosses at the time who liked being fooled, because they liked 13 year old girls. 

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What amazes me about Ann Miller's performance in EASTER PARADE (aside from her tremendous talent as a tap dancer...and being one of the few screen dancing ladies who did her own singing!) is that she performed all her musical numbers in a back brace. Prior to filming she had been thrown down a flight of stairs by her intoxicated husband, causing her to break her back and lose the child she was carrying. 

 

Her back muscles had not completely healed when the she was cast at the last minute to replace an injured Cyd Charisse in EP, so she wore the back brace throughout the film's production. I'm sure there were days when she must have been in agony, but you'd never know it from her performance. What a trouper!

 

And it paid off, obviously, when MGM kept her under contract, though I sometimes wish they'd given her a musical "lead" rather than her zesty supporting roles.  She also got some fine notices for EASTER PARADE, including this one from THE NEW YORK TIMES:

 

 

 

Although Judy Garland gets the top billing, she also gets some stiff competition from the long-legged Ann Miller, who does an especially graceful ballroom dance with the master. Miss Garland is a competent trouper, nimble on her feet and professionally sound vocally, but somehow we feel that Miss Miller pairs better with Astaire.

 

 

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Tommy Tune tried to bring Easter Parade to the stage but failed.   White Christmas was tried but it wasn't so wonderful as the movie.  I would recommend Tommy Tune to try again or anyone else willing, NOT to stage the film as it was but create a new book and keep all the songs.

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It came and went again this year and I watched it as usual. And as usual, I involuntarily groaned at a few of the costuming choices. Has this ever bothered anyone else? I know there was an attempt to depict period styles, but that one brown and pink number with the little flaps in front which Judy wears to dinner at Fred's apartment makes me want to avert my eyes. And that stiff brown thing with all the buttons she wears to the rehearsal hall? The clumps of daisies on the "Snookie-Ookums" dress? Even Ann Miller's spectacular "Shakin' the Blues Away" features that strange lurid yellow oufit that converts from skirt to train, with the incongruous black stockings with some kind of fleur-de-lis motif, and the long black gloves. And what's with those black feathers in her hair? Lose the stockings and gloves and try it in a more restful shade, I say. Obviously, I'm joking, but there does seem to be a fairly long list of iffy choices. And the makeup is different than in any other MGM movie I can think of, with a kind of orange-ish cast to it. None of this is enough to thwart my enjoyment of this classic..one of my favorite movies ever.. but every year I get little twinges when I see some of the old familiar costumes.

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If there is ever a remake have  Nadine, the star,be told her brother  just sank with the 1912 Titanic.  Grief striken she can't go on and Judy's character takes her place..

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This year it's being shown in the primo time slot, 8 PM on Sunday, April 1. Personally, I'd rather watch it in the afternoon. I imagine it will conflict with the airing of the mammoth Ten Commandments but the only commandment I know for sure I'll be obeying is "Thou shalt watch Judy, Fred and Ann on Easter Sunday".

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2 hours ago, DougieB said:

This year it's being shown in the primo time slot, 8 PM on Sunday, April 1. Personally, I'd rather watch it in the afternoon. I imagine it will conflict with the airing of the mammoth Ten Commandments but the only commandment I know for sure I'll be obeying is "Thou shalt watch Judy, Fred and Ann on Easter Sunday".

It seems to always get the prime time slot on Easter Sunday evening.

This is not a complaint, just an observation!

It was originally released on the last day of June in 1948. 

TCM typically does not play it in June nor does it seem to play it at any other time of the year. It's practically become a once a year event on the channel.

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20 hours ago, TopBilled said:

It seems to always get the prime time slot on Easter Sunday evening.

This is not a complaint, just an observation!

It was originally released on the last day of June in 1948. 

 

At least that's a guarantee we see it once a year. Interesting about the release date. The movie is only Easter-y at the beginning and the end but it makes an easy way to categorize it, like Holiday Inn seems to be categorized as a Christmas movie when the variety of the musical numbers should make it interesting at any time of year. (Of course in the case of Easter Parade the title makes the association more specific.)   

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2 hours ago, DougieB said:

At least that's a guarantee we see it once a year. Interesting about the release date. The movie is only Easter-y at the beginning and the end but it makes an easy way to categorize it, like Holiday Inn seems to be categorized as a Christmas movie when the variety of the musical numbers should make it interesting at any time of year. (Of course in the case of Easter Parade the title makes the association more specific.)   

Yes, the title relegates it to annual broadcasts. 

In the same way films about Ireland only seem to air in March.

Incidentally, CHRISTMAS IN CONNECTICUT which gets trotted out every December was originally released in the middle of August, in 1945.

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21 hours ago, TopBilled said:

Yes, the title relegates it to annual broadcasts. 

In the same way films about Ireland only seem to air in March.

Incidentally, CHRISTMAS IN CONNECTICUT which gets trotted out every December was originally released in the middle of August, in 1945.

I remember hearing that Miracle on 34th Street was released in the summer too, which means that the movies mentioned probably would have been out of even the second-run movie houses by the time Christmas rolled around. Strange marketing by today's standards, but I suppose it wasn't until television started special programming around the holidays that the idea started to make more sense.

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On 2/26/2018 at 5:48 AM, DougieB said:

I remember hearing that Miracle on 34th Street was released in the summer too, which means that the movies mentioned probably would have been out of even the second-run movie houses by the time Christmas rolled around. Strange marketing by today's standards, but I suppose it wasn't until television started special programming around the holidays that the idea started to make more sense.

Yes, the original 1947 version of MIRACLE ON 34TH STREET was released in June of that year. Of course the 1994 remake was released right before Thanksgiving so Fox could exploit the Christmas holiday season. If the studio had released it in June, it probably would have flopped.

What's interesting is how movie-goers in the 40s embraced holiday-themed films year round, and not just when they would be more "timely."

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