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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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I agree that the costumes and hairstyles, for that matter, are fairly awful in this movie.

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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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