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Fred & Ginger

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About Fred & Ginger

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  1. This is a beautiful song and I think Streisand does it so well here. If it was "belted out" I'd say it would lose a lot of what you see. The intimacy, the vulnerability would be gone and so would the softness of her character. And I like how there's a distance between them here as she sings the song as well. You see the chasm that is widening between them, that they both want different things. The fact that Fanny is off on her own, on the stairs, seems to say that she knows she could lose him. Yet the song still has her yearning to be w/him and to be close to him. It's a very interesting dynam
  2. I saw Gaslight about a year or two ago so I'll give it a go on comparing them. The idea of the male controlling the female is definitely predominant in both films just in different ways. In Gaslight, Charles Boyer as the husband is trying to make his wife go mad, and here in My Fair Lady we have Rex Harrison trying to mold Audrey Hepburn's Eliza into someone she's not. The idea of light and shadow I believe was also showcased in Gaslight, as Ingrid Bergman's character was continuing her descent into madness. Eliza herself seems absolutely despondent here as the scene opens. Her grief is
  3. I think that as time went on into the 1960s we began to see that there were different types of masculinity across the spectrum. The idea of "alpha" and "beta" were not the only types to be considered. Audiences began to see more layers to a man than had ever been seen before. Man was now more complex and multi-faceted and so was their masculinity. Robert Preston is truly fantastic. I hope to see him in other films as I've only ever seen The Music Man and always thought he was stupendous in it. He is a very articulate performer who pulls you in to the point that you don't want to let go.
  4. I feel like we are looking back here to the time of the "backstage" musical where we are putting a show but the idea seems quite different. We have Mama Rose, who wants her child to be the star (obvious nepotism at play) and wants to see only her succeed whether she's talented or not. The choice of song for the child is also rather suspect and seems more like a novelty than a true performance. Mama Rose is quite forward and basically takes over the direction the minute she steps into the theater. She is bold and brazen basically walking all over the director. It's evident who is in charge from
  5. I would say yes, mainly because if there was realism throughout the film and then you dive into a fantasy sequence it appears jarring, out of place. Now mixing a little realism into the fantasy wouldn't make it so bad and the transition itself would feel more seamless and smooth. I feel like there is more fantasy in this film due to the main idea of Jerry's relationship w/Lise. The very idea of their relationship feels like a fantasy as Lise is engaged more or less to Henri. Now once we get to the party, we see little bits of reality thrown in at the break-up of the two relationships. Then at
  6. Throughout the number the one thing that stood out was how each character here is represented: Don is the student learning dutifully from the teacher, the Professor himself is the straight man, and Cosmo is the comic relief. Before the dancing starts Don is the one learning this difficult rhyme while the Professor tries to listen and Cosmo is clowning in the background. This seems to translate into the number as Cosmo really seems to be having a ball, Don is a touch more serious while still having fun, and the Professor is watching off to the side. I've always thought of the straight man
  7. I think that Calamity Jane seems to fall somewhere in between when talking about female representation. She's trying in ways to become more feminine and attractive but at the same time continues to retain those stronger characteristics of independence and energy. Doris Day does a fabulous job of blending these two ideals together which is evident in "Secret Love". Jane is a touch softer now and sweet while still keeping the vitality and passion at the forefront. As I have only seen a few of Day's films I can't quite comment on how she grows as an actress during the 1950s. The films that
  8. In this clip, it truly felt like the four of them were making a collaborative effort in this number. Not one person stood out, and everybody each got there own time to shine in form or another. They were all equals in figuring out how to create a show. The costumes even showed it, as each person was wearing something that didn't stand out. The colors all seemed much more neutral, like Lily's gray dress and Jeffrey's blue jacket. I found it rather interesting that though this was a collaborative effort, Fred Astaire seemed to hang back for most of this number and the others were at the forefron
  9. Bill "Bojangles" Robinson is definitely on my list. He was without a doubt the best tap dancer of his time, if not all time. It's amazing for me to think now that I'm older that this man was doing amazing work like this in his 60s and he's just as nimble, quick, and graceful as someone half his age, perhaps more so! And I loved seeing his work w/Shirley Temple. They were so sweet and charming together. Donald O'Connor is another good one. He easily matched Gene Kelly in Singing in the Rain from Fit as a Fiddle to the Moses Number. Plus Make 'Em Laugh was really a tour de force of his com
  10. You can definitely see the love and the intimacy between Petunia and Little Joe when she sings this number. The focus is entirely on them. I love how her hand is gently resting right below Little Joe's chin throughout the first part of the number and how eventually his hand comes up to meet hers. There is a change in how Ethel Waters handles the number. In the first part her love and devotion to Little Joe is on full display along with her gratitude that he is okay. Then when the shot switches to her folding laundry it seems more lighthearted and carefree. She seems more relaxed and happy. But
  11. I feel like with each shot we see exactly what we need to see of the action throughout the musical number. The camera pans out so we can see long shots like the tossing of the baseball, them running up the bleachers, and the slide down the railing at the end of the number. Then we have close-ups where there's touching, the knocking on the bleachers, the finger that Betty points back and forth between them, etc. And the number is also seamlessly put together by the editing so there are no cuts, no jumping and we feel each moment smoothly transition into the next. The soundtrack to me kind
  12. Like everyone I'm sure has already mentioned, the first film that ever exposed me to the wonderfully talented Judy Garland was The Wizard of Oz. Sometimes I think it was simply an unwritten law that you had to see The Wizard of Oz as a child. Anyway, I remember as a young child even being captivated by Judy's beauty, youth, and innocence in this film. I don't believe that I truly began to appreciate her dazzling talent though until I saw Meet Me in St. Louis somewhere in my teenage years I believe. There I just fell in love w/her charming personality, though we also saw a feisty side to her wh
  13. In the first few minutes of this film, the ideas of patriotism loom large from the portraits of former Presidents on the stairs to the flags in the Oval Office, to the parade on July 4th in the flashback. The dialogue also promotes it, showing Cohan's love and pride of his country, Cohan's mention of "always carrying a flag" stands out the most. Opening with the July 4th Parade I think would change and/or dampen the message of patriotism coming from the film. Seeing Cohan coming to the Oval Office means something and shows how important the love of his country is to him. His talking to the val
  14. I'd say Cyd Charisse without a doubt. The number "Dancing In The Dark" from The Band Wagon was absolutely fantastic. And Judy Garland as well. They only worked together in Easter Parade but the impact is obvious.
  15. As you can see by my name, I'm naturally a huge fan of Fred and Ginger. And this film in particular is a favorite of mine. I like how it shows them both on a more equal footing, something that really wasn't seen in other musical films prior to this. In the first part of this clip, I noticed for the first time Ginger's facial expressions as Fred is singing to her. She has this look of like 'Oh really, you think you can charm me? Think again.' But, Fred is persistent and begins to dance. The surprise I think here is how well she can match him, step for step. It's fascinating. I love how they see
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