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The Beguine

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About The Beguine

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  1. 2. I thought the muted dialogue behind the closed doors to open the scene was almost a "demonstration" of what could be done with sound dynamics as the voices increased in volume as the door opens. 3. A depression era theme was the bilking of the rich - done with joyous abandon is "GD of 33" when Polly and Trixie take the men "for a ride" by railroading them into paying the COD for their hats. Brings back memories. MC in "Love Parade" bilks the husband out of his "French valuables".
  2. #2. YES I have seen Eddy and Mac in just about all their pieces. I disagree with the hackneyed assessment of Eddy as "stiff" or not "relaxed". Bosh! He was a professional opera singer - not beginners like Mac - who had a charming but woefully under-trained voice...which she remedied her whole life with continued vocal training - a great shame it was too late to be captured forever on film with Eddy - oh the might-have-beens... His understated, witty and sophisticated style is all one could ask for in grand opera translated to film, i.e. "operetta". Also a great comic as in "The Chocolate Soldier". His incredible rendition of "Neath the Southern Moon" in Naughty Marietta showcases his lush, rich, sexy, astonishing technically satisfying baritone. LOVE the final Russian opera in "Maytime"...Grand Opera! (You guessed it - I was raised on opera) For MAC - when she is given a piano as a gift in "Girl of the Golden West" and reprises the classical Liebestraum - it is as though all those rough gold miners in the entire room are translated to paradise...not to be missed...Oh!
  3. I certainly can't add to what has already been said in previous posts. 1. The display of opulence was a motif in depression media to hold out the hope that wealth or even just income might be possible in the future. The visual closeup of the flowers and ribbon, the clothing, the set design and the opulence of Anna Held's dressing room are symbolic of this hope. You will see the same motif in the interiors for Ginger Rogers hotel rooms, her wardrobe, furs, cars, etc.
  4. Being a dancer...to me "Broadway Melody of 1940" upstages all others. This quintessential backstage musical contains the stand alone virtuoso dance number of all time - "Begin the Beguine". Most viewers credit the final tap sequence as the star piece - ONLY Fred and Eleanor could have performed this piece - no one else then or since - NO ONE - had the technical virtuosity to do it - and with their shoulders down! BUT - the bolero section that precedes it is breathtaking in its subtlety - the control of center the choreography requires and the sublime elegance of the arms and hands escapes most watchers - and from a choreographer no one has heard of!! At last Eleanor was able to show her real talent instead of her circus pony act!! Then add the spectacular black and white set - (color would detract )- and costumes..I could go on and on... Being an English Major my next delight and satisfaction is "My Fair Lady" The Library! Books from floor to ceiling!! But the story of Pygmalion is the underlying desire of mankind to be transformed into something they are not...but it must be something higher...improved...darkness to light....born again...and the English language the modus....the music is great...but the script!
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