Jump to content

 
Search In
  • More options...
Find results that contain...
Find results in...
Sign in to follow this  
bobhopefan1940

~ The Sand Man ~ (Fred Astaire Favorites)

Recommended Posts

Wow, I think FA bears a striking resemblance to the original Vernon, don't you think? Do you know what date those were?

 

The movie probably speaks for itself, but I was curious if the Castles' story played out a good deal of time before the movie or around the same time.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The Castles met in 1910 (the movie has them meeting in 1911), and Irene soon had a small part in "The Hen Pecks," the show in which Vernon did the barber shop skit with Lew Fields. The movie plays up the idea that Irene didn't like Vernon doing slapstick like that, but he actually was rather a comedic dancer, too--even for a time after they began dancing together. Incredibly, Vernon was almost 6 feet tall and weighed 118 pounds, so he was a couple inches taller than Astaire while even thinner! This stringbean gangly leggedness is part of the reason he played comedy parts, but he also was extremely graceful.

 

I'll have to hit Irene's book to give you more exact dates, but I do know they were about at the peak of their popularity when they made a movie called The Whirl of Life in 1915. I've seen it--there is a copy at The Museum of Modern Art--and it is such fun. Although the speed is fast by our standards, you can tell how beautifully smooth and elegant the two were together. Despite Vernon's gawky looks, he comes across as most gallant and almost Nicholas Cage-like in a the movie, which has a real "Perils of Pauline" type of plot, complete with Irene getting kidnapped and having to be rescued by Vernon and his faithful German Shepherd, Tell!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi !

Thanks for all the info.

I did watch the film last night (not that I needed an excuse to do so) and as has been pointed out, Irene puts her gloves back on after the dancing.

Isn't it odd that this is reckoned to be the least favourite of the Fred and Ginger movies with the critics and some of their fans. I just adore it and rate it as one of their best ! The last dance is awesome and so balletic and sensual that I can watch it without the music in 1/8th speed and cannot fault it. Also, F & G seemed to have enjoyed their dancing (their smiles are so genuine) more in this film than any of the previous ones. Maybe it is because they knew that it would be their last film together (well for at least ten years !). They look so much more relaxed and F does not seem to be bother with the fur sleeves that G wears (infact he makes a point of showing them up for her !).

I heard that Irene Castle upset Ginger when she objected to the hair style and said that hers was much shorter at the time. Eventually the producer sent Mrs.Castle off to do some charity work advertise the film ! If that is the case, it would partly explain why F & G enjoyed freedom to express themselves without constant interference.

There is no doubt that FA looked like Vernon and he had seen them dance so was well acquainted with their style.

As an aside: notice F on the verge of "cracking-up" when he says to G "I don't feel too rosy myself" (just before their first dance at the theatre and before Walter makes them sit down again). What happened, I wonder ! :)

Anyway, thanks for the great photos, really like them.

 

Kind regards,

Julie :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi all:

 

I just watched A Damsel In Distress and it was fantastic! FA was so hot in this one... :P Loved him! He was the most adorable in the scene where she comes back to apologize for slapping him. Gracie Allen and George Burns were wonderful as usual... They have such great chemistry to me!

The dancing was incredible! Especially the scene where the floors move... Awesome. You know, I thought George and Gracie did quite well with the dancing, I've never seen them dance before. FA was great on the drums at the end!

A few questions for The Queen or anyone else who cares to take a stab at obscure FA trivia. Did FA like to play the drums? I mean, was it a past time of his. I remember you saying he played the piano. And... The first scene with the chorus (that he jokingly joins into) - Was his voice dubbed by someone else there? I know on the latter performances it sounds like FA but I just wasn't sure on that first performance.

 

It appeared to me alot of this movie was shot outside (especially the first half), but I don't have a good perception about those things.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi, Danny. FA indeed loved playing the drums--you probably know that he also incorporates it with dance numbers in Easter Parade and Daddy Long Legs. He showed his drum kit to Edward R. Murrow during a "Person to Person" interview in the late 1950s, and he also plays them during his 1955 appearance on "I've Got a Secret." Fred's secret was "I'm going to play the drums while Garry Moore (the host of the show) dances." (And Garry proves to be a hysterically funny eccentric dancer.)

 

Astaire's daughter says that he sometimes stored the trap set in the bathtub to get it out of the way of guests!

 

Gracie Allen grew up dancing on stage with her three sisters, and their style was much influenced by Irish folk dances.

 

I also love the scene where he cautiously lets Joan come into the cabin, and she tries to explain the mix-up to him. I don't know that his singing was dubbed at any point, but I suppose it is possible. Somewhere on the boards I think some folks were discussing who does the singing for the three ladies who apparently render "Nice Work if You Can Get It," but I can't remember what well-known group they said was doing the singing. Jack Burley may recall.

 

That's a great question about where the castle exteriors were filmed. IMDb doesn't give a filming location, but it sure looks like they took some shots of a real castle, doesn't it?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi, Danny !

I am so happy that you liked "Damsel In Distress". TCM...please show it in the UK !

In addition to the info that Ayres has given, I can add one very small contribution and it is this: FA also played the accordian (you may already know this). What a great man. Is there any musical instrument that he could not play if he wished to !

I want "Roberta" to be shown so that I can have all ten of the FA and GR movies. There was a real chemistry between these two and maybe some of his future leading ladies were better dancers, GR had that mysterious "X Factor" which showed FA at his best. If I had to chose from the FA movies only one, it would have to be one that has GR in it !

 

Kind regards,

Julie :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks so much for the info on Fred! This is just a wonderful community of people here, thanks for taking the time to answer my questions!

 

Yes, this movie was fab. I dare to say it is one of my favorite FA movies... I did not know he played the accordion! How awesome... I love guys who play the accordion. It is such an unusual instrument, love all this info on FA!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

"Flying Down To Rio"... it was FA who was actually playing the accordian. I think Benny Green was told by FA that he could play quite a number of musical instruments but that he just loved the drums. He liked to tap along with his playing (he did the same, quite often, with the piano...never mind the pedals, he would use his feather feet instead).

 

Kind regards,

Julie :)

 

PS: I am going to put the "Carefree" DVD on in a mo so I will be in a world of my own !

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Ayres, that's the Stafford Sisters (Jo and her two older sisters) doing the singing on "Nice Work".

 

 

 

> Somewhere on the boards I think some folks were

> discussing who does the singing for the three ladies

> who apparently render "Nice Work if You Can Get It,"

> but I can't remember what well-known group they said

> was doing the singing.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thank you so much! I should have remembered that, as I adore Jo Stafford (in The Pied Pipers and solo). I never even knew she sang with her sisters before those careers.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

QA - thanks for straightening me out on Jenkins and FA - I'm not that great at studios/directors but am learning! I just love Jenkins - espcially with Zasu. Enough about him - back to Fred!

 

I agree with you Julie - I'd pick any movie with Ginger over the others - they just fascinate me. My least favorite it the Story of Vernon and Irene C. I like it all just fine - right up till the ending! I do appreciate it for its value in reuniting them and also telling the real Castle's moving story. I loved the photos of them - talk about another place and time!

 

I hope you don't mind my jumping into these conversations once a week or so - that's all the time I can seem to find lately but this has become my favorite thread.

 

"Cuffs? Ah whoever heard of cuffs on pants like these?"

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

QA - thanks for straightening me out on Jenkins and FA - I'm not that great at studios/directors but am learning! I just love Jenkins - espcially with Zasu. Enough about him - back to Fred!

 

I agree with you Julie - I'd pick any movie with Ginger over the others - they just fascinate me. My least favorite it the Story of Vernon and Irene C. I like it all just fine - right up till the ending! I do appreciate it for its value in reuniting them and also telling the real Castle's moving story. I loved the photos of them - talk about another place and time!

 

I hope you don't mind my jumping into these conversations once a week or so - that's all the time I can seem to find lately but this has become my favorite thread.

 

"Cuffs? Ah whoever heard of cuffs on pants like these?"

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi, One and All !

I had a marathon nighter and early morning with FA ! Ten glorious hours and six films later and I am not in the slightest bit tired. Actually there were three of us glued to the TV and munching crisps (chips), peanuts and apples and shouting "Isn't he gorgeous ?" !! :) We will be doing the same on Friday !

Bob Hope: nice pose and FA is about the same height. Love the "Flying Down To Rio" photo.

In the Intro to "Carefree" a close-up of Ava showed the same eye colouring to her fab. daddy (even though they look blue before closing in and inspecting them). She talked about the golf dance (that took three days to shoot) and the 10,000 balls used and that no ball was further than 8ft apart when they were collected ...accuracy the trademark of this extraordinary gentleman. Love it when he lifts Ginger in the hypnotizing dance....oh, love every scene he has ever appeared in, period ! ;)

Cannot wait for the next quiz (probably Queen Ayres has real tough teasers up her sleeve !).

 

Kind regards,

Julie :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Mifty said:

 

> I had a marathon nighter and early morning with FA

> ! Ten glorious hours and six films later and I am

> not in the slightest bit tired. Actually there were

> three of us glued to the TV and munching crisps

> (chips), peanuts and apples and shouting "Isn't he

> gorgeous ?" !! :) We will be doing the same on

> Friday !

 

Holy cr*p, Julie! Ten hours?? Geez, you got it BAD for Mr. Astaire... ;) But I love you for it. I just think his smile is the cutest thing, and such a sweet attitude. How could you not love him, really?

 

BIRDY said:

 

> I hope you don't mind my jumping into these

> conversations once a week or so - that's all the time

> I can seem to find lately but this has become my

> favorite thread.

 

BIRDY, shame on you for having a life other than these boards! lol As you can tell, I have very little life ;) We love anytime you can get on here and you have a free pass to join in anywhere you please!

 

bhf1940

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Julie, a six-film FA marathon sounds marvelous! :)

 

I've been considering a 10-movie marathon with the Ultimate DVD set, but I'd probably spread it over two days.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yep, it is me again !

I wish I had the complete 10 films of FA and GR, but "Roberta" is missing and I cannot wait for it to appear on TCM in GB.

FA's smile is to die for. He is so cute and boyish when he smiles that my feet turn to jelly. Do I have it bad ? Oh, yes ! This man is the most handsome and adorable there could be; how can any woman not be smitten by him...he also oozes with charisma.

I wish I could join you in a ten nighter (thank goodness for you I cannot....you would not like me shouting "Look at him, aaaahh!" !). For me, he is the most graceful gent I have EVER seen on film and I will always refer to him in the present.

Will make a list for our next session and get all our snacks ready, snuggle in my very comfy armchair on the day and be whisked of to "Heaven, I'm in Heaven....." !

 

Very Kind Regards,

Julie :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

> FA's smile is to die for. He is so cute and boyish

> when he smiles that my feet turn to jelly. Do I have

> it bad ? Oh, yes ! This man is the most handsome and

> adorable there could be; how can any woman not be

> smitten by him...he also oozes with charisma.

> I wish I could join you in a ten nighter (thank

> goodness for you I cannot....you would not like me

> shouting "Look at him, aaaahh!" !). For me, he is

> the most graceful gent I have EVER seen on film and

> I will always refer to him in the present.

> Will make a list for our next session and get all our

> snacks ready, snuggle in my very comfy armchair on

> the day and be whisked of to "Heaven, I'm in

> Heaven....." !

 

Yes, you have it VERY bad for Mr. Astaire! LOL ;)

 

Look, I was watching Damsel In Distress again last night (was showing it to a friend of mine) and caught alot of Gracie's jokes I didn't catch the first go 'round.

 

(she reads a sign on the table in the big castle during the tour) It reads: DO NOT FINGER ART OBJECTS.

Gracie: "If I were art, I'd object, too!" (laugh histerically then stops) "I don't get it..."

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Sign in to follow this  

© 2019 Turner Classic Movies Inc. A Time Warner Company. All Rights Reserved Terms of Use | Privacy Policy
×
×
  • Create New...