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~ The Sand Man ~ (Fred Astaire Favorites)

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That's the only one I know of (the one you mentioned)...

But if anyone would know, it would be Ayres! He means it

when he says ask him any question, his knowledge of mr.

Astaire is more than adequate, I can asure you! Did you

say your favorite of the Astaire/Rogers musicals?

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Hi, bobhopefan !

Thanks for the photo. Yep, that is the one.

I shall await for Ayres to come up with something....I am sure he will.

OK, OK ! If I am pressed hard enough I would claim "The Vernon and Irene Castle Story" as my favourite Fred Astaire movie for the many different types of dances performed, for the story itself and for sentimental reasons. I still think that the dance Vernon has with his uniform on is a masterpiece (ranked with Dancing in the Park with Cyd in "Bandwagon).

My favourite line: "In cold blood ?" ("The Barkleys of Broadway": when Ginger asks him to hit her with her heeled slipper as a **** for tat). No, I cannot really swear that that is the BEST line, but it sure makes me laugh !

ALL the lines FA delivered were perfectly done.

Has anyone noticed that there are quite a number of scenes in his movies where he is on the verge of cracking up ? I will give you one: after Judy Garland tells him that she cannot tell the difference between left and right; he eventually covers his mouth but you know that they must have had great fun with the takes. Loads of other ones (in s...l...o...m...o) for those who love being "there at the time" ! Come on, guys, I am sure you can come up with loads more.

Love chatting with you.

Kind regards,


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I just love the fact that Astaire always looks so very charming (always smiles)

when he dances with his partners. I still just love his facial expressions

in "Snookiookums" from Easter Parade. My mother says he looks like the

grumpy tv doc "House" when he has the 'tramp' make-up on. Anyone know what

I'm talking about?

I love to watch Fred Astaire move... Not just when he is dancing, but just walking.

I watch the placement of his feet and every movement seems to be thought out.

The only other performer I've seen who reminds me of this is Bing Crosby. Gene

Kelly seems to me to be just the opposite... That's why I like to call Kelly a

"hoofer" and Astaire a "dancer". :D


Oh, did Astaire look like he gained weight in Easter Parade, in your oppinion?



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Dear Mifty and Danny,


I love the movie Carefree, too--it's just so romantic. I've a user comment on it on the IMDb under the name cnb, if you'd like to read it: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0029971/usercomments?filter=chrono


Just so you'll know--I'm more properly Ms. Ayres rather than Mr., and I'm co-moderator of a discussion forum on Astaire. I love seeing this thread here, but if you'd also like to join the group, just visit http://movies.groups.yahoo.com/group/astaire/


My favorite Astaire movie is a lesser-known one called The Sky's the Limit. Speaking of those moments when he seems about to crack up, there are a couple of those in it--one when he tells Joan Leslie a (second) fake name and then laughingly "corrects" it, and one when she tells him that her suitor compared her to a fish in the middle of a proposal (inside reference to Robert Benchley, there). Fred says to her, "Maybe you don't give him the right cues." There is something really adorable about the way he says it.


I think Ginger was a wonderful actress and undeniably she had a special spark with Fred. But I also particularly love the movies in which he dances with Rita Hayworth and Cyd Charisse.


Best wishes,


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Terribly sorry, Ayres, for mistaking you for a "he". My sincere apologies.

Thanks for the great photo.

I started a long(ish) reply, but unfortunately it somehow got mislaid.

Thanks, I will join the sites recommended and carry on here aswell. You are really great and I enjoy your company.

Kind regards,


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Thanks for the tip re: postings, bobhopefan.

There was something in my mislaid message and it is about being on the verge of cracking-up in the FA movies. In the "Vernon and Irene Castle Story", we see Vernon and his wife sitting and waiting to show their first dance on stage; Irene says she is nervous and Vernon tells her: " I don't feel to rosy myself". Look at his face when he says that (better in slomo). I wonder what he was thinking of at the time !

I just watched "An American In Paris" and was not at all impressed with it. Why ? The music is dull and the dancing could have been performed by just about any good dancer. Nothing sticks out as memorable. Had FA walked past in a scene, he would have made it his movie....that was the charisma that Kelly lacked.

Anyway, I will put on "Top Hat" and that will make up for lost time !

See you later.

Kind regards,


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I'll have to watch Vernon & Irene Castle again, didn't care much for it the first time I saw it...

I think I'll take another look. Isn't this the one where Astaire dies at the end? :(


Look out, my perception of Kelly:


I was disappointed by An American In Paris, too. I was expecting something much more

after all the hype I'd heard about it. I thought it lacked some imagination, and the ending sequence

was TOO LONG. I know alot of people would probably kill me for saying that, because for most

that is the highlight of the film.

The highlight for me was Gene Kelly's dance with the children, where he teaches them English words

while tapping. I always love to see Kelly dance with or around children. I saw Living In A Big Way

for the first time last night, and loved the scene where he danced with the children... He seems

to have a natural talent with them.

I always thought Kelly was a good dancer, no better place to see his talent than in Singin' In the Rain.

Still, even there Donald O'Connor out-shines him (and out-dances him, IMO). I actually like him in

more dramatic roles (i.e. And The Devil Makes Three) but enjoy his foolery as well. He was a gorgeous

fella, and plays the romantic very well.


But Fred just was a natural, and Kelly just didn't come off that way. Kelly looks like he worked

himself to the bone to become a dancer, where it came like breathing to Mr. Astaire. I love

Kelly as well, but Astaire will always have much more charm and ability.

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Hi,bobhopefan !

Yes, that film is where Vernon dies. It is very under-rated, but I think it is just fabulous. Ginger's acting is pretty good in this film. As for Fred......GREAT as usual !

I agree with you, bhf, about Gene and children. Maybe his acrobatics helped. I, too, found the ending far to long and somewhat boring. "Anchors Aweigh" was good with the tango bit and dancing with Jerry ! Is it me or what ? I just cannot visualize Kelly dancing AND looking chic. Fred could wear a tablecloth (he did in "Swing Time") and still look charming......that is what is called charisma.

Have you seen Fred and Kelly dance together in "The Ziegfeld Follies" ? Who looks like a REAL dancer....no effort, no frills, funny but with grace. Kelly was funny and that's it ! That dance routine showed who was the better of the two in all aspects.

Have a GREAT NEW YEAR and I hope you will enjoy the film second time round.

Kind regards,


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I figured since the margins were already screwed up in this thread, I would do them

in for good! Mifty, I think it's safe to say you have it pretty good for Mr. Astaire! He

must be your favorite actor of all time. I posted some of my favorite pictures, I know

many have already seen them...


I have Ziegfeld Follies on dvd... I've only seen the first half of it but I have to

take another look! I did not know Astaire and Kelly danced together. I knew they

were in it together, but not dancing together! I'm looking forward to taking another



OH, Happy New Year to Mifty, Ayres, and all the wonderful people here! Much love

and happiness in the coming year! 2007 :)



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Thanks, Danny. The photo's are absolutely great.

I think Fred Astaire and Sir Alec Guinness rate as my favourite actors. Each had a lovely smile and twingling eyes, but Mr.Astaire had that extra bit of charisma.

Yes, Astaire and Kelly did dance together and were a great duo in "The Ziegfeld Follies". It was fun watching them "getting at each other" in the nicest way. It is when the dancing starts that one immediately notices the grace that is lacking in Kelly. Mr.Astaire effortlessly does the routine as if it was an every day event, just simply flows (or floats) through it while Kelly seems to labour and seems heavy and not graceful at all.

I have made a New Year resolution: watch a FA film once a week and again in slomo for the dancing. Unfortunately, I do not have all that many of his films which means doing a full circle when the last film is played ! It really is a pity that half of his films are unavailable to me. Are the American DVDs playable on our system in the UK ? If so, I will try and get as many as possible. I know that our VHS is Region 2 (anyway, VHS is passe now) and the only one I have on tape is "The Ziegfeld Follies" which was a present from a dear friend for Xmas this year.

How does one save photo's ? Are they copyright restricted ? The ones kindly shown are a treasure. If I cannot save them, I will return time and time again to look at them !

Will chat again.

Kind regards,


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Hi Mifty!


I'm not sure if dvd-r's (if that's what you mean) are

region restricted... I don't think so. eBay sells some

Region 2 dvds here and there, I should know I have

bought a few by accident! Hmmm... I don't know if the

sell the new Astaire/Rogers set of 10 in Region 2. I

might check eBay and see what they offer.


Glad you liked the photos! I'm not computer savvy... And

I'm not sure what kind of computer you have, but I hope

I can help any how. What I do is right click while

pointing over the photo on the screen. This should show

a list of options where your mouse is pointing, you

click the one that says "save picture as". This should

bring up a window that shows a place somewhere in your

personal computer... You can type in what you want to

file to be saved as (what you want the file's name to

be) then click "save". This should do the trick. But I

am working with Windows XP... So I am not ultimately

sure the specifics of what you have to do.


Tell us what happens... I hope you can save them on your

computer. It's alot of fun making wallpapers and things

like that! The photos are copyright, I'm sure; but I

think you won't have a problem if you don't use them

publicly or sell them.


Can't wait to watch "Ziegfeld Follies" again! I recorded

it originally for William Powell... :x



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Thanks again, Danny, for helping me ! I saved as per instructions you gave....I the photos saved now ( to look at and not for any other reason). Yep, Windows XP. I am not all that good with computers either !

I sure hope you enjoy FA and GK.

Any more photo's ? Or am I being too greedy ?

DVDs are so much better than videos. The quality is superior and the ease of "Chapters" as opposed to rewinding is a great convenience, don't you think ? I am looking for "Three Little Words" and "Yolanda and the Thief", but without much luck. Not to worry, TCM might show the films (unless I have missed them !).

Does anyone know what has happened to Fred Jnr ? (Well, he must be getting on now if he was born in 1936 !) He did look a lot like his famous father in the photo shown here. It is such a pity that children of great stars very seldom follow in their parents footsteps. On the otherhand, it is a known fact that a talent may skip a few generations !

Kind regards,


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Oh, Mifty... Have I got a website for you! And you can never be too greedy for

photos ;)


All the photos I posted here were scaled down versions from here:




And here:




This is the site all classic film buffs need to visit!

It's like the holy grail of classic film pictures...

When you visit the homepage ( doctormacro.com ) you just

go to "galleries" and look up the last name of the film

star you want to see photos of! Fabulous site... But it

may take you a while to download them because the files

are so huge. I tell people if they like they can count

the pores on Cary Grant's face, the pics are so detailed.


You can save the pics the same manner, when you click

the thumbnail they enlarge and once they come up in a

different window (just repeat the instructions I gave

you here).


I have never seen Yolanda And The Thief, but I

hear it is very good. Do you have a dvd-r then? I'm

obsessed with recording the movies off of Turner.





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Are the American DVDs playable on our system in the UK ?


Can't give a definite answer (since I live in the US!), but I'm assuming it's the reverse of our situation. US/Canada/Japan use the NTSC video system; Britain uses PAL (similar to SECAM for rest of Europe, I understand). IF you have a multi-region player (and some machines can be made such through software manipulation, called "hacking" by some), then you can play pretty much anything. I have an AIWA that was bought for the purpose (in other words, someone made a quick-change to it and charged for that), but the Koss machine I bought cheaply from Sears plays Region 2 (and others, supposedly) with no problem after entering a code I found on a video forum online.


Warning: Some machines (and some DVD drives for computers) can be adapted only so many times before they lock. Mine are permanently fixed for multi, but some give 10 or 25 times and then could become basically useless. Know your machine! I think that may be about as much as I should post here about "fixing" machines, though.


Sorry about so many parentheses!


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Hi BHF! Sorry to "segue" here but I wondered if you caught Bing's movie yesterday, Man on Fire? Lots of people think his work in The Country Girl was his best acting but I think it was in this underrated movie about child custody. His character is so complicated---dark and light and difficult to like but at the same time you sympathize with him so much. I really enjoyed it.


Miss G

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Hi,bhf !

Thanks...saved loads from the sites you gave me.

I watched "Second Chorus" and was really disappointed. This must be FA worse film. Maybe it is because I am not a big jazz fan. However, Goddard was no match for him and the plot was stale. Where was the dancing ? Yes, FA tapped as he orchestrated, I know, but it just was not really his movie...it was more about Dorsey and the chap with the mandolin ! I never thought I would dislike a FA movie, but with this one....I did ! TCM made up for it with "Easter Parade" ....GREAT ! Pity Judy Garland never made another movie with FA; they were terrific together.

Still looking around for "Three Little Words" and "Yolanda and the Thief".

Hey ho, back to my photos I go !

Kind regards,


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Oh, very much looking forward to seeing Man On Fire

tonight. I recorded both Crosby films yesterday and

opted to watch the one where Tone co-stars first.

Here Comes The Groom - Did you see that one? (A

little odd in spots, but overall not too bad) An aging

Franchot Tone was the major highlight... He stole the



I'm really looking forward to seeing the one you

mentioned... Especially since you mentioned what you

thought of it. It will be interesting to see Crosby it a

not-so-cookie-cutter role.



Ok, I watched Ziegfeld Follies last night to

catch Astaire and Kelly dancing together... It was the

most enjoyable couple of minutes I've seen in a long

time! I loved how they made light of the whole rivalry

thing. It was almost surreal seeing the two together,

showing off their individual styles.


Loved it :)



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It was cute in Here Comes The Groom when Bing and Jane sang "In The Cool, Cool, Cool of the Evening", which I believe became a hit on the radio? They co-starred again in Just For You (songs by Harry Warren!).


Man on Fire is dramatic, so it's not his usual light-hearted fare, but the kid who plays his son is a good actor and having been in the middle of my own parents' custody battle, I can tell you it's pretty realistic for the most part. I hope you like it.


His Going Hollywood was on this morning!


I love "The Babbit and the Bromide" from Ziegfeld Follies---it's marvelous and just makes you wish they had worked together more.


Miss G


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*Jumps up and down* Going Hollywood... I can't

wait to watch it. Robert Montgomery is listed among the

cast as a cameo! :D


"In The Cool, Cool, Cool of the Evening" was a pretty big

hit, I have it on several cds. They sang it sooo many

times during the movie it got a bit annoying though.

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