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One of my favorite Fred Astaire films is a bit obscure.


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One of my favorite Fred Astaire films is "The Sky's The Limit" (1943). He play's a Flying Tiger on a War Bond Tour. He meets and falls in love with a photo-journalist played by Joan Leslie. The movie stands out in my mind for several reasons: 1) It's a rather usual role for Astaire. 2) I believe it's the only movie he ever did with Joan Leslie. 3) It's the only musical Robert Ryan ever appeared in. (No he did not sing or dance.) 4) The characters played by Astaire and Leslie have Fred and Joan as their first names. I've never seen that in any of Astaire's musicals before. Anyway I sure would like to know more about the film. Did Astaire request Joan Leslie, or did she ask to be in one of his films? How did Robert Ryan end up in this flick? Anyway I'd like to hear from anyone else that knows this film. Cheers!

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The Fred Astaire movie in which he sings and dances to "Puttin' on the Ritz" is "Blue Skies" (1945).


"The Sky's the Limit" is the only film Fred made with Joan Leslie. I also have wondered how Joan wound up in that movie, as it was made by RKO Radio. She was usually at Warner Bros. at that time. And although she had been in some musicals before, to costar with the great Fred Astaire was quite a step up. Joan is still alive and well. I was in touch with her recently, and should have thought to ask her about Fred and that movie. I keep hoping TCM will get her as a Private Screenings guest some time. She's still happy and healthy and seems to still have a good memory about her career. She would be such an excellent guest. She's one of the few left who worked with so many of the legends.

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I had the pleasure of seeing Joan Leslie at a special screening of "Yankee Doodle Dandy". She was so gracious, and had many wonderful stories to recall about the making of that movie. She was such a beautiful and talented young lady and, although she appeared in many "A" productions, she never achieved true stardom. That is such a shame, because she had it all. She was outstanding in "The Hard Way", playing the younger sister of Ida Lupino. But playing opposite Fred Astaire must have been a wonderful experience for her. It's good to know she is still alive and well. And I agree that she would be a wonderful choice for Private Screenings. Robert Osborne, are you listening?



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