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Fred and Ginger Love


misswonderly3
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After watching *Follow the Fleet* today, I just had to write something about how much I love Fred and Ginger movies. Why? Because they are so well-done, so funny, so smart, so light-hearted. Because they almost invariably feature great timeless music, songs composed by master song-writers like Irving Berlin, Cole Porter, Jerome Kern, the Gershwins...it just doesn't get any better than these guys.

Because when those two are dancing to these peerless songs, you don't think about how much they've worked to bring you the delight and perfection you see, in fact, you don't think about anything except the moment you're in, watching the happy combination of music, dance and story coming together to make something greater than its parts.

 

Almost more than any other kind of film, when I'm watching those two dancing to that unforgettable music, I'm completely in the moment, nothing else matters for those five minutes or so. They and all the others who've worked towards that moment have created a little bit of happiness and perfection, even if it's just for those few minutes.

 

Of course, when the movie's over, you have to face the music and dance.

 

Edited by: misswonderly on Mar 16, 2011 6:21 PM

 

Edited by: misswonderly on Mar 17, 2011 12:44 AM

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Hi, missw: have you see The Green Mile with (the abominable?) Tom Hanks? Just an absolute gem of a movie, and the dead man walking had never seen a film. So what was he watching? Fred and Ginger, dancing, dancing, while tears flowed down his face. I agree with every word you said!

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I absolutely agree about getting lost in the moment, MissW. From the time that I was a very young girl, that's what would happen. I would get (and still do) goosebumps watching those two display artistic perfection in their dance.

 

Robert Osborn couldn't have been more right when he commented that the acting in those dances, when you see what the characters are expressing through the dance, rivals any kind of spoken word acting. So evocative.

 

Keep spreading the F&G love!

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Glad there's others that love Fred & Ginger movies too. These were the first films that got me "into" film in my early 20's...I had every single one on tape in those early days of video and never tired of watching them.

I'm revisiting each one as they show on TCM (one a month it seems) and really enjoying them. What a kick to see Randolph Scott saying lines like, "I'll never fall for a woman" and Lucille Ball as an adorable blonde in FOLLOW THE FLEET. But any Astaire/Rogers film with Eric Blore RULES!

When younger, I never understood how gorgeous Ginger could fall for geeky Fred, but now I see him as a cute skinny funny guy with big eyes & smile.

I always enjoyed the silver/black art deco sets, the songs/dances and especially Ginger's gorgeous gowns.

 

As for "tribute", remember PURPLE ROSE OF CAIRO closes with the charactor settling in to watch the "Cheek to Cheek" number in the movie theater. She had just had her own glittering movie adventure but was dropped off back in her somber depression era miserable life. It illustrates how film really helped people through the depression (and some through adolescence!)

 

I think Astaire/Rogers, Shirley Temple, Marx Brothers and Busby Berkeley films are the epitome of this concept.

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OK, Eric Blore is great, but in several of these films Edward Everett Horton was the perfect befuddled foil for the snappy banter of the gay (in the older sense) young folks around him. I've liked Horton ever since he narrated "Fractured Fairy Tales" to me as a child.

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I, too, agree with what you said. When I was young, I loved the movies, but not all of them. I didn't like the musicals. As I aged, I gradually came to appreciate and like most of them. Fred and Ginger were dedicated and had a great work ethic. They are amazing and a joy to watch.

 

Years ago there was a TV series called Hollywood and the Stars. Each episode focused on a single genre of classic movies. The episode on Fred & Ginger highlighted a scene where they were dancing and as Ginger spun around toward Fred, she accidentally hit him in the face. He barely flinched and they never missed a step. The only way you could see this, is if the film is slowed down.

 

I wish I could remember what film this was in.

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I too am an avid F&G fan. I too love the sets by Van Nest Polglase & the whole art deco mode he displayed. Of course, the music, as misswonderly said, just can't be beat & the gowns Ginger wore were absolutely beautiful, even tho Fred didn't like the one with feathers. These two just make my heart sing & dance. In addition, most of the young men of the era wanted to be just like Fred, suave & always get the girl. Such fun these pictures were & how nice to get away from the horrendous news, if just for a while.

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The film you are speaking of was on March 16, "Follow the Fleet". The floppy sleev gown which Ginger was wearing was getting in the way of Fred and you could see it. Eventually Ginger accidently hit Fred in the face and Fred did not lose focus, concentration or a step, kept on dancing. Of course, if Fred had lost concentration, focus and stop dancing that take would not have been included in the film.

 

I love and just cannot get enough of the Fred and Ginger movies. The plots in their movies don't vary much but they are fun to watch and the music just stupendous. I know TCM schedules all of Fred and Ginger's movies but I wish I could see more of "The Gay Divorcee," "Top Hat," "Shall We Dance" "Swing Time" scheduled early evening before prime-time Eastern Time. I would even like to see "Blame It On Rio" schedule more in the late afternoon/early evening. These films are always scheduled when I am not available to watch them. I guess it is time to consider investing in a DVR.

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I agree with everything people have said here. It's interesting, both jbh and TikiSoo mentioned other movies in which the character is watching *Top Hat*, specifically the perfectly lovely, perfectly sung and danced number "Cheek to Cheek". I used to think this song was called "Heaven", was would have been an equally suitable name for it.

Yes, the Tom Hanks character and the innocent doomed prisoner in *The Green Mile* both watch "Cheek to Cheek" as though they're in heaven themselves at that moment; the Mia Farrow character resigns herself to her drudgerous (not a word, but I'm using it anyway) life at the end of *Purple Rose of Cairo*. It speaks to what I was saying about how, when you're watching these little pieces of perfection where everything falls together, music, dance, setting, dancers - you've escaped to a place outside of time (well, for five minutes outside of time anyway.)

 

As to the comedy in the Fred and Gingers, the ones with Eric Blore and Edward Everett Horton add immeasurably to the laughs and the overall light-heartedness of these sweet movies.

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Thank you very much for that. I'm sorry I missed Follow the Fleet yesterday. But he next time it's on, I will record it and when I find that scene, I'll slow it down with the frame by frame function.

 

Also, I'll keep a lookout for the other Fred & Ginger movies. After this discussion, I'm ready to see them again. Great stuff!

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Fred, like Ginger, could sing, dance, and act. I suppose most people have heard this story:

 

When Fred Astaire was first trying to make it into movies, he had a number of auditions and screen tests (although he'd been appearing in live theatre productions for years -still, film is a different medium.) Apparently after one of them, the big suit guy assessing him sent a report to the studio that tersely stated of Fred Astaire: "Can't act. Can't sing. Can dance, a little. " ! ! !

 

Fred had a "thin" but very charming voice, one that was well suited to the songs in his movies.

 

TikiSoo makes an interesting point about Fred Astaire:

"...When younger, I never understood how gorgeous Ginger could fall for geeky Fred, but now I see him as a cute skinny funny guy with big eyes & smile."

 

Absolutely ! But even more than those assets, Fred could dance, baby ! Dancing has long been seen as a kind of "courting", and look how often Fred "made up" with an indignant Ginger by simply dancing with her. Anyone who could make the moves he could, could be so in sync with his lady, who can literally sweep her off her feet, is felt to be just as good at something else. ;)

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I love the Fred & Ginger films too. I don't know if I would say they were the greatest films ever made BUT they are just tons of fun and incredibly charming. Wonderful chemistry between the leads, great music, incredible dance scenes and fun supporting characters.

 

I also adore Edward Everett Horton and Eric Blore. However that being said I wasn't fond of Victor Moore in Swing Time.

 

I also love Irene Dunne in Roberta <3

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As to Fred's voice: I've read that all those great song introduced by him were written with his "range" in mind. Let's face it, if he couldn't carry it (or wasn't happy with it) it wouldn't be in the film. Admitedly some of the plots are ponderous and some what dated but nobody when to an A & R film for the snappy dialogue.

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Let's Face the Music and Dance - not only a superlative dance number from F and G, moody, compelling to watch, beautifully choreographed, but set to one of Irving Berlin's greatest compositions.

The beauty of Let's Face the Music and Dance lies in the perfect marriage of music and lyric. The deliciously minor key melody complements the contemplative yet romantic lyrics. And yet, if you think about the lyrics, it's in its own way quite a life-affirming song. And it too, is about "living in the moment" - for this one moment of perfect beauty, we will forget about everything else.

It's almost "zen".

 

(ok, maybe I'm waxing a little overly rhapsodic about this song. I admit it. :) )

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Having seen these films many times since the 1960's, I'm always amazed at how well Astaire and Rogers acted during the dance numbers.

 

For two people who actually hated each other, they handled themselves very well professionally. That's what show business is all about.

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> {quote:title=cujas wrote:}{quote}

> For two people who actually hated each other, they handled themselves very well professionally. That's what show business is all about.

 

What ? ! They hated each other ? ! I honestly didn't know that. Really? Why? Say it aint' so.

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