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"Belle of New York"


Terrence1
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Although this was not a huge hit for MGM, I love this movie.  Recently Robert Osborne said that this movie was among the many that Judy Garland was replaced by another musical star.  I had never heard this about this movie.  I always thought that Vera-Ellen was the first choice.  Does anyone have additional information on this? 

 

Terrence.

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  • 2 months later...

Belle of New York had been planned for Fred Astaire and Judy Garland in the mid-40's, but never got made due to their overlapping schedules.  Fred Astaire was never all that keen on the project and, since he had been thinking about retiring, this only spurred him on to doing exactly that.  When he did come out of retirement and MGM got around to Belle of New York once again, he still couldn't get out of it.  By then, Judy Garland was no longer at MGM and so Vera-Ellen became his co-star.

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  • 11 months later...

Although this was not a huge hit for MGM, I love this movie.  

Do you think BELLE OF NEW YORK is unfairly maligned by critics? In my opinion, for what it is, it provides good entertainment. I truly love the moments where they are 'high' on love, levitating above the ground. It's wonderfully whimsical and reminds me of Mary Poppins.

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TopBilled, I agree with you about the assessment of this musical. What's not to love about this? It stars two of MGM's best musical stars, and has a delightful plot line. I read that originally, Vera-Ellen filmed a dance number to the tite song, but, for some reason, it was deleted. I can't understand why, since the movie only lasts about 90 minutes. And even Alice Pearce gets a chance to do a comedy number. It may not be of the same calibre as "The Harvey Girls", but it's still good entertainment.

 

Terrence.

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TopBilled, I agree with you about the assessment of this musical. What's not to love about this? It stars two of MGM's best musical stars, and has a delightful plot line. I read that originally, Vera-Ellen filmed a dance number to the tite song, but, for some reason, it was deleted. I can't understand why, since the movie only lasts about 90 minutes. And even Alice Pearce gets a chance to do a comedy number. It may not be of the same calibre as "The Harvey Girls", but it's still good entertainment.

 

Terrence.

Right, everything can't be as perfect as SINGIN' IN THE RAIN or THE BAND WAGON. But as you said, the fact THE BELLE OF NEW YORK features such a great cast and has such charming production numbers does make it a must-see musical for anyone who is a fan of this genre.

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  • 10 months later...

Right, everything can't be as perfect as SINGIN' IN THE RAIN or THE BAND WAGON. But as you said, the fact THE BELLE OF NEW YORK features such a great cast and has such charming production numbers does make it a must-see musical for anyone who is a fan of this genre.

It's a lovely musical.

 

It has been unfairly maligned.

 

But, often, films that do poorly at the box-office are always thought of in a negative fashion.

 

The film should have made a star out of Vera-Allen.

 

But, for me, she was always a star.

 

Her "Mandy" number in "White Christmas" explodes with her unique presence and energy.

 

Of course, the fact that she was teamed with John Brascia didn't hurt her in the least.

 

(Mr. Brascia died recently at the age of 80.)

 

Musical-Monday-White-Christmas-Movies-To

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Rayban, thanks for reminding everyone about Vera-Ellen's routine to "Mandy".  Of all her screen numbers, this and "Slaughter on Tenth Avenue" with Gene Kelly are my very favorites.  When she performed "Mandy" she did it with such vitality and energy.  To me, she ranks right up there with the very best of screen dancers.

 

Terrence.

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Rayban, thanks for reminding everyone about Vera-Ellen's routine to "Mandy".  Of all her screen numbers, this and "Slaughter on Tenth Avenue" with Gene Kelly are my very favorites.  When she performed "Mandy" she did it with such vitality and energy.  To me, she ranks right up there with the very best of screen dancers.

 

Terrence.

You've got great taste, Terrence.

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I watched this musical again today on TCM at 4:30PM.

 

"The Belle of New York" is a thoroughly enchanted musical.

 

It has a first-rate score from Harry Warren and Johnny Mercer.

 

It has a delightfully whimsical storyline, too.

 

It boasts truly inspired direction from Charles Walters.

 

And it has those memorable production numbers from Robert Alton.

 

Like "Who Wants To Kiss The Bridegroom?", "Seeing Is Believing", "Whoops!", "Currier and Ives" and "Dancin' Man".

 

Fred Astaire and Vera-Ellen made magic together, especially when they danced like in "Baby Doll".

 

They should have definitely starred in another musical together.

 

If I may be allowed some explanation for the film's failure at the box-office, it just might have been a little too "precious" for a lot of moviegoers.

 

The great tap number from "Currier and Ives" -

 

currier-and-ives-fred-astaire-vera-ellen

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