Together, they have put together a film list of must-see American films. It has my seal of approval. As a matter of fact, I use it often. Schoedsack This is the famous early horror classic about a giant ape with a weakness for a beautiful blonde.
Allen’s Movie Recommendations
Forced to spend the fishing season on their work boat, the boy forms a strong bond with a Portuguese fisherman, and learns their values. Spencer Tracy won an Academy Award for his performance in this wonderful film for the whole family. Exceptionally beautiful black and white cinematography.
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Before he can retrieve his specimen, he must help the heiress transport a leopard named Baby to her eccentric aunt. A wonderful screwball comedy. Probably the single most famous Hollywood film ever made. Starring Barbara Stanwyck, Henry Fonda, Charles Coburn, Eugene Pallette Directed by Preston Sturges A con artist and his daughter target a clumsy, eccentric heir as their next mark — until the girl falls in love with him.
When the heir jilts her, she concocts a unique revenge. Along the way, he meets a beautiful blonde waif and really does learn about life — though not in the way he imagined. Cohan, with a knock-out Oscar-winning performance by Cagney, is probably the most unabashedly patriotic American film. Robinson Directed by Billy Wilder A seductive housewife persuades an insurance investigator to help her murder her husband, and his partner begins to suspect the scheme.
Has a sentimental but unforgettable ending. Then an inexperienced angel shows him what the world would have been like had he never been born in order to demonstrate the enormous effect one life can have on others. Funny, sad and unforgettable. This is a terrific Western. Married attorneys find themselves on opposite sides of the courtroom during an attempted murder trial. Based on the novel by William Faulkner.
While they wait to find out which of them is the big loser, they review their marriages in flashback. This is a very clever, witty film, with Kirk Douglas particularly memorable as one of the husbands. Clever, satisfying mystery-thriller with a great score of zither music. This tough, tense gangster movie has a classic ending and a powerhouse performance by Cagney.
Witty, cynical, well-acted and fun. Impatient with the petty international politics that prevent him from delivering his message to all Earth, Klattu creates an ingenious demonstration of power to get their attention. Great dance teachers are rarer than great performers but are often unknown outside the dance world. British dance's debt to teacher and choreographer Buddy Bradley is huge. He brought American attack and professionalism to English dance in s musicals.
The list of stars who worked with him, either training or working out their routines, is breathtaking.
This rare article gives an insight into his teaching and an idea of the respect in which he was held within the profession. We have launched a new website and are reviewing this page. Find out more. Victoria and Albert Museum The world's leading museum of art and design. Open daily Jack Buchanan Jack Buchanan, early to mid 20th century, black and white photograph. Elsie Randolph This photograph shows Elsie Randolph, one of the brightest British musical comedy stars of the s and s.
Next when she enters to meet Astaire, she is in a black spangled lace dress over midnight green petticoats so dark you can hardly see the green, with bright green gloves. White, the color of truce — for, having come to a truce in life, they are out to discover whether they can find a truce in dance. Watch: Charisse actually leads it; the focus is actually given to her. The other newcomer is Michael Kidd. But what he mainly does is remove Astaire from his usual tropes.
So there are no great big tap dancing numbers and such. To make up for it, he sings a lot, and sings well. This makes it a musical of great warmth.
Easy and essential. Two dancers and their lovers at cross purposes. This is as it should be, because Astaire is interested in discovering and firming up the essential musts of movie dance. The film contains wonderful numbers of Jerome Kern and Dorothy Fields, and at one point Astaire applies blackface and does a shadow dance with 24 chorus girls, 12 in black 12 in white, and then dances to a black and white rear shadow projection of himself.
Archive for the ‘Fred Astaire: Screen God’ Category
Minstrel shows celebrate an exuberance which our negro entertainers alone possess: blackface gives performers unheard of freedom: that is what is being celebrated here, and, because it is respectful at heart, it would be offensive to be offended by it. Dancing he led her; not-dancing, she led him. The most valuable suggestion Mueller gives is to watch the dances in slow motion. To actually see for oneself what actually went into these intricate, witty dances! That body made American movie musicals! Excellence upon excellence was his credo, never more so than here. Holiday Inn — directed by Mark Sandrich — a songwriter starts up a country inn open only on holidays.
To it comes a lovely young lady and his old vaudeville dancing chum and competitor for females. With one exception, there is not a single dance in this piece which Astaire performs up to his standard, partly because his female partners are not on his level and partly because the dances are ill conceived.
The firecracker dance is raggedly choreographed, and the dance in 18th Century wigs would have been better performed by Bob Hope. The one outstanding dance is the drunk dance, in which he is not so much partnered as accompanied by the lovely Marjorie Reynolds.
This is to be watched, studied, and prayed before. The cast is top-heavy because the Paramount superstar Bing Crosby is in it. They wanted Rita Hayworth to play the girl, but, with Astaire, that would have cost too much. Crosby is a remarkable actor: everything he does and says looks improvised: nothing is: he is following the script to the letter.
He had a droll insouciance and the amiability of the perpetual fraternity boy. He was a truly humorous person. And very cool. However when he sings, all this is cunningly wrenched into a song-style, and all the songs become subordinated to that style.
So he never really sings to the actor or actress opposite him. Instead he produces this style and sings to that — out to the camera — out to his popular front. This means he is never really singing the words to the song: he is only singing to his way of singing a song; he sings renditions. Still, he is truly pleasing company, and the renditions are indeed winning and meritoriously skillful.
This where they come from and first appeared. And at one point Astaire applies blackface and does a black and white shadow dance with 24 chorus girls 12 in black 12 in white, and then dances to a black and white rear shadow projection of himself 3 times. Minstrel shows project and celebrate an exuberance which our negro entertainers alone possess: blackface gives performers unheard of freedom: that is what is being celebrated here, and, because it is respectful at heart, it would be offensive to be offended by it.
Follow The Fleet — directed by Mark Sandrich — musical comedy about a lower class gob who wants to pick up where he left off with his former romance. Ginger Rogers and Fred Astaire were often cast as sophisticates, but here, not so. I liked that about this piece. Ginger Rogers won a Charleston contest at 14, and toured the country as a featured performer before ending up starring on Broadway before she was She was a very experienced, hardworking, graceful, and talented musical performer.
She had made 19 movies before, at 23, she made her first one with Astaire; he had made three.
As an actress she had ease, wryness, and bite; as an actor he was shamefaced, but he was the favorite singer of all the songwriters he sang for, and she and he were in perfect agreement on the dance floor — so much so that in this picture they even do a parody of bad-dancing. Irving Berlin wrote the score and words here, so the standard is high. Randolph Scott and Harriet Hilliard of Ozzie and Harriet fame provide the glass in which this ice-cream sundae is served.
Betty Grable is somewhere in the mix.
Jack Buchanan - Victoria and Albert Museum
Three Little Words — directed by Richard Thorpe — a musical in which two songwriters meet and part and meet and part. Vera Ellen maintains her nine-inch waist for us, which distracts from the fact she is taller than one would have thought, for she wears no heels with Astaire. She was not a graceful dancer, as were Rogers, Charisse, and Hayworth, but she was insanely accomplished. Her grace is always force-manufactured by her training, never inherent, for her dance category was the most vulgar of all dance modes, Acrobatic. She shines only in the comic dances, and fortunately there are three of them, and she does them beautifully.
In her her romantic dances with Astaire, she is cold, even gelid. Of course, Astaire himself was cold, but he was also cool, so he carries himself enjoyably to himself and to us always, and his clothes, except for a certain hat, are a triumph of sartorial imagination. The film never stalls with production numbers or plot because, mercifully, there are none.