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Movie Mom

Movie Mom

Astaire and Rogers: La Belle, La Perfectly Swell Romance

posted by Nell Minow

They said she gave him sex and he gave her class. In eight heavenly movies from the 1930’s at RKO Studios and then with one more — their only one in color — at MGM, Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers danced and sang in some of the most deliciously entertaining movies ever made. We know right from the beginning that these two are destined to be together. But it usually takes them about 90 minutes to figure it out.

One thing they did better than anyone else before or since was to convey the beginning of a relationship through dance. Watch this number from “Top Hat.” As in most of their films, Astaire is already very attracted to Rogers when this scene begins, but she has no interest in him and finds his attentions annoying. As they begin to dance, she sees who he is for the first time and he learns that they are even more right for each other than he had hoped. In most romantic movies, there is some witty repartee to symbolize the deep connection between the couple. But here, it is all done with music (Irving Berlin’s delightful “Isn’t it a Lovely Day to be Caught in the Rain?”) and dance.

  • Karen Brown

    Ok. I love those old movies. Fred Astaire, and such.
    And that cuff scene is hilarious. Anyone who thinks the ‘metrosexual’ thing is new, and that men never cared about fashion or their appearance or grooming until the last couple of years should watch Astaire chiding this groom that all the magazines are featuring cuffed pants and how foolish he’d look to show up without them. *grin*

  • ChatteringMind

    My mom and I once spied Ginger Rogers in the restaurant of Neiman Marcus’s downtown Dallas store. I’m guessing Rogers was in her late 70s by then but she looked fantastic, and we were both thrilled to catch a glimpse of her. My mother decided to casually walk past her table (ostensibly on the way to the ladies room) just to get a look at what Rogers was eating to stay so elegant and slim. “Ah heck, she just got a salad there without any dressing,” Mom said when she returned to our table. I laughed and still treasure this memory. Makes me love Rogers–and my mom–all the more.

  • Sue rice

    They don’t make movies like this anymore, so sad. My mom and I always had a debate about who was the better dancer, Fred Astaire or Gene Kelly. I like the athleticism of Gene, and mom liked the elegance of Fred. Now after reviewing, she may be right. They do have their own unique style. I did get my teenage children to watch “Singing in the rain” under protest, but they did end up enjoying it!!

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