USA Dance Chapter #4018
Orange County, California

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CLASSICS

1949

Studio: MGM

Director: Charles Walters

Music by: Harry Warren, Ira Gershwin and George Gershwin.

Choreographer: Robert Alton, Hermes Pan

Cast including: Oscar Levant, Billie Burke, Gale Robbins, Jacques François, George Zucco.


After almost a decade apart, Ginger Rogers and Fred Astaire came together again in 1949 and filmed their tenth and final musical, THE BARKLEYS OF BROADWAY, for MGM.  It is unique in several ways (not the least of which is that fact that it was their only film in color), but at the same time, hearkens back to the old 'thirties musicals through which we had come to know and love them.  Thus it's understandable to get a little sentimental with this one and not criticize it as much as we might, were it standing completely on its own.  It's not -- and memories of the RKO years are evoked in this film by more than just seeing Fred and Ginger together again.

To begin at the beginning, this was no planned reunion.  Coming off his success with her in EASTER PARADE (1948), Fred was scheduled to make BARKLEYS with Judy Garland, and it was written with the two of them in mind.  After three weeks of rehearsal however, Judy was unable to continue due to ill health, and in search of a quick replacement, MGM rang up Ginger who was taking some time off at her ranch in Oregon.  She limbered up, reported to work, and although she hadn't made a musical in ten years, the results speak for themselves.

1939


Prologue:

In a fabulous and beloved era, near enough to be warmly remembered, two bright and shining stars, VERNON and IRENE CASTLE, whirled across the horizon into the hearts of all who loved to dance. This is their story.


Studio: RKO

Director: H.C. Potter

Choreographer: Hermes Pan

Music by: Herman Ruby

Cast including: Edna May Oliver, Walter Brennan, Lew Fields, Etienne Girardot, Janet Beecher.



1938


Let Rhythm Ring! ... Fred and Ginger Are Back Again


Studio: RKO

Director: Mark Sandrich

Music by: Victor Baravalle and Irving Berlin

Choreographer: Hermes Pan

Cast including: Ralph Bellamy, Luella Gear, Jack Carson, Hattie McDaniel.

Musical Numbers including:

"Since They Turned 'Loch Lomond' into Swing" (formerly known as "Carefree") danced by Fred;

"I Used To Be Color Blind" sung by Fred, danced by Ginger and Fred;

"The Night is Filled With Music" (instrumental);

"The Yam" sung by Ginger, danced by Ginger and Fred;

"Change Partners" sung by Fred, danced by Ginger and Fred.


1937

Studio: RKO

Director: Mark Sandrich

Choreographer: Hermes Pan, Harry Losee

Music by: George and Ira Gershwin

Cast including: Edward Everett Horton, Eric Blore, Jerome Cowan, Ketti Gallian, William Brisbane, Harriet Hoctor.


Musical Numbers including:


"Slap That Bass" sung by Mantan Moreland, Fred and chorus, danced by Fred, "Let's Call the Whole Thing Off" sung and danced (on roller skates) by Ginger and Fred;

"They Can't Take that Away From Me" sung by Fred;

"They All Laughed" sung by Ginger, danced by Ginger and Fred;

"I've Got Beginner's Luck" sung by Fred;

"Walking the Dog" (instrumental);

"Shall We Dance" sung by Fred, danced by Ginger, Fred, Harriet Hoctor and chorus.

1936

A glorious songburst of gaiety and laughter!


Studio: RKO

Director: George Stevens

Music by: Robert Russell Bennett, Hal Borne and Jerome Kern.

Choreographer: Hermes Pan

Cast including: Victor Moore, Helen Broderick, Eric Blore, Betty Furness, Georges Metaxa.


Musical Numbers including:

"Pick Yourself Up" sung and danced by Ginger and Fred;

"The Way You Look Tonight" sung by Fred;

"Waltz in Swing Time" danced by Ginger and Fred;

"A Fine Romance" sung by Ginger and Fred;

"Bojangles of Harlem" danced by Fred and chorus;

"Never Gonna Dance" sung by Fred, danced by Ginger and Fred.