Tuesday, February 01, 2005

Fred and Ginger, Gay Divorcee Posted by Hello

I watched Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers in "Gay Divorcee" last night. This movie had witty writing, one of my favorite tunes, "Night and Day" by Cole Porter and the really incomparable dancing of Fred and Ginger. When "Night and Day" came on, I just stopped what I was doing, to watch. Fred sang it in a tempo I had never heard, and when he finished, he and Ginger danced to the melody. Just mesmerizing.

Here is where I would bemoan the fact that Hollywood just doesn't make movies like this anymore. But the problem is less with Hollywood than with the the lack of talent in the performers. I mean, name someone these days who can sing like Bing, or dance like Astaire, or has timing like Hope AND who has a gentle, laughing personality that radiates off the screen. Tom Cruise? Richard Gere? Please. Maybe someone like Ray Romano has the timing, but can he dance? Almost anyone on American Idol can sing, but would you pay to watch any of them in a movie? No chance.

It probably has something to do with the lack of a "minor league" for all around talents. Not that vaudville was intended as a feeder system for movies, but it just, through historical anomally, worked out that way. Those days are gone.

It is good we have movies like this that chronicle those lost days.