Wednesday, May 04, 2005


Long time readers of this blog know of my fondness for Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers movies. On Sunday night, I watched a great one, Swing Time. The story is that Fred, a dancer, was going to get married to a girl in his hometown, but her father objected because Fred did not have a job. So he claimed to have a job in NY and headed there. Though a series of misadventures, he meets and teams up with Ginger and eventually asks her to marry him. There were a lot of dance numbers. The best is when Fred pretends to be a novice dancer who is "taught" to dance by Ginger so she will not get fired from her job as a dance instructor. That one really is magic.

Two notes on this showing on TCM. At one point, a character asks Fred what his chest size is for a coat. Fred says: "36 inches." 36 inches? They sell that size coat in the boy's section. He must have been 5'5"!

Second, Peter Bogdonavich, notorious bloviating director of mediocre movies, opined that although every FA/GR dance number in every movie is honey, only Swing Time is a watchable movie. Huh? Has he not seen Night and Day? That is a wonderful movie, full of joy and humor. Swing Time was fun, but Fred's number in blackface was a little out of the 2005 cultural norms. Bog should shut his ample pie hole.