FULL OF MELODY! FULL OF YOUNG LOVE!
In 1912, Broadway star Don Hewes (Fred Astaire) is rejected by his dancing partner (Ann Miller) and takes on a younger performer (Judy Garland), thinking he can turn any inexperienced dancer into a star. One of Astaire and Garland’s biggest hits is much more than just a seasonal treat. It begins and ends with Easter parades in New York City and offers some of the star duo’s most famous interpretations of Irving Berlin songs (especially the title tune and the newly written ”Steppin’ Out With My Baby”). Their numbers are energetic, even if the two stars are at their best when separated. Jules Munshin has a nice little scene as a maître d’ explaining a signature salad.
1948-U.S. 103 min. Color. Produced by Arthur Freed. Directed by Charles Walters. Screenplay: Sidney Sheldon, Frances Goodrich, Albert Hackett. Music: Johnny Green, Roger Edens. Songs: ”Steppin’ Out With My Baby”, ”A Couple of Swells” (Irving Berlin). Cast: Judy Garland (Hannah Brown), Fred Astaire (Don Hewes), Peter Lawford (Jonathan Harrow), Ann Miller, Jules Munshin.
Trivia: Gene Kelly and Cyd Charisse were first considered for leading roles.
Oscar: Best Scoring.
Last word: “Arthur told me he was going to give me the film. I almost cried. It was a big film with a fat budget, and instead of June Allyson, I had Judy Garland and Gene Kelly [the original casting choice]. It’s a little like passing one day to the next from Bronx to the Palace Theatre.” (Walters, “Charles Walters: The Director Who Made Hollywood Dance”)