Every film that has ever been nominated for an Academy Award in any category. Enjoy!
The Happiest Musical Ever Made is Irving Berlin's Easter Parade
On the day before Easter in 1911, Don Hewes is crushed when his dancing partner (and object of affection) Nadine Hale refuses to start a new contract with him. To prove Nadine's not important to him, Don acquires innocent new protegee Hannah Brown, vowing to make her a star in time for next year's Easter parade.
I'm not saying that they don't make 'em like that anymore; only saying that they don't make movies that provide this variety of pleasure anymore. It's true: that's entertainment. Garland. Jesus. Grounds every movie she's in and simultaneously sends it soaring. It would have been a pleasure seeing her as a healthy older woman. Sacrilege to say, but I found myself imaging her in a part like Maude in Harold and Maude - in an alternate universe where we still get Ruth Gordon's take of course. Garland is so funny, so present so emotional.
Also: Jules Munshin. And some great tunes.
I'm not generally an Irving Berlin fan, but
Oh, I could write a sonnet
About your Easter bonnet
remains one of my favorite couplets in all of 20th Century popular music. Don't know why.
I love these post-war years of the Hollywood musical. While Gene Kelly, along with his collaborators Vincente Minnelli and Stanley Donen is busy redefining the parameters of physical and emotional space in the genre, Fred Astaire is busy obliterating the laws of physics. In film after film, objects, simply by their proximity to Astaire, become imbued with some kind of magical essence: they become living props, they dance. In Royal Wedding he transcends gravity and in Easter Parade time itself submits to Astaire's whims.
Having been brought up in a healthy shame based environment where pleasures of the flesh were deemed unnatural and verboten, the cinematic excursions me and my family traditionally undertook were limited to a window between the post-Hays code era, and the dawn of the sexual revolution (and James Bond. We're a contradictory bunch).
So profound was this sociological imprinting that even in my early thirties I steer clear of sharing with them a movie, with accidental, or incidental nudity. Murder is perfectly acceptable, as long as it's administered via a surreptitious dose of strychnine by steely-eyed turn of the century matrons.
During their occasional visits, after having exhausted everything in the canon from Hawkes to Capra to Lang to Wilder,…
Dear Dr. Ruth,
Is it possible to get pregnant from staring at my dead movie star boyfriend's crotch in slow motion, and if yes, how slow would the slow motion have to be, and how long would I have to stare? To be honest, I've watched it real slow and I've also stared real long, but nothing has happened yet. Does that mean there's something wrong with me? Cause I know for a fact there's absolutely nothing wrong with him.
At one point Judy Garland asks Fred Astaire if he loves the titular Easter Parade, and he replies with something like ''It's okay... if you like Easter Parades.'' Likewise, if you love musicals, you'll like this one. Or even if you don't, because I don't really seek them out often.
But be warned: Sure, the musical numbers, dance choreography, (favourite bits include watching Astaire dance in slow motion whilst others in the backdrop dance in normal speed... and "A Couple of Swells") the colourful costumes/sets and the splashes of humour (the restaurant waiter who never gets to serve food and the bartender earn the chunkiest laughs) are the show... but there isn't much plot controlling your interest. There's like 3…
Kind of a mess as a love story, but as a show piece for dancing and salad instruction Easter Parade kicks all sorts of technicolor ass.
Astaire slowing down time during 'Steppin' Out with My Baby' gives me chills. And then there's 'Drum Time.' Astaire does seem like the type of guy who would break into a great song and dance number just to steal a stuffed animal from a child.
Ann Miller gets a crappy role, but damn could she tap. Her work in 'Shakin' the Blues Away' shows that she could entertain with her hoofing as much as Astaire could.
Garland's sweet here, but leaves no lasting impression. And Lawford is simply a plot piece with a nice…
Wonderful colors, wonderful dancing, and the romance aspect of the film is well woven into the musical numbers. A few of the songs held the film back a bit from being a favorite, but there was still plenty of entertainment here, and it was fun to see Fred Astaire and Judy Garland together.
There's not much comedy and not much invention in this oversize MGM musical, but Fred Astaire and Judy Garland finally get to their great number, "A Couple of Swells." With Ann Miller and Peter Lawford; Lola Albright may be glimpsed as a hat model. Charles Walters directed; the score, by Irving Berlin, includes "It Only Happens When I Dance with You."
There is a scene at the beginning where Astaire is dancing in a toy shop which reminds me why I love cinema. I just checked and he was 49 when he did this movie. Holy fuck that man can dance.
If they're not dancing, they're singing. Why she falls for him, I don't know. She deserves better.
This is what happens when you try to squeeze a bajilion songs into a 90 minute musical - a NYC that feels populated only by our four characters, muddled or senseless motivations waved away. It has got that classic MGM musical sheen tho.
The golden due`s best flick and one of the most memorable musicals of the history. Judy Garland and Fred Astaire are glorious and magnificent as dancing couples who fell in love. It`s impossible to not fell for "Steppin' Out with My Baby" and "Easter Parade", plus get your hands to "Mr. Monotony" number.
Like so many musicals this moves with ease from the pedestrian to the sublime and back again. If you like musicals with lots of routines then you should love this: Fred Astaire, Judy Garland, songs by Irving Berlin and 10 minutes in we are well into the third number. It’s a wonderful collection of routines (as well as all the song and dance, Jules Munshin gets to do a comic routine as a disgruntled waiter – well, I didn’t find it that funny, but, you never know, you might): whether a series of routines add up to a complete film is another matter. But there are the usual musical themes. Take the Drum Crazy routine: in narrative terms this is…
Some hummable tunes from a master. Great dancing from Fred and Ann Miller.
It's okay. Why anyone would choose Fred Astaire over Peter Lawford I do not know, but then I've always had an Astaire aversion. Costumes are beautiful.
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