“You’re wasted in musical comedy. You could be a great tragic actress!”
Popular dancing duo Dinah (Ginger Rogers) and Josh (Fred Astaire) Barkley find their marriage and their joint career threatened when Rogers meets a French playwright and director (Jacques Francois) who leads her to believe that her true calling is serious drama.
Genres, Themes, Actors, and Directors:
- Actors and Actresses
- Fred Astaire Films
- Ginger Rogers Films
- Marital Problems
- Oscar Levant Films
Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers’ tenth and final collaboration together (after a ten-year hiatus) was this innocuous Technicolor musical originally intended to reunite Astaire and Judy Garland after their successful pairing in Easter Parade (1948). Much has been made of the fact that Rogers was a little heavier here than in her earlier films with Astaire — a ridiculous complaint given that she dances wonderfully, and remains athletically trim. Indeed, Astaire and Rogers still sparkle while they’re dancing (either together or solo), and fans of the duo will surely be glad for one more chance to see their incomparable magic onscreen. Less easy to forgive is the lackluster script and premise (by Betty Comden and Adolph Green), which, as noted in All Movie Guide’s review, “is the kind of situation that Comden and Green [were] so adept at spoofing, but they’re asked to play it straight here.” Nonetheless, it is interesting to see how eerily the storyline echoes the “split” between Astaire and Rogers years earlier, when Rogers largely turned away from dancing and went on to forge an Oscar-winning career for herself as a “serious actress”.
Redeeming Qualities and Moments:
- Ginger Rogers as Dinah Barkley
- Some fine Rogers-and-Astaire dance numbers
- Astaire performing “Shoes With Wings On”
No, though fans of Rogers and Astaire will certainly want to check it out.