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Sunday, December 20, 2009

Old Movies I've Watched Recently

I watched a few musicals lately, and figured I'd give a brief review of them. Don't read any farther unless you like old musicals & TMC.

It's A Great Feeling (1949)
In this movie Doris Day plays a young country girl who moves to Hollywood to become a movie star. She then meets Jack Carson & Dennis Morgan who do their best to help her get a role in a movie. Basically the whole movie is about their bumbling efforts to get her noticed by a certain producer. Throughout the movie big stars drop in for cameos. For instance you'll see Cary Cooper, Joan Crawford, Errol Flynn, Danny Kaye, Ronald Reagan, Edward G. Robinson & Jane Wyman. Everyone in the movie plays themselves except for Doris, and despite the star power, this movie doesn't really shine. Any movie that Doris Day sings in however is bound to have a highlight or two though. For me the title song "It's A Great Feeling" & "That Was A Big Fat Lie" were the only things that really grabbed me about this movie. You can watch the original trailer HERE.

Love Finds Andy Hardy (1938)
In this movie I think Mickey Rooney is a little over the top, even for an Andy Hardy movie. But if you like Andy Hardy movies you'll like this flick. Judy Garland has the most memorable moment in the film when she sings "In Between". Unfortunately I couldn't find a high quality clip of this scene, but I did find a zoomed in version of it....it's better then nothing. HERE's a link to the movie trailer. Something I found amazing about this film is that it took only 19 days to shoot, and was in theaters only 2 months after filming. They talk about the old days being run like a factory, but that's freaking amazing.

Holiday Inn (1942)
I've never been a huge fan of this movie even though it stars one of my favorite dancers Fred Astaire. There's even a number of good dance routines, yet as soon as the routines are done I'm bored again. Part of the problem is that even though I love Bing's singing, I've never cared for his acting. You can watch the movie trailor HERE, and a deleted scene in which Bing performs in black face HERE. Whenever he's not singing I'm always wanting someone else in the role. In this first clip from the film Fred Astaire takes Marjorie Reynolds on an inebriated tour of the dance floor.

Let's Say It With Firecrackers
Easily my favorite number from the film. Fred wasn't afraid to try new things, and often when he did excellence was achieved.

Be Careful It's My Heart
This number really brings all the assets of the film out at once. You have Bing singing & Fred Dancing with Marjorie Reynolds who is looking HOT.

You're Easy To Dance With
I'm not really a Virginia Dale fan, so I would much rather have seen Marjorie (better yet Ginger Rogers) in this number. Not bad though.

Damsel In Distress (1937)
This isn't one of my favorite Fred Astaire movies. I think my biggest problem with the movie is I don't feel the chemistry between Fred & his romantic interest Joan Fontaine. Another problem I had is the carnival musical number. There are all sorts of great props around that I'd love to see Fred dance all over, into, around and what not. Instead it turns into a simple comedic number that's not that funny, and is lacking in dance department. George Burns & Gracie Allen are funny most of the time, but in the end this film isn't what I like in a Fred Astaire movie. There is 1 saving grace that makes watching this movie worth while. Fred's tap dance with the drum set is amazing. I found THIS video of Tom Chamber recreating the number on YouTube.

Just Begun To Live
This is the only other part of the movie I feel is worth sharing. Again, it's not the greatest Fred Astaire number, but it's cool to see George, Gracie & Fred all dance together. If you take the time to watch the whole movie, see if you can spot Jack Carson's who is uncredited in this film.

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