Well today's another one of those days in which I share some of my favorite moments from television & film. This was a frustrating blog, because half the videos I wanted to share I couldn't find. But I substituted some other great clips for the ones I wasn't able to dig up.
The first movie I want to talk about it "Easy To Wed" (1946). Overall this movie just didn't hold my interest. There were some good moments, and it included a number of stars that I normally enjoy. This movie is about Van Johnson's character, attempting to win the heart of Esther Williams character. At first it's not for love, but eventually Van finds he's really falling for her. Who can blame him for that? This movie lacked the amazing water spectacle that Esther is known for. One interesting piece of trivia is that Fidel Castro is in this movie. Yes, that Fidel Castro. He's uncredited, and is just a "Poolside Spectator" briefly. Still, I thought that was strange. If you decide to watch the entire movie you'll see a popular televison starlet by the name of June Lockhart. I decided to share a number by another television starlet...Lucille Ball. Well partly by Lucille Ball. Lucy does the dancing, but her voice was dubbed by Virginia Rees.
Blame It On The Samba
Ethel Smith also performed a couple incredible numbers on the organ in "Easy To Wed". ("Toca Tu Samba" & "Bonecu de Pixe") Even though 90% of the film is on YouTube, I couldn't find the Ethel Smith numbers. So I figured I'd post a different performance of hers. This is from the Disney film "Melody Time" (1948), and the Dinning Sisters provide the vocals.
Broadway Melody Of 1936
This movie featuress Jack Benny, Eleanor Powell, Robert Taylor & Buddy Ebsen, and it sort of pissed me off. But not while I was watching it, although the story was sort of blah, it's when I was trying to find the clips I wanted to share that I started getting mad. I couldn't find much of this film online at all. It's a shame because there were a few good routines worth watching. The opening number "I've Got A Feelin' You're Foolin'" was very entertaining, and there were 2 other dance numbers I wanted to share. Since one of the numbers I wanted to share was an Eleanor Powell dance solo, I figured I should find a different Powell number to share. The following clip is what her nightclub routine looked like.
Sing Before Breakfast
Well this is the only routine I was able to find (from "Broadway Melody Of 1936") that I liked. It features Eleanor Powell along with Buddy & Vilma Ebsen. Vilma was Buddy's real life sister, and she lived to the old age of 96. Buddy Ebsen of course, also lived well into his 90's.
Texas Carnival (1951)
There was only 1 routine in this movie I felt like sharing. It's called "It's Dynamite", and in it Ann Miller performs an amazing dance that left me slack jawed. The other big names in this movie was Red Skelton (who was funny at times), and Howard Keel. I can't really recommend this movie, but if you're a dance fan, it's worth watching just for the 3 minutes in which Ann Miller is at her best. Since I couldn't find the clip I wanted, I decided to share this 1970's commercial featuring Ann Miller. Some of you older folks will recognize it right off.
Duchess Of Idaho (1950)
This musicial comedy actually held my interest unlike the previous Esther Williams / Van Johnson comedy I mentioned. It also co-starred John Lund & Paula Raymond. There were a number of cameo's in this movie. Mel Tormé had a small role, but unfortunately it didn't include him singing. Lena Horne appears long enough to sing 1 number, and Red Skelton appears for maybe 1 minute. The cameo that really got my attention was by Eleanor Powell. Not only does she tap her way into my heart as usual, but this is her last big-screen appearance. She didn't really retire, but she moved on to local TV, family life, became a nightclub entertainer, etc...
One Note Samba
Ella Fitzgerald....1969....scat....enough said.