SWING TIME
1936, Warner Bros., 103 min, USA, Dir: George Stevens

One of the best loved of the Astaire-Rogers musicals and Depression-era escapism at its most fizzy and delightful. Fred Astaire plays "Lucky" Garnett, a bandleader who swears off the life of a hoofer for a more "respectable" future with his girl-next-door fiancée (Betty Furness) and her overbearing father-in-law (Landers Stevens, the father of the film's director, George Stevens). After his band-mate buddies sabotage the wedding, Fred heads for the Big Apple to make a cool $25,000 and prove himself responsible to his girl back home. Once there, he meets cute with Ginger Rogers, playing a no-nonsense dance instructor named "Penny" Carroll, and soon these two are dancing their way to movie musical heaven. Featuring several classic song-and-dance numbers including "Pick Yourself Up," "The Way You Look Tonight," "A Fine Romance" (with lyrics by Jerome Kern) and a charmingly offbeat turn from Victor Moore as Astaire's loopy pal with sticky fingers.


THAT'S ENTERTAINMENT
1974, Warner Bros., 135 min, Dir: Jack Haley Jr.

An impressive array of classic MGM stars - Fred Astaire, Gene Kelly, Liza Minnelli, Debbie Reynolds, Elizabeth Taylor, Bing Crosby, and Frank Sinatra, to name a few - discuss their favorite and most memorable experiences at the studio known for its musical panache, in this documentary directed by Jack Haley’s son. This anthology film features archival footage of legendary MGM stars and rarely seen performances such as a singing and dancing Clark Gable. Clips from SINGIN' IN THE RAIN to THE BANDWAGON and more.


THE BAND WAGON
1953, Warner Bros., 112 min, USA, Dir: Vincente Minnelli

Brilliant backstage musical from the pen of Comden and Green (including songs "That’s Entertainment" and "Dancing in the Dark"), starring Fred Astaire as a washed-up dancer who joins forces with megolomaniac producer Jack Buchanan (a true delight) and gal-pal Nanette Fabray. Arguably the most modern and inventive of the great MGM musicals - climaxing in the mind-blowing "Girl Chase" ballet with Astaire and vamp Cyd Charisse!


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