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1937, Universal, 91 min, USA, Dir: Leo McCarey

This Depression-era drama stars Victor Moore and Beulah Bondi as an elderly couple who lose their home to foreclosure and hope to move in with one of their five children – none of whom wants them both. Named to the Library of Congress’ National Film Registry in 2010, this was director Leo McCarey’s favorite of his films; other famous fans include Orson Welles, Errol Morris and Japanese screenwriter Kōgo Noda, who patterned TOKYO STORY after it.

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.

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