Monday, April 25, 2011

Classic Movie Monday - Easter Parade

I was almost stymied when this assignment for CMM came up and I couldn't find this movie online. And then I realized oh duh...I bet TCM is going to be airing it! And I was right, and thank you DVR for not making me get up at 6:00 AM to watch it. :)

I saw this movie a few years back when it was loaned to me by a student who learned I hadn't seen it yet and knew I must. For some reason I wasn't that excited to watch it and after seeing it can't figure out what I was thinking. But I think a lot of people feel that way about the classics and let me tell you - a lot of these movies are going to be much better than you might think! This movie is actually pretty funny. Like in a part of the opening scene where Fred Astaire's character Don Hewes cons this poor kid out of his stuffed rabbit with an elaborate dancing and drum scene.

The bunny, a hat and a huge bouquet are all going to his dance partner/girlfriend Nadine, played by the gorgeous Ann Miller. Tell me you don't love her lighter in front, darker in back hair? She basically shoots down poor Don and tells him she's breaking up the act and everything else. Don leaves in a huff but she doesn't seem at all put out when friend Johnnie (Peter Lawford) comes by. Hello, gorgeous.

Poor Johnnie realizes Nadine only wants him for his money and ditches her. Plus he's friends with Don so that would just be awkward, now wouldn't it? 

Johnnie finds Don at a bar trying to drown his sorrows. He holds up a glass of booze and asks the bartender, "Can you drown a brunette in this?" Bartender says, "How tall is she?" "Five foot six." Bartender adds more booze. "Try that." Ha!

While there he claims in a Pygmalion reminiscent attitude that he could make any of those girls dancing in the background as good as Nadine. He randomly stares at Hannah Brown (Judy Garland) and decides on her telling her to meet him at dance hall for practice in the morning. It's a disaster and she hilariously explains her reasons for not knowing her left leg from her right - "I was left handed as a child and the doctor told my mother I might become a dangerous criminal!"

They make the best of things but their first performance is also a (hilarious) flop as well as a spoof on a dance Fred did with Ginger Rogers where part of her feathered costume broke off and floated in his face. Things go better when he decides to play to Hannah's talents (singing) instead of trying to make her into Nadine.

Then by chance of weather she meets this fella with an umbrella - hello again, gorgeous. He's instantly smitten but all she wants to do is run away. Seriously?

She eventually agrees to a date with him and they end up with this guy as their waiter and they have the best explanation of a salad ever made.

Oh yeah and she tells poor Johnnie she's in love with Don. This guy is gorgeous, sweet, understanding to a fault, smart (almost finished with law school and then going to medical school) and rich....why are we supposed to be in love with Fred Astaire in this movie??

Because he's an amazing dancer, that's why. This scene in particular is amazing.

Ann Miller still looks fabulous even when you kinda hate her character for being such a snob and for making Don and Hannah's lives a bit miserable. Though when I see these gloves and feel like I should be doing the dishes.

And how do they get back at her? By dressing up as dirty hobos. Yeah...that'll show her...

This scene actually reminded me quite a bit of a scene from The Pirate* with Judy Garland and Gene Kelly.

And what's with the Easter Parade title? The dress-fabulous-and-get-your-photo-taken-people-parade is what opens and closes the movie and...that's about it. But I defy you not to have that song stuck in your head forever. I was still singing it while walking my trash outside.

Would I recommend Easter Parade? Absolutely. Funny and entertaining with some great dancing and a fun love triangle story that is still quite relevant. And while we're on the topic of Fred Astaire I'm loving this song by Emma Wallace that this particular youtuber always puts perfectly to movie clips.

*A movie called The Pirate you KNOW I had to watch and I did just last week! Apparently Easter Parade was supposed to reunite Judy Garland and Gene Kelly after The Pirate but Gene had a broken ankle and couldn't perform. Although if you want to see Gene Kelly do a pole dance and then later wear Daisy Dukes shorts showing off some amazing thigh muscles then definitely check out The Pirate. Also that scene I previously mentioned that seemed so familiar was basically a copy of "Make 'Em Laugh" from Singin' In the Rain. And total confusion where everything is the same ensues.

1 comment:

RamblingMother said...

One of my favorites! Love the movie and one of my fav parts is in the toy shop with the drums!