Time: 109 mins.
Rating: Not Rated
Academy Award nomination for Best Cinematography.
SYNOPSIS: Josh and Dinah Barkley are a successful (though argumentative) musical-comedy team, yet Dinah chafes as Galatea to her husband's Pygmalion. When serious playwright Jacques Barredout envisions her as a great dramatic actress, Dinah is not hard to persuade. Her defection does not please Josh, who desperately tries everything to change her mind.
BOTTOM LINE: Though I'm generally a fan of the Astaire/Rogers team, I have to say that this, their tenth film together, is probably the reason they didn't make an 11th. It's not a horrible movie, just dismally average. Our usually snappy, energetic pair seemed tired and bored. The script is more adult and less convoluted than most of their efforts, so I found the acting to be pretty good.
However, the musical numbers were pretty blasé, the costumes being the best part. It's not that they lost their talent, just the ability to create a fresh mood and look, which is due mostly, I'm sure, to the fact that they'd been acting and dancing opposite each other for over a decade. Ginger actually has the meatier role here as a song and dancer who gets the opportunity to stretch her acting muscles in a legitimate theatrical production. Astaire plays her jealous, over-bearing husband and dance partner. A character up to all sorts of tricks to keep his wife under his thumb and when that doesn't work, lure her back into the fold.
Nothing new there. They have pretty good chemistry together, which is the main reason this film is still watchable. Oscar Levant gives good comic relief as their womanizing composer. The most surprising thing here is how awful Astaire looks in a kilt. To see what this team is really all about, check out TOP HAT.