Bing Crosby and Fred Astaire respectively sing and dance their way through the slight but pleasant holiday-themed romantic comedy-musical Holiday Inn, which casts the two entertainers as romantic rivals vying for the same woman — twice.
Numerous Irving Berlin songs include the classic "White Christmas," sung twice by Crosby (twelve years before the more mediocre film of that name). Astaire’s fancy footwork, meanwhile, includes a literally explosive Independence Day tap-dance with a pocketful of firecrackers that go off when thrown to the ground.
True to type, Crosby plays nice and Astaire shallow: Jim (Crosby) loves his dance partner and wants to marry her and settle down, but Ted (Astaire) wants to dance with her, and steals her away from Jim. Heartbroken, Jim retires to the Connecticut farm where he had hoped to settle down, but soon finds that show business is in his blood, and hits on the novel idea of turning his farmhouse into a dinner theater that operates only on holidays.
Soon Jim has a new dance partner — and romantic interest — in Marjorie Reynolds. Naturally, that’s when Ted shows up, having lost the last woman to a Texas millionaire. From there the story writes itself, careful never to get in the way of big production numbers for every holiday on the calendar, especially Christmas.
The quintessential Fred-and-Ginger vehicle, Top Hat features some of the most glorious, memorable dance sequences ever filmed.
In a conceit both touching and surreal, Kelly plays an American ex-G.I. in Paris who’s never wanted anything but to paint, though he’s obviously the best hoofer in France.
Celebrating its 60th anniversary in style, Singin’ in the Rain comes to Blu-ray with an astoundingly good-looking new transfer of the best available film elements.
Copyright © 2000– Steven D. Greydanus. All rights reserved.