A Valentine from Fred Astaire

Fred Astaire...Class Act

IFC posted this downright delightful Valentine’s Day piece that is really a Valentine to like-minded movie lovers: Five Insanely Romantic Fred Astaire Dances

All in all, a top-notch selection of Fred Astaire moments– and I’m particularly tickled pink that my personal favorite, Hard to Handle, from Roberta, made the cut! But I gotta admit that the final choice, He Loves and She Loves from Funny Face, is the weakest of the lot. (It’s gorgeous soft focus photography, absolutely, but Astaire and Hepburn’s earlier number, Funny Face, is ever so much more engaging.)

Have a read: hope it sweetens this February 14th for you!

Five Insanely Romantic Fred Astaire Dances

Call me old-fashioned, call me an insanely committed movie dork; hell, call me an insanely committed, old-fashioned movie dork but there’s nothing I like better on Valentine’s Day than a quiet night in with my wife, a home-cooked meal and great old films. Our favorites are the classic MGM musicals. You can’t go wrong with Gene Kelly, of course, but I think Valentine’s Day belongs to Fred Astaire, who produced many of his best onscreen moments with a woman at his side. The air of romance in Astaire’s best films is so thick it’s beyond intoxicating: it’s positively infectious. Here are five of his most insanely romantic dance numbers.

Read the rest of the story and watch the video clips here.

And here is my humble addendum to the list: Audrey and Fred dancing in the dark…room. 😉

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Film writer and social media marketing professional. 2019 Social Ambassador for the 10th Annual TCM Classic Film Festival. Previously: social media associate at Warner Archive and script writer for Turner Classic Movies. Working on a Montgomery Clift biography due late 2020.

2 thoughts on “A Valentine from Fred Astaire

  1. I seriously love the fact that a website other than the TCM website came up with a list like this. I’ll gladly take any chance to spend a few minutes watching Fred Astaire dance numbers!

  2. My 5 favorites, in no particular order, are all numbers he did with Ginger, and were almost all songs that she sings in the films:

    1) “I’ll Be Hard to Handle” (Roberta). I’ve collected song sheets from Astaire/Rogers musicals and this one is, for me at least, the Holy Grail. Hard to Handle is Very Hard to Find.

    2) “Music Makes Me” (Flying Down to Rio). The very first Astaire/Rogers musical I ever saw. I don’t think they dance to it intially, until the “reprise” near the end of the film, but Ginger was never hotter than when she sings “music makes me do the things I never should do!” while rolling her eyes ala Mae West.

    3) “I’m Puttin’ All My Eggs in One Basket” (Follow the Fleet) A duet with an athletic (but sexy in a cute way) dance.

    4) “Pick Yourself Up” (Swing Time) Fred gives hot dance instructor Ginger a tough time, while she patiently sings the number — not really romantic, Ginger is sweet, Fred is crass, but once he gets up and dusts himself off, it takes flight.

    5) “The Piccolino” (Top Hat) Ginger, in her plain but upbeat vocal style, opens the film’s grand finale song and dance number (which I think all but Gay Divorcee had). Irving Berlin’s rhymes nearly steal the number that

    “was written by a Latin
    a gondolier who sat in
    his home out in Brooklyn
    and gazed at the stars . . .
    So, raise your glass of vino
    and dance the Piccolino . . . !”

    Fantastic. Just writing about this puts me in a better mood!

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