A Valentine from Fred Astaire

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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