Sunday, October 12, 2008

More Fred and Ginger Depression strategy

If you don't know the movie Shall We Dance, you must. Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers are at their best, the supporting actors are magnificent, and the music is (in my opinion) the best of all Fred and Ginger movies, and that is saying something! George and Ira Gershwin wrote the music, and George insisted upon writing and orchestrating all the incidental music as well as the major songs.

At the end of the movie, Fred's character has pretty well given up on being with Ginger's character, but he has put together a show-ending number that features many women with masks of Ginger's Linda Keene character. Happening to be in the audience, she sees this, already with one foot in the grave of marrying the most wrong person one can imagine, and is so smitten that she goes backstage to participate in the dance, and is happily discovered by Fred's character Peter P. Peters, aka Petrov.

This is another example of Fred and Ginger in The Great Depression, uplifting, entertaining and poignant. Particularly poignant is the fact that George Gershwin died at the age of 38 before the movie's most beautiful song could be awarded its Oscar. Ira Gershwin reportedly could keep going after his brother's death because of this song, "They Can't Take That Away From Me." I love this song, it has represented so much to me at various times in my life. "The way you wear your hat, the way you sip your tea"...Simple things that mean so much.

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