Sunday, March 29, 2009

This Is My 2000th Post, And I'm Using It To Talk About The Comments Feature

Just a quick note about comments: It looks like my blog has been discovered by the same spammers who invaded Vince Keenan's site. So I've disabled anonymous comments for the moment.

And since I have nothing planned to celebrate my 2000th post on this blog ("The 2000 post-old man?"), I'll just post a random clip I like: Gracie Allen, George Burns and Fred Astaire doing the famous fun-house "Stiff Upper Lip" number in the 1937 musical A Damsel In Distress. The song is by George and Ira Gershwin.

The clip brings up something I've thought about before: if you could combine Astaire's two 1937 movies with Gershwin scores, you'd have the perfect musical instead of two less-than-satisfying ones. Shall We Dance has Astaire and Ginger Rogers, but it also has a confusing story and terrible comic relief writing (Edward Everett Horton and Eric Blore had done these parts in too many Astaire/Rogers pictures, anyway). A Damsel In Distress has a better story -- derived from P.G. Wodehouse -- and in Burns and Allen, it has perhaps the best comic relief in the history of movie musicals. But they couldn't find a dancer for the female lead, and gave the part to Joan Fontaine instead, leading Wodehouse to comment on the absurdity of hiring Fred Astaire and giving him nobody to dance with. Nobody, that is, except Burns and Allen.

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