Promotional movie poster for the film
|Directed by||Stuart Heisler|
|Produced by||Sol C. Siegel|
|Written by||Arthur Sheekman|
Allan G. Stuart Heisler ( December 5, 1896 - August 21, 1979) was a Film and Television director. Sol C Siegel (1903 - 1982 was an American Reporter and producer. Arthur Sheekman ( February 5 1901, Chicago &ndash January 12 1978) a graduate from the University of Minnesota, started Scott
|Music by||Robert Emmett Dolan|
|Distributed by||Paramount Pictures|
|Running time||104 min. Irving Berlin (11 May 1888 &ndash 22 September 1989 was a Russian-born American Composer and Lyricist, and one of the most prolific American songwriters Robert Emmett "Bobby" Dolan ( August 3, 1908 &ndash September 26, 1972) was a Broadway conductor composer and arranger Irving Berlin (11 May 1888 &ndash 22 September 1989 was a Russian-born American Composer and Lyricist, and one of the most prolific American songwriters Paramount Pictures Corporation is an American motion picture production and Distribution company, based in Hollywood California. The year 1946 in film involved some significant events Events Top grossing films (U |
Blue Skies is a 1946 Hollywood musical comedy film, released by Paramount Pictures and starring Bing Crosby, Fred Astaire, Joan Caulfield, Olga San Juan and Billy De Wolfe, with music, lyrics and story by Irving Berlin; most of the songs were recycled from earlier works. The United States of America —commonly referred to as the English is a West Germanic language originating in England and is the First language for most people in the United Kingdom, the United States The year 1946 in film involved some significant events Events Top grossing films (U The musical film is a Film genre in which several Songs sung by the characters are interwoven into the narrative Paramount Pictures Corporation is an American motion picture production and Distribution company, based in Hollywood California. Harry Lillis “Bing” Crosby ( May 3, 1903 &ndash October 14, 1977) was an Academy Award winning American Popular Fred Astaire (born Frederick Austerlitz; May 10, 1899 &ndash June 22, 1987) was an American Academy Award Joan Caulfield ( June 1 1922 - June 18 1991) was an American actress and former fashion model Olga San Juan (born March 16, 1927) is a Brooklyn-born dancer and Comedian of Puerto Rican extraction who was active in films primarily in the Billy De Wolfe ( February 18, 1907 - March 5, 1974) was an American Character actor. Irving Berlin (11 May 1888 &ndash 22 September 1989 was a Russian-born American Composer and Lyricist, and one of the most prolific American songwriters The film was directed by Stuart Heisler and produced by Sol C. Siegel. Stuart Heisler ( December 5, 1896 - August 21, 1979) was a Film and Television director. Sol C Siegel (1903 - 1982 was an American Reporter and producer.
As in Holiday Inn (1942), the film is designed to showcase the songs of Irving Berlin. Holiday Inn is a 1942 Film starring Bing Crosby and Fred Astaire, which featured the music of Irving Berlin. Year 1942 ( MCMXLII) was a Common year starting on Thursday (the link will display the full 1942 calendar of the Gregorian calendar. The plot, which is presented in a series of flashbacks with Astaire as narrator, follows a similar formula of Crosby beating Astaire for the affections of a leading lady. Comedy is principally provided by Billy De Wolfe.
Joan Caulfield was the protege of Mark Sandrich - who directed many of the Astaire-Rogers musicals - and who was originally slated to direct this film. Mark Sandrich (born August 26, 1900 in New York City, New York &ndash died March 4, 1945 in Hollywood, He died of a heart attack during pre-production and Stuart Heisler was drafted in to replace him. Heisler wanted Caulfield replaced, but Crosby - who was having an affair with Caulfield - protected her.
Tap dancer Paul Draper was the initial choice to partner Bing Crosby, however, during the first week of production Draper's speech impediment and his trenchant criticism of Caulfield's dance ability led Crosby to insist on his replacement by Astaire who, then forty-seven, had already decided that this would be his final film and that he would retire, having spent over forty years performing before the public. The film was billed as "Astaire's last picture" and its very strong performance at the box office pleased him greatly, as he had dearly wanted to go out on a high note.
The reasons for Astaire's (temporary) retirement remain a source of debate: his own view that he was "tired and running out of gas", the sudden collapse in 1945 of the market for Swing music which left many of his colleagues in jazz high and dry, a desire to devote time to establishing a chain of dancing schools, and a dissatisfaction with roles, as in this film, where he was relegated to playing second fiddle to the lead. Year 1945 ( MCMXLV) was a Common year starting on Monday (link will display the full calendar Swing music, also known as swing jazz, is a form of Jazz music that developed in the early 1930s and had solidified as a distinctive style by 1935 in the United Ironically, it is for his celebrated solo performance of "Puttin' On The Ritz" that this film is most remembered today. See also Fred Astaire This is a complete guide to over one hundred and fifty of Fred Astaire's solo and partnered dances compiled from his thirty-one Hollywood musical
Key songs/dance routines:
Crosby applies his famous relaxed crooning style to the many songs he delivers here. In contrast, Astaire, assisted by choreographers Hermes Pan and Dave Robel (for the "Puttin' On The Ritz" routine), delivers a series of dances which explore the theme of confrontation, both with partners and with the audience. Hermes Pan ( December 10, 1910 &ndash September 19, 1990) was an American Dancer and Choreographer, principally celebrated As a result, it is one of only a few Astaire films not to feature a romantic partnered dance.
- "A Pretty Girl Is Like A Melody": Berlin's 1919 song is presented as part of a big Ziegfeld Follies production number, an aesthetic which Astaire parodies in this partnered dance with Caulfield and others. History The Follies were lavish Revues something between later Broadway shows and a more elaborate high class Vaudeville Variety show. In the first of a series of references to films he made earlier in the 1940s, he reprises a tap sequence performed atop a bar counter in the "One For My Baby" number from The Sky's the Limit (1943), this time danced down a stairway. The Sky's The Limit ( 1943) is a musical comedy Film with a wartime theme starring Fred Astaire, Joan Leslie, Robert Year 1943 ( MCMXLIII) was a Common year starting on Friday (the link will display full 1943 calendar of the Gregorian calendar.
- "I've Got My Captain Working For Me Now": This song, composed in 1919, is performed by Crosby, backed up by Billy De Wolfe. Billy De Wolfe ( February 18, 1907 - March 5, 1974) was an American Character actor.
- "You'd Be Surprised": Another 1919 song, this time performed by Olga San Juan. Olga San Juan (born March 16, 1927) is a Brooklyn-born dancer and Comedian of Puerto Rican extraction who was active in films primarily in the
- "All by Myself": Crosby performs this 1921 song to Caulfield, who harmonizes with him in the closing phrases. " All by Myself " is a popular song written by Irving Berlin for a 1921 musical revue
- "Serenade To An Old-Fashioned Girl": Caulfield sings this number, specially written for the film.
- "I'll See You In Cuba": A 1920 song performed as a duet by Crosby and San Juan.
- "A Couple Of Song And Dance Men": A comic song and dance duet for Astaire and Crosby to a number specially composed for the film. The concept is a reworking of the "I'll Capture Your Heart" number from Holiday Inn (1942) and the comedy centres around Crosby's legendary reluctance to rehearse. Holiday Inn is a 1942 Film starring Bing Crosby and Fred Astaire, which featured the music of Irving Berlin. Year 1942 ( MCMXLII) was a Common year starting on Thursday (the link will display the full 1942 calendar of the Gregorian calendar.
Fred Astaire and a chorus of Fred Astaires in "Puttin' on the Ritz"
- "Puttin' on the Ritz": Although Berlin's 1930 song was originally written for vaudevillian Harry Richman, it has become indelibly associated with Astaire, who also recorded it for Columbia in 1930. " Puttin' on the Ritz " is a popular song written and published in 1929 by Irving Berlin and introduced by Harry Richman in the musical Columbia Records is an American Record label founded in 1888 Columbia is the oldest surviving Brand name in pre-recorded sound being the first record company In this tap solo with cane, which was widely billed as "Astaire's last dance", the lyrics are updated, replacing racist references to ritzy Harlemites with wealthy whites strutting their stuff up and down Lenox Avenue. See also Fred Astaire This is a complete guide to over one hundred and fifty of Fred Astaire's solo and partnered dances compiled from his thirty-one Hollywood musical The routine was produced after the rest of the film had been completed, and according to Astaire, it took "five weeks of back-breaking physical work" to prepare. It is constructed in three sections, beginning in a dull book-lined office with a tired-looking Astaire showing his years and dressed in a morning suit. Morning dress is the daytime form of men's formal dress. History The name originated from the practice of gentlemen in the nineteenth century riding a horse Here Astaire delivers the song while executing a gentle tap and cane solo in mock slow-motion, in an amusing parody of his impending retirement. The song finished, he returns to normal speed and proceeds to dance around the office while executing an ingenious jumping cane routine which relied on a concealed floor trigger mechanism. Thus rejuvenated, Astaire sweeps aside a pair of drab curtains to reveal a chorus of nine Fred Astaires - achieved by filming two separate versions of Astaire, repeating them four times and interleaving them. The final section is a greatly speeded up repeat of the tune which accompanies a routine of spell-binding virtuosity for Astaire and chorus. In "Top Hat, White Tie and Tails" from Top Hat (1935), Astaire proceeded to machine-gun his chorus dancers with his cane. " Top Hat White Tie and Tails " is a popular song written by Irving Berlin for the 1935 film Top Hat, where it was introduced by Fred Astaire For the item of clothing see Top hat. For the fictional TUGS character see Top Hat (TUGS. Year 1935 ( MCMXXXV) was a Common year starting on Tuesday (link will display full calendar of the Gregorian calendar. This time, Astaire joins his chorus in adopting a confrontational, at times almost menacing posture towards his audience.  In 1957, on the brink of yet another temporary retirement, Astaire wittily refers back to this routine in the self-parodying "The Ritz, Roll And Rock" number from Silk Stockings. Year 1957 ( MCMLVII) was a Common year starting on Tuesday (link displays the 1957 Gregorian calendar) Silk Stockings is a 1957 MGM Musical film remake of Ninotchka.
- "You Keep Coming Back Like a Song": Crosby performs this specially composed number. " You Keep Coming Back Like a Song " is a popular song written by Irving Berlin for the 1946 film Blue Skies, where it was introduced by
- "Blue Skies": Crosby sings this 1926 ballad, the film's title song, to Caulfield. " Blue Skies " is a popular Song, written by Irving Berlin in 1926
- "Nightclub Montage": Crosby performs fragments of "The Little Things In Life" (1930), "Not For All The Rice In China" (1933) and "Russian Lullaby" (1927).
- "Everybody Step": Crosby sings this 1921 number, followed by a brief dance for chorus choreographed by Hermes Pan. Crosby directs the chorus in the opening stages, a concept revived and further developed by Pan for the opening number of An Evening with Fred Astaire (1958). An Evening with Fred Astaire was a one-hour Television special starring Fred Astaire, broadcast on NBC on October 17, 1958 Year 1958 ( MCMLVIII) was a Common year starting on Wednesday (link will display full calendar of the Gregorian calendar.
- "How Deep Is The Ocean?": Crosby performs this 1932 song in a musing style, backed by a female quartet. " How Deep Is the Ocean? " is a popular song written by Irving Berlin in 1932, and can be heard in the background of the 1933 film
- "(Running Around In Circles) Getting Nowhere": Crosby sings this specially composed song to Caulfield.
- "Heat Wave": The film's major production number features Astaire, Olga San Juan and chorus in a brightly coloured Latin-themed setting. " Heat Wave " is a popular song It was written by Irving Berlin for the 1933 musical As Thousands Cheer. It begins with San Juan's rendition - with the lyric "making her seat wave" toned down to "making her feet wave" - of this 1933 song, while Astaire approaches warily, using dance steps reminiscent of those used in the "Dream Ballet" number from Yolanda and the Thief (1945), followed by a partnered dance for Astaire and San Juan, and then a tap solo section for Astaire who quotes from the "Boogie Barcarolle (Rehearsal Sequence)" number from You'll Never Get Rich (1941). Yolanda and the Thief ( MGM) is a 1945 Hollywood musical comedy Film set in a fictional Latin American country and stars Year 1945 ( MCMXLV) was a Common year starting on Monday (link will display the full calendar You'll Never Get Rich ( Columbia Pictures) is a 1941 Hollywood musical comedy Film with a wartime theme starring Fred Astaire Year 1941 ( MCMXLI) was a Common year starting on Wednesday (the link will display 1941 calendar of the Gregorian calendar. This solo section was shot in one take and features music specially composed by Astaire, the only time his music was used in a film. In a counterpoint to the film's opening number, this number ends with him ascending a staircase, only to fall dramatically from a precipice, ending his character's dance career.
- "Wartime Medley": Crosby performs excerpts from "Any Bonds Today" (1941), "This Is The Army Mr. Jones" (1942) and "White Christmas" (1942) - which he had introduced in his previous film with Astaire: Holiday Inn (1942). A white Christmas, to most people in the Northern Hemisphere, refers to Snowy weather on Christmas Day. Holiday Inn is a 1942 Film starring Bing Crosby and Fred Astaire, which featured the music of Irving Berlin.
- "You Keep Coming Back Like A Song/Blue Skies (reprise)": Performed by Crosby and Caulfield at the film's close.
The other Berlin songs which featured only as background music in the film are, in order of use: "Tell Me Little Gypsy" (1920), "Nobody Knows" (1920), "Mandy " (1918), "I Wonder" (1919), "Some Sunny Day" (1922), "When You Walked Out Someone Else Walked In" (1923), "Because I Love You" (1926), "Homesick" (1922), "How Many Times" (1926), "The Song Is Ended" (1927), "Lazy" (1924), "Always" (1925) and "I Can't Remember" (1933).
Fred Astaire: Steps in Time, 1959, multiple reprints.
John Mueller: Astaire Dancing - The Musical Films of Fred Astaire, Knopf 1985, ISBN 0-394-51654-0
Larry Billman: Fred Astaire - A Bio-bibliography, Greenwood Press 1997, ISBN 0-313-29010-5
- ^ Mueller, p. 267: "The change may have had to do with changing attitudes towards race and Hollywood's dawning wariness about offending blacks. "
- ^ Mueller, p. 267
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