Friday, December 24, 2010

A Swing Time Christmas

Any time is a good time for Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers, especially if its Christmas time and the movie is Swing Time (1936).  Swing Time won an Oscar for best music, and Hermes Pan was nominated for another for best dance routine.  Plus, Ginger was never prettier!  Even with whipped cream in her hair.

The best Christmas scene in this movie is the snow scene.  It was shot on a sound stage, which is obvious, but you do get a little cold watching it, especially when Fred gets a face full of snow as Ginger starts the car!  The song, A Fine Romance, sung during the snow scene really helps warm you up.

Alas, the rest of the cast never comes to mind when you think about Fred and Ginger.  Their ten films together include some of the finest dancing you will ever see, so why remember the cast, or even the story line?

Well, there were others in the cast.  Who can remember Betty Furness (1916 - 1994) on "What's My Line" in the 1950s and "To Tell the Truth" in the 1960s?  She was there, in one of her 45 movie and TV roles.  Betty was also in Flying Down to Rio (1933) with Fred and Ginger.

Victor Moore (1876 - 1962) appears as well.  He has 71 roles to his credit, including 23 silent short films in 1917 alone.  He also made two movies with Bob Hope, Louisiana Purchase (1941) and Star Spangled Rhythm (1942) also with Bing Crosby.  Look for Moore in This is the Army (1943), a Ronald Reagan movie starring George Murphy (1902 - 1992).  Moore's last film was The Seven Year Itch (1955) with Marilyn Monroe.

Here's a Bit Actor to know...Helen Broderick (1891 - 1959).  Swing Time is one of her 35 movies.  She was also the mother of Broderick Crawford (1911 - 1986) who has 140 titles listed.  And I didn't know they were both born in Philadelphia, just like this Blogger!

Two more and we'll call it a day.  Eric Blore (1887 - 1959) has 86 wonderful titles.  I think I may come back to him in another post.  Blore was in The Lady Eve (1941), among his other work from 1920 to 1955.  And let's not forget Georges Metaxa (1899 - 1950) who only made 12 films, but did a great job at Ricky Romero, the band leader who gambles with Fred for his band.

I hope everyone reading has a wonderful Christmas.  I appreciate all the comments and e-mails I have received since I started this project, and several of you have become regular correspondents.  That's what makes this fun...sharing and discussing the great moments and great personalities in film.

I will not be writing tomorrow, but keep watching for more Bit Part Actors.  There are a lot of them!  Spend some time with Fred and Ginger over the holidays.

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