It's clear from reviews posted on here that many fans of Astaire's "Royal Wedding" have been disappointed and frustrated following the purchase of one of a number of third rate copies of the film which found their way on to the market following the lapse of copyright. Having viewed two or three of them, I shared in this frustration at the extremely poor reproduction of both picture and sound, and therefore offer a huge vote of thanks to Warner Bros for rescuing this neglected gem and restoring it to its former glory.
"Royal Wedding" is indeed a little gem from later in the legendary Astaire's career, and teams him (for the only time, I think) with Jane Powell, of "Seven Brides..." fame. For me, this teaming is a revelation, and Powell partners Astaire in some wonderfully witty and energetic song and dance numbers, such as the hilarious "How Could You Believe Me" and the sensational "I Left My Hat In Haiti", the latter providing a barnstorming riot of rhythm and colour as the film's musical finale.
Throw in an amusing script, some excellent comic support from Keenan Wynn and Albert Sharpe, a couple of great solos from the master Astaire, and quality songs from Alan Jay Lerner and Burton Lane, and you've got a quality picture from Astaire's MGM phase. It may just lack that little extra special something that set "Easter Parade" and "The Band Wagon" apart as stand out classics from Astaire's MGM years, but believe it, it's still pretty darn entertaining stuff!
Repeat: buy THIS edition of "Royal Wedding" which pairs it with "The Belle of New York", and NOT any of the other vastly inferior versions on offer!!!