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Fred and Ginger: The Astaire-Rogers Partnership 1934-1938 Paperback – 11 Jun 2007


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Product details

  • Paperback: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Pen Press Publishers (11 Jun 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1905621965
  • ISBN-13: 978-1905621965
  • Product Dimensions: 23.1 x 15.5 x 2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 427,343 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents


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18 of 18 people found the following review helpful By C. Jacobi on 17 Jun 2009
Format: Paperback
I quite agree with the reviews before me, but I feel there are a few things not really mentioned yet.

Looking at the pictures in this book you'll discover they're carefully chosen to illustrate Ms.Hyam's
points.When she writes about something like the importance of the backbends in some of the
romantic dances ("Smoke gets in your eyes" or "Cheek to Cheek" are two examples) then she
provides the reader with a fitting still.
Not only the dances are covered, but also expressions of emotions as part of the acting
partnership are pointed out very well.
There are two examples in this regard I'd like to mention: The playful and chummy mood of
"I'll be hard to handle" and the heartrending sad minutes before "Never gonna dance".

Unlike any other writer about the Astaire/Rogers musicals Ms.Hyam recognizes the importance
of the "third member" in many of the dances, the mostly stunning ballroom gowns worn by
Ginger Rogers.
Beginning with "Night and Day" she describes every one in detail, discussing the ways each dress
became an integral part in our perception of the dances.
I'am never able to decide which of the dresses adds the most or moved the most beautifully in
the hands of Ginger Rogers.
Some became quite iconic like the ostrich feathers with all the notorious problems or the
"Piccolino" dress, which even sparkled in glorious black and white.

Regardless of you're a long time admirer of these musicals or just discovered them recently, this is one of the three
essential titles.When you have Hannah Hyam, Arlene Croce's "The Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers book" and
John Mueller's "Astaire Dancing", then you have them all.Forget the rest!
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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Barbrasgirl8 on 27 May 2008
Format: Paperback
I was so glad when I read this book that the author didn't trivialise the achievements of Ginger Rogers. Other authors seem to gloss over the part played by Ginger in these wonderful films but Miss Hyam writes her book as a tribute to both Fred and Ginger and even emphasises Ginger's part in them. Ginger was an integral part of the films and especially the dances.Watch her when she dances with Fred, she matches him perfectly step by step and while she is dancing she also remembering that she is not only acting but playing a part so that the two parts are inseperable.
This book should rank up there with the Arlene Croce and John Mueller books and in fact is the most interesting in terms of the dances being analysed. Read about the dance and then watch it and it will bring a new dimension to both the films and dances.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Mrs. N. Flint on 20 Jun 2007
Format: Paperback
This book gives accurate information on the years 1934-1938 which was the best of the Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers films. It is a must for fans -and I couldn't leave it alone. Their romantic dances are fully described with emphasis on the amazing chemistry which existed between Fred and Ginger. Buy it - YOU WON'T BE DISAPPOINTED!

Norma Flint
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17 of 18 people found the following review helpful By P.G.T F57 on 20 Jun 2009
Format: Paperback
Finally and definitely!

In a 1952 interview with Hedda Hopper, Fred Astaire once said about Ginger Rogers: "I think Ginger is the most effective performer I've ever worked with [......] She's quite unique. She's amazing. I expect to see any day where she's knockin''em dead again. "
Unfortunately, these declarations had long been forgotten in favour of cliches and commonplace remarks on Rogers being a second fiddle. On the contrary, the strength of this book is that Rogers `contribution is extremely well analyzed and she receives due credit. To complete the former and thorough reviews written on this website, it is also important to remember that the Fred and Ginger partnership consisted not only of a wonderful chemistry while they danced together, but also of a perfect singing and acting symbiosis. And Hyam`s purpose is to assess all the manifestations of their collaboration. A good example could be when, in Roberta, just before the tap number "I'll Be Hard to Handle", the pair reminisce about the past, and the comedy in this scene is illuminated by their expression of mutual affection and respect. Hannah Hyam describes it vividly:" the teasing, the indignation, the mock violence" [.....] and the "deliciously natural laughter from Rogers and a rare whoop from Astaire, both partners revelling in the sheer joyous fun of dancing together".
Likewise, the descriptions of the singing in the musical numbers appear extremely accurate and well written in the book.
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