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4.8 out of 5 stars
The Fred Astaire Collection of 1940 [DVD] [2011]
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88 of 90 people found the following review helpful
TOP 50 REVIEWERon 21 August 2011
These films are classical musicals. The question is 'who was the better/best dancer' Fred Astaire danced with? These films may add to discussion and even after repeat viewing (plus other movies) the debate will continue.
These films are familiarly represented in a convenient package.

EASTER PARADE: Originally scheduled for Gene Kelly. He sprained an ankle in a volleyball game. Enter Mr Astaire. With Judy Garland result success. Irving Berlin and technicolor added surefire winners. Astaire plays a dancer ditched by partner Ann Miller. Under pressure he boasts he can make a star out of anyone. He chooses Judy Garland out of a line of chorus girls. Obviously 'no problem' apart from that he is still in love with Ann Miller. Time and music change matters. Outstanding songs and dances: 'A Couple Of Swells', 'Steppin' Out With My Baby','The Girl On The Magazine Cover', Astaire's 'Drum Crazy' solo. I could go on. Director Charles Walter and the cast, score, everything make this a perennial classic.

BROADWAY MELODY OF 1940: Fred Astaire dancing to Cole Porter's 'Beguine The Beguine' with Eleanor Powell is so magical that it sets the tone for the rest of the movie. Personally, I think Eleanor Powell is more than a match for Astaire. George Murphy vies with Fred in a vaudeville routine. Other notable numbers include 'I've Got My Eyes On You', 'I Concentrate On You', 'I Am The Captain'. Charlotte Arren esotericcally performs 'Il Bacio' to add to the attraction. Don't make them like this anymore.

FINIAN'S RAINBOW: Relative newcomer director Francis Ford Coppola took on this 1968 film. Perhaps better on stage, nevertheless, a mixture of fantasy and song was represented by Fred Astaire (a leprechaun figure), Petula Clark, Tommy Steele , Don Francks. Buried gold, granting three wishes from the hidden gold, the 'truth' being the real world and its people. Songs include 'How Are Things in Glocca Morra?' 'If This Isn't Love', 'Look To The Rainbow'. Fred doesn't dance so much but exudes charm. Blarney and social comment framed within a musical setting.

THE BAND WAGON: Brilliant! Producer Arthur Freed gave Astaire the role 20 years after his film debut in 'Dancing Lady'. Top hat and stick (Astaire's Tony Hunter') gives way to a comeback production with Cyd Charisse. Directed by Vincente Minnelli, the results were stunning.Forget the plot. 'Dancing In The Dark', 'The Girl Hunt Ballet', 'That's Entertainment' (apparently written in 30 minutes by Schwartz and Dietz), 'Beggar's Waltz' are dazzling. Astaire at his best. Was Cyd Charisse his best partner? Was it Eleanor Powell or Leslie Carron or Vera Ellen or Rita Hayworth? What about Ginger Rogers?? The answers lie in the films. Keep dreaming.
Classic films here that need nothing but admiration. Lovely.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on 25 May 2013
Easter Parade with Judy Garland a classic not to be missed and brought out at Bank Holiday delightful,
Broadway Melody 1940 when friends had honour and events cause Fred angst - but being his film all done superbly,
Finian's Rainbow preposterous fantasy story - actually quite a delightful reminder of how we once were,
The Band Wagon, Fred Astaire was reputedly delighted to dance with long-legged Cyd Charisse and is shows!
Wonderful collection, entertaining generations of fans; loved it.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on 12 April 2013
Fred Astaire can do no wrong. His acting is not memorable but as soon as he dances, he is mesmerising, and nothing else matters
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on 13 June 2013
Can't add anything to reviews submitted by others. Just vintage Hollywood at it's musical and dancing best! Not to be missed!
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on 9 May 2013
some way now into collecting everything from the master of dance these are well preserved recordings. Hope I can locate more
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
on 14 December 2012
How can you beat a great Astaire movie on a cold and wet afternoon? Great fun and amazing dancing skill.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on 8 April 2013
all excellent films . This is a lovely selection of films and will give many hours of pleasure to those who likes this master of the dance
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on 5 June 2013
You just can't go wrong with this. I love all of them and it's a must have for your DVD collection.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 26 October 2014
The guy could never walk anywhere - he could only dance - originally Russian immigrant.
It makes Strictly look like a load of rubbish, which it is + X-Factor, even worse!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 2 February 2014
We bought this DVD just for one particular film ,what a bonus we got, four films for the price of one if you want nostalgia buy this little treasure trove
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