The Fred Astaire Collection 3 DVD Set 
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'Can't sing. Can't act, Balding. Can dance a little' was the report of Fred Astaire's first screen test in 1932, but Fred would go on to prove them wrong on just about every matter other than his baldness! Whilst none of the films in this collection feature him with Ginger Rogers, his most famous dance partner, he does dance with Paulette Goddard and Ellen Bowen in Second Chorus and Royal Wedding respectively. The Over The Hill Gang is a rare comedy outing for Fred, one he manages with ease.
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Easter Parade features Judy Garland. Made in 1948 as a young adult, it shows her at her best with classics such as 'We're a couple of Swells' and includes an engaging story. For Broadway Melody he teams up with Eleanor Powell. There's not much in the way of a story other than to provide an excuse for extended dance sequences such as the lengthy Begin the Beguine. The only question I've never been able to decide is whether Eleanor was Fred's greatest partner or Cyd Charisse. The chance to make the comparison comes with Band Wagon with Cyd at her greatest and Fred still as charismatic as ever. This is without doubt one of the greatest ever musicals.
Not quite so touched with greatness are the other two features. The Barkleys of Broadway features Ginger Rogers and is an oddity. Made 10 years after their previous film, it re-united them for their only colour feature, but they are not quite as good as they were in their pomp in the 1930s. It does feature though the sublime 'They can't take that away from me'. And finally Finian's Rainbow teams Fred up with someone who is on nobody's list of top 25 dance partners... Petula Clark! Fred was pushing 70 and had given up film dancing after Silk Stockings 10 years earlier. Directed by Ford Coppola, this should have been great, but instead is another oddity.
One movie aside, this is a good collection of Fred movies.
Amazon, please reconsider your policy of advertising products from this company. I'm certain that you only damage your own reputation by continuing to sell such DVDs.
Elstree Hill should be well and truly outlawed!
Second Chorus is a minor film and it's often reported that Fred thought it his worse, which is a bit unfair as the swing music is great and Paulette Goddard works well with him.
The Over The Hill Gang Rides Again is not a well-known film, and it isn't a musical but a comedy western made for tv in the 1970s. It's a sequel and although the first film was more entertaining, if you like the old western actors such as Walter Brennan and Andy Devine then you may have enough goodwill to enjoy. I know I did!
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