Sunday, March 31, 2013

Easter Parade: Shaking The Blues Away

What better way to celebrate Easter today than with a vintage photo and publicity blurb featuring MGM's talented Queen of Tap, Ann Miller, from the movie "Easter Parade"?

HOLLYWOOD'S DANCING DAUGHTER…She's Ann Miller, who, with her stellar role in Irving Berlin's "Easter Parade," reaches the peak of a film dancing career that began when she was just fourteen. The film also stars Judy Garland, Fred Astaire, and Peter Lawford. In addition to two numbers with Astaire, Miss Miller appears in two show-stopping solo routines in the Technicolor musical. One of these is to the old-time Berlin favorite, "Shaking the Blues Away." In addition to ten of his nostalgic old-timers, Berlin wrote seven new song hits for the Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer picture which Charles Walters directed. Arthur Freed produced, with Robert Alton as director of the musical numbers.

Her whirling feet are tapping out a lightning-fast rhythm here as she displays the talent that has led to her recognition as Hollywood's foremost feminine dancing star today.

My other favorite song is "Alabam;" probably one of the best dance numbers Garland ever did.

The movie is also well known for the "Couple of Swells" number, where Judy Garland and Fred Astaire dress as hobos, while poking fun at high society snobs. It is so rare to see Astaire dressed shabbily, let alone dancing with such joyfully comic and playful abandon that it is easy to see why this part of the film has become a classic.

Although there was a 23-year age difference between Garland and Astaire, the warm rapport and chemistry between the two makes the love story of the movie totally believable. Still, it would have been interesting to see Gene Kelly with Garland, since he was the original one hired to play Astaire's role until an injury forced him to decline.

Do you have your bonnet ready for the Easter Parade?

See more "Easter Parade" photos on my Judy Garland web page.


Diane said...

Love that movie! Happy Easter!

Heidi Ann said...

Easter Parade is one of my all-time favorite movies. It's not Easter for me unless I listen to my CD and hear Fred Astaire singing "Happy Easter" and Judy Garland singing "Easter Parade". Over the years, I have collected nearly every piece of original sheet music of the songs from the film. I love all of the fabulous Irving Berlin songs, and it's a soundtrack CD that I can listen to over and over - and over again. Happy Easter to YOU, and thank you for this delightful post!

K. Martinez said...

When the midnight choo choo leaves for Alabam’
Alabam’ Alabam’

Now I'll be singin’ Irving Berlin tunes all day. He’s probably my favorite song writer for Hollywood musicals. Another great one of his is Alexander’s Ragtime Band with Alice Faye.

Happy Easter to all!