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Easter Parade
USA 1948
Directed by Charles Walker
Running time 103 minutes
Rated G

Reviewed by
Bernard Hemingway
3 stars


Although this much-loved Irving Berlin-scored musical drags when no-one's singing or dancing and dramatically the Astaire/Garland pairing is about as exciting as underfelt (if you want to see this kind of Pygmalion relationship done much more skilfully, check out Rex Harrison and Audrey Hepburn in My Fair Lady, 1964),

Garland is in fine voice and somewhat too old Astaire (Gene Kelly was to have played the role until he injured himself) as spiffy as ever and for those who love such things, there's plenty of lavish and gaudy costumery. Balladwise, Berlin's songs are not amongst his best, but the more uptempo song and/or dance numbers, including Fred's opening number, Drum Crazy, Ann Miller's tap tour-de-force, Shaking Off the Blues, the Astaire/Garland comedy skit, We're A Couple of Swells and Fred's Steppin' Out With My Baby with its striking slow motion effect are all good value. Upping the fun quota, there's the ultra-cheesy The Girl On the Magazine Cover (for a similar idea see Charles Vidor's Cover Girl, 1944) and of course, the title song which closes the movie and which with its references to being photographed and publicly admired, like the previously mentioned song shows that the modern celebrity glamour myth has a well-established pedigree.

 

 

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