Actors: Fred Astaire, George Burns, Gracie Allen, Joan Fontaine, Reginald Gardiner, Ray Noble, Contance Collier, Montagu Love, Harry Watson
Genre: Musical, Comedy
Run Time: 100:00 Final Format: DVD - NTSC Year: 1937
This Disc is formatted for all Regions and has CSS Copyright Protection (will not play in some laptops)
Aspect Ratio: 4 X 3 FULL FRAME, Original Aspect Ratio - 1.33 Audio: Mono 1.0 - English
Fred Astaire sails across the pond to meet damsel in distress Joan Fontaine and delightful (if unlikely) dance partners George Burns and Gracie Allen in a musical co-scripted by master wit P.G. Wodehouse and directed by George Stevens (Swing Time). The helium-light story concerns servants running a betting pool on the marriage prospects of a fetching aristocrat (guess who wins her hand). The elegant George and Ira Gershwin score includes two standards forever associated with Astaire, A Foggy Day and Nice Work If You Can Get It, plus one of Hollywood's cleverest song-and-dances: the Academy Award(r)-winning* Fun House number, which sends Astaire, Burns and Allen cavorting among chutes, mirrors, moving floors and rolling barrels.
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NR (Not Rated)
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
This is one of the most delightful movies, and it preserves the flavor of Burns & Allen. Since we have so little film of Vaudeville, this movie shows us what we missed. The wiskbroom routine surely came from the stage, and the dialogue between Gracie and George and Fred surely came from the stage. Come on folks. Don't compare this film with Ginger and Fred. Its not supposed to be like Top Hat. I personally like Damsel more than Swing Time which doesn't feature enough dancing in the first hour. Sure Joan Fontaine is lost but she's only 19!! Look where she went from here. Get the movie, pop the corn and relax. This is a feel good, just dang fun movie, and you'll be happy you saw it.
There are several things of importance about this film. Most importantly.......it's George Gershwin's LAST COMPLETE score. He did write 1 more song for 38's GOLDWYN FOLLIES but never completed it (Ira Gershwin and Vernon Duke did.....OUR LOVE IS HERE TO STAY) but A DAMSEL IN DISTRESS is choc a bloc with gags and songs and great comic performances. Fred Astaire really seems so much more at ease here than with his former dance partner Ginger Rogers. The storyline is bright and breezy and filled with great character actors Constance Collier,Ray Noble(yes, the British band leader),Reginald Gardner and Harry Watson.The charming if wan Joan Fontaine but most importantly George Burns and Gracie Allen at the top of their game....GB:(criticizing Gracie for her forgetfulness) "Gracie, sometimes I think that their's nothing up here" (indicating his brain)to which Gracie replies: "Ah George , you're self conscious!"
The Gershwin songs are some of his best...A FOGGY DAY, NICE WORK IF...
Well, that's my opinion. Sure, it was his first to lose money. But that's because the 1937 public had a hard time accepting the genius of a man without Ginger. This film contains great solo dancing by Astaire, and for comical dancing he is joined by George Burns and Gracie Allen. We'll just leave out that outdoor dance he did with Joan Fontaine, though the song was a beaut. We see Astaire pounding away on the drums in every way imaginable for "Nice Work if You Can Get It", avoiding the bobby with "I Can't be Bothered Now", and spending time with George and Gracie in a fun house during "Stiff Upper Lip." Those songs, by George and Ira Gershwin are legendary. "Nice Work if you can Get It" is first sung by a madrigal choir that Astaire introduces to swing. "Things are Looking Up" is a romantic tune Astaire delivers to Joan Fontaine. We also hear "A Foggy Day," George Gershwin's last completed score is a can't...
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