Tag: fred astaire

MOVIE REVIEW | On the Beach (1959)

In a nutshell, Bored & Dangerous says: “It’s an anti-nuke message that never tries to be subtle about it.”

Beach 1
“The war started when people accepted the idiotic principle that peace could be maintained by arranging to defend themselves with weapons they couldn’t possibly use without committing suicide.”

Last year, the internet lost its mind because we reached the date that Marty McFly travels to in Back the Future Part II.  While the online obsession was a little bit much, it did make me realise something; I like movies set in the future, where that future has now come and gone.  It’s fascinating to see just how wrong pretty much every single one gets it.  For example, in the 2015 of Back to the Future Part II, there are flying cars, but modern communication still includes dot matrix fax machines.  I didn’t know I was in for a future-that-never-eventuated movie with On the Beach, but I’m happy that’s what I got.

After a third World War in the 50s, the entire northern hemisphere has been decimated by nuclear fallout.  With radiation making the top half of the world unlivable, the last remnants of civilization have found their way to Melbourne, Australia.  It’s now the mid 60s, and after assuming there is no life north of the equator, a Morse code message is picked up, coming from California. (more…)

MOVIE REVIEW | Finian’s Rainbow (1968)

Finian 1
“My family’s been having nothing but trouble with immigrants ever since they come to this country!”

When I did a week of reviews dedicated to great film maker’s debuts, I knew Francis Ford Coppola was going to be one of them.  It would be a tossup between Coppola and Martin Scorsese as the first director I could recognise by name in my early movie nerd days as a teenager.  I tracked down a copy of his debut, The Rain People, and felt like I’d finally crossed a long overdue movie off my to-watch list.  Only, it turns out, The Rain People wasn’t Coppola’s debut.  It’s not even his second movie.  Sure, a quick google or search on IMDB would have shown me that, but I’m gonna clutch at straws here so I can justify The Rain People being his first, and me not being wrong.

Technically in the one and two spots on Coppola’s filmography as a director are Battle Beyond the Sun and The Bellboy and the Playgirls.  But he share’s directing credit on these, and both look like foreign made movies, repurposed by some cheap grindhouse studio for the American market.  There’s something called You’re a Big Boy Now that looks like an actual movie, so I guess all I can do is pretend it doesn’t exist.  Then, there’s one more movie standing in between me being wrong and The Rain People being Coppola’s first movie, but this one is easy to dismiss.  Because it is so batshit insane, that even though I just watched it, I’m not sure I believe it exists.  Finian’s Rainbow is too nutty to be real, right? (more…)

***AFI WEEKEND*** #90. Swing Time (1936)

“The American Film Institute’s list of the 100 Greatest Movies was selected by AFI’s blue-ribbon panel of more than 1,500 leaders of the American movie community to commemorate 100 Years of Movies”. Every weekend(ish) during 2015, I’ll review two(ish), counting them down from 100 to 1.


“Listen. No one could teach you to dance in a million years. Take my advice and save your money!”

Screen couples don’t come much more iconic than Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers. So iconic in fact, that I know they are one of the most successful and enduring screen couples in cinema history, and it’s possible I’ve never seen a single one of their soft shoe team ups. Which is kind of sad, because at this stage, I have seen every Burt Reynolds / Dom DeLuise team up, several times. So I guess it’s time to get stuck right into some 30s song and dance, with Swing Time.

Lucky (Fred Astaire) is a hoofer, dancing on stage as part of Pop Cardetti’s (Victor Moore) magic act. It’s his wedding day and he hopes to leave the theatre behind, marry his sweetheart Margaret (Betty Furness) and become a professional gambler. His fellow dancers run a scam that sees Lucky missing his wedding and hopping a train to New York City, penniless except for his lucky quarter, with the aim to win $25,000 and return to take Margaret’s hand in marriage. (more…)