Friday, July 25, 2008

Separated at Birth

TCM is having a month of big band movies and I saw Fred Astaire with
Paulette Goddard in Second Chorus (1940) Wednesday night. Sadly,
Astaire just didn’t sparkle the way he does when paired with the lovely
Ginger Rogers. It was fun, though, to see Artie Shaw playing himself,
along with his band. Fred Astaire is great, a legend, of course, but I
always prefer Gene Kelly. For one thing, Kelly is far more handsome
and I like the smooth, athletic feel of his dancing. And is it my
imagination, or do Fred Astaire and Nancy Reagan look exactly alike?

37 comments:

  1. Wow, comparing Nancy Raygun to Astaire! I think I'll leave that alone.

    None the less, Astaire was brilliant - so was Kelley, just differently. Top Hat and American In Paris - total classics.

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  2. Gene Kelly's routine in Dancing in the Rain was one of my favorites. Did you know that he was slated to play along side of Bing Crosby in White Christmas, but he was tied up, so Danny Kaye got the part? I also Liked Kaye's dancing. Good post willow.

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  3. Thanks for dropping by my site =) Hahhaha....i do love watching old movies too. I would if I had more time.

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  4. I always enjoy watching Gene Kelly, too.

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  5. I've never thought about it before but WOW they DO look alike!

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  6. LOL--that is hilarious. When you see them in these photos, they almost look like twins, don't they!? Oh, I'm dyin' here. That's a riot. I agree about Gene Kelly--he was more athletic in his dancing and he had such a charm about him. I think Gene Kelly was a bit more versatile in what he could represent. Loved him! Oh,...I'm still laughing at this...

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  7. I think you are on to something here!
    Hm.......

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  8. Too funny!

    My vote is for Gene Kelly too.

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  9. Bill, I think those two films might by my faves for these guys, too. I pop in my copy of American in Paris when I need a little cheering up!

    Strider, you're kidding, really? I didn't know that about Kelly as first choice in White Christmas. I love him, but I can't imagine the movie without the wonderful Danny Kaye!

    A Brush, yes, don't they?? Everytime I see Astaire, I mention Nancy Reagan. They're twins!

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  10. I was always more of a Gene Kelly fan ..I have a sweet memory of our daughter when she was doing her first theater performance. On a rainy night in front of Tampa's performing arts theater, after her performance, a young man, another cast member, entered the scene... Kelly like, lamp post handy, with umbrella in his hands, he did the whole dance routine "Singing In The Rain" ....It worked...they dated all through high school...sadly, she broke his heart and went off to college only to marry another. I watched from the car....this young man would have made Gene Kelly proud....your post has brought back a some special thoughts...thank you Willow...

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  11. DeeDee, what a charming story and beautiful memory. I loved this.

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  12. Heh! That's a perfect resemblance. I never thught of that until you posted them side by side. I love both Fred Astaire and gene kelly and prefer kelly for the same reason as yours. I love those old musicals. Of course I prefer Ella Fitzgerald over any modern singers except the disco queens. I kind of like to think of them as part of my youth, Eurythmics, Blondie, Gloria Gaynor and the disco ball. Hehe. Tsup!

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  13. Hmmmm....now that you mention it, they do look a lot alike!

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  14. Strider said that Gene Kelly was "slated to play alongside Bing" in White Christmas? I can't imagine anyone in that role besides Danny Kaye! He captured the wit, the physical comedy (think of him with the limp trying to keep the General from watching the t.v. set) and the utter charm required to play that character. Can you tell I love White Christmas. I'm also a big fan of Kelly's and Astaires - each had their merits. I believe Kelly had more charisma, but you couldn't top Astaire for elegance and suavity (is that a word?)

    Kat

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  15. Kat, I totally agree! If suavity isn't a word, it is now...it describes Astaire to a tee! And Danny Kaye is a favorite here at the Manor, too. The Court Jester, The Secret Life of Walter Mitty...he was so, so cute and funny. I love the Choreography scene in White Christmas...hilarious!

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  16. That made me giggle. Yes, they do resemble each other, but I think I'd rather go to dinner with Fred. Honestly, I always loved his singing. Now, don't laugh...his version of The Way You Look Tonight is truly my favorite!

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  17. Yes, and don't you love Astaire in Funny Face with Audrey Hepburn? I adore the "He Loves and She Loves" song.

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  18. Willow, I think Fred looks more like Pee Wee Herman. Am I right?

    Astaire might have been a great dancer but I didn't care much for his acting - a little stiff. Kelly had it all.

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  19. Pee Wee Herman?@! Now how did you come up with that one? I'm just not seeing it...

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  20. Oh, Willow! Have you seen Danny Kaye's appearance on the Muppet Show? He sings inchworm with a few of them as back up. I weep every time.

    Kat

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  21. Did he sing this in the movie Hans Christian Anderson? I think I did see this on the Muppet Show years ago when my kids were small and it is so touching...haven't thought of it in years. I wonder if it's on YouTube?

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  22. It's the noses, Willow, yes, they do look alike.

    Gene was always, in my humble opinion, more graceful and aesthetic, call it purism. Fred, to me, was the equivalent of the street dancer nowadays. Gene's grin was as wide as his stance, which gave him a perfect symmetry along his arms and legs.

    Greetings from London.

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  23. I think it's their heart shaped faces and wide set eyes...yes, and noses, smiles. They just look a lot alike.

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  24. Hi Willow,

    I found the Danny Kaye bit and it's now up at my blog (with a link to you, of course!)

    Kat

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  25. Oh fun...I'm popping over right now...

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  26. I would have never thought of comparing the two of them, but now that you have brought up the subject, well, you may be on to something! ;-)

    Thank you for visiting my blog and leaving such a kind comment! Yes, indeed, I do love Billy Collins. I was lucky enough to meet him and hear him read several times during his tenure as United States Poet Laureate at the Library of Congress.

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  27. No wonder I always imagine Nancy wearing tap shoes...

    Astaire was wonderful, but I'll dance in the rain with Gene Kelly any time.

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  28. Merisi, I am totally green with envy! I absolutely love Billy Collins! He is one of those intriguing individuals that I would love to invite to dinner.

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  29. Musewings, I think Fred Astaire and Nancy Reagan were actually good friends. Wonder if he gave her some dance lessons?

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  30. Gene Kelly was my fav of the two, but that Astaire/Audrey H. sequence in the dark room in Funny Face is a knockout.

    A bit off topic...Paulette
    Goddard was a real stunner, wasn't she, willow?!

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  31. Maybe they were separated at birth. Good observation Willow. Thanks for your concern during our recent stormy weather. Pappy and Bebe

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  32. Drifter, yes! I absolutely love that darkroom scene in "Funny Face". It's so cleverly done, really fun. And of course, "the face" had to be Audrey Hepburn's.

    Yes, Paulette Goddard was stunning!

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  33. You are welcome, Pappy. Good to know all of you weathered the storm, all in one piece! :)

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  34. funny, yes they do. it's the long face and chin, i think.

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  35. It;s the teeth, you know! : )

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  36. I've been enjoying TCM's movies this summer as well! I just made my husband watch one with Fred and Rita "You'll Never Get Rich" and now I think he's a Rita Hayworth fan :)

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Inject a few raisins of conversation into the tasteless dough of existence.
― O. Henry (and me)