Astaire Dancing: The Musical Films

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
The incomparable, magical Fred Astaire has tapped his way through some 212 musical numbers during his career. Following his vaudeville days, when he was teamed with sister Adele, he went to Hollywood to star in his first musical film, Dancing Lady, in 1933. Since then, he has partnered Cyd Charisse, Leslie Caron, Audrey Hepburn, Rita Hayworth and Ginger Rogers, in such film classics as Flying Down to Rio, Top Hat, Holiday Inn, Silk Stockings and Daddy Long Legs. Mueller, author of Dance Film Directory, extols Astaire's dedication to his art, describes the choreographers and directors he worked with, his roles and working methods, his relationships with various leading ladies and dance partners, his devoted marriage, which was ended by his wife's death from cancer at the age of 46 (he remarried at 80). The author covers every Astaire film, with discussion of the choreography of each of the dances, accompanied by stills from the movies. A fitting celebration of a national treasure. November 8
Library Journal
Fred Astaire is considered to be one of the greatest American dancers. His major career was in films and so has been preserved. Mueller, professor of film studies, attempts to show Astaire's brilliance through a combination of stills and frame enlargements (more than 2400) from his musical films, 1933-68. He uses a system of keys that link the text decribing the dances and music to the corresponding pictures. He also presents the plot and production history of each film chronologically and provides an overview of Astaire's career, personal life, and ideas about filmmaking, especially the filming of dance numbers. This is a meticulously written and entertaining work; though it cannot rise above the inherent limitations of depicting dance through words and pictures, it will appeal to those interested in dance and cinema history and is recommended for general collections. Roy Liebman, California State Univ. Lib., Los Angeles
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780394516547
  • Publisher: Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 11/1/1985
  • Edition description: 1st ed
  • Pages: 448

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