Daddy Long Legs

Daddy Long Legs

4.3 3
Director: Jean Negulesco

Cast: Fred Astaire, Leslie Caron, Terry Moore

     
 

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This last remake (thus far) of the Jean Webster novel Daddy Long Legs was extensively revised to accommodate the talents of Fred Astaire and Leslie Caron. Fragments of the basic plot remain: American millionaire Astaire is the unknown benefactor of French orphan girl Caron, financing the girl's education on the proviso that his identity never be revealed to herSee more details below

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Overview

This last remake (thus far) of the Jean Webster novel Daddy Long Legs was extensively revised to accommodate the talents of Fred Astaire and Leslie Caron. Fragments of the basic plot remain: American millionaire Astaire is the unknown benefactor of French orphan girl Caron, financing the girl's education on the proviso that his identity never be revealed to her. Moved by Caron's letters of thanks, Astaire's secretary Thelma Ritter advises Astaire to go to France to visit the "child." When he arrives, he finds that his ward has grown up rather nicely, and the two fall in love--though Caron never knows until the very end who Astaire really is. The old story has been updated to allow for an elaborate "cowboy" number and a couple of Eisenhower jokes. Highlights include a solo ballet by Caron and a wonderful Astaire routine involving a set of drums. The score for Daddy Long Legs is unremarkable save for Johnny Mercer's hit "Something's Gotta Give."

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Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Craig Butler
The fact that Fred Astaire was often considerably older than his partners can be problematic, and is especially so in Daddy Long Legs. More than 30 years the senior of co-star Leslie Caron, this might not have been important if the story had not centered around a very young college girl and her much older guardian and the romance that eventually blooms between them. While the filmmakers go out of the way to bowdlerize the situation, there's still something uncomfortable about the whole set-up; it verges on the unsavory, even with someone as respectable as Astaire. That aside, the screenplay itself is acceptable -- not exceptional, but the structure is fine and there are a number of good lines. It's not musicalized as well as it might have been; as far as songs go, there's really only one "book" number (although that one is the marvelous "Something's Gotta Give"). The first dream ballet, in which Caron wonders about her mysterious guardian angel, is well danced by Astaire (and features the unforgettable sight of Fred in cowboy boots and cowboy hat), but doesn't add up to much. The second ballet, in which Caron imagines herself seeking Astaire in three different settings, including Rio at Carnavale time, is much better (and sports some very eye-catching sets and costumes). And the "Sluefoot" number is very well staged. Individually, the two stars are both winning and appealing, but together they don't set off sparks romantically or even as dancers (their styles don't quite mesh). Thelma Ritter is quite good in a part which draws a bit more on her sensitive side and less on her wisecracking persona. This would be Astaire's only musical for Fox.

Product Details

Release Date:
02/21/2006
UPC:
0024543217893
Original Release:
1955
Rating:
NR
Source:
20th Century Fox
Region Code:
1
Presentation:
[Wide Screen]
Time:
2:06:00
Sales rank:
23,634

Special Features

Closed Caption; Audio commentary by Ava Astaire McKenzie and film historian/author Ken Barnes with archival commentary by songwriter Johnny Mercer; Fox Movietone News footage: Hollywood, New York and London premieres; Still photo gallery; Original theatrical trailers; Includes collectible lobby cards

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Fred Astaire Jervis Pendleton III
Leslie Caron Julie Andre
Terry Moore Linda Pendleton
Thelma Ritter Miss Pritchard
Fred Clark Griggs
Charlotte Austin Sally McBride
Larry Keating Alexander Williamson
Kathryn Givney Gertrude Pendleton
Kelly Brown Jimmy McBride
Sara Shane Pat
Numa Lapeyre Jean
Ann Codee Mme. Sevanne
Steven Geray Emile
Percival Vivian Professor
Joseph Kearns Guide
Larry Kent Butler
Charles Anthony Hughes Hotel Manager
Ralph Dumke Mr. Bronson
Damian O'Flynn Larry Hamilton
Kathryn Card Mrs. Carrington
Tim Johnson Bellhop
Harry Seymour Cab Driver
Olan Soule Assistant Hotel Manager
J. Anthony Hughes Delivery Man
George Dunn Chauffeur
Ray Anthony Orchestra Actor
Gertrude Astor Woman
Paul Bradley Second Jeweler
Janice Carroll Athetic Girl Dancer
David Hoffman Jeweler
Elizabeth Patterson Actor
Paul Power Commission Member
Helen Van Tuyl College Dean
Carleton Young Commission Member

Technical Credits
Jean Negulesco Director
Fred Astaire Choreography
John De Cuir Production Designer
Samuel G. Engel Producer
Henry Ephron Screenwriter
Phoebe Ephron Screenwriter
Johnny Mercer Score Composer
Alfred Newman Score Composer
Alex North Score Composer
Roland Petit Choreography
William H. Reynolds Editor
David Robel Choreography
Leon Shamroy Cinematographer
Lyle Wheeler Production Designer

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Scene Index

Disc #1 -- Daddy Long Legs
1. Main Titles
2. Breaking With Tradition
3. History of the Beat
4. Orphans
5. C-A-T Spells Cat
6. A Gift for Life
7. Daddy Long Legs
8. America!
9. Welcome Egghead
10. Freshmen
11. Flesh and Blood
12. Texas Millionaire
13. International Playboy
14. Guardian Angel
15. The Worst Uncle
16. Spring Dance
17. Haven't We Met?
18. Sluefoot
19. In a Foul Mood
20. New York City
21. Something's Gotta Give
22. Lap of the Gods
23. The Wrong Idea
24. World Traveler
25. Dancing Through Life
26. Critically Ill
27. On the Rebound
28. A Dream Come True

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