The Barkleys of Broadway

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  • Michael Thomas 2 years ago
    13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
    1.0 out of 5 stars
    Warners day off, May 21, 2006
    Michael Thomas (Australia) –

    Verified Purchase(What’s this?)
    This review is from: The Barkleys of Broadway (DVD)
    I am a huge fan of the old MGM musicals and have been more that happy with the restoration quality on every DVD transfer issued by Warners in the MGM library. The release of the “Dream Factory” collection is a fine example. These films could have been photographed yesterday (“Summer Stock” is a pure delight to watch in terms of picture quality). “Barkleys of B’way” unfortnately does not live of to the exceptional quality acheived on other films of this genre.

    The DVD picture quality is very poor and dull and the sound is very muted. I was so dissappointed in this treatment. The DVD appears to have simply transfered the Video to DVD. No restoration to the picture is at all apparent. Even the trailer looks better than the movie.

    The extras are fine and I can’t complain here but hey Warners, what were you thinking when you tackled this gem. Someone must have been taking a sickie!

    Sorry Fred and Ginger.

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  • Chris Aldridge 2 years ago
    15 of 17 people found the following review helpful
    3.0 out of 5 stars
    It’s MGM, by way of variety television., November 19, 2002
    Chris Aldridge (Washington, DC USA) –

    It’s weird the things that get stuck in your memory. I never thought of this as an inferior film just because the formula separates itself from the RKO depression-era 30’s (the film was made in 1949), though I seem to be hearing this a lot from critics. In fact, when I first saw the dance of ‘They Can’t Take That Away from Me,’ I actually thought it was a performance from a TV special, not a movie. The performance is an exhibit, not a love scene. There’s something almost- I don’t know- *cold* about the way they move on that bare, heavily draped, stage. It’s also the first and only adagio they perform in color- which, in itself has a sense of an era ending. Nevertheless, they have the same emotional connection to each other, and at the ages of 38 and 50 respectively, they still carry off the grace and elegance. When they saunter off the stage, an excited audience breaks into applause- like they’ve been watching an act from THE ED SULLIVAN SHOW. It’s extrordinary that ten years after Rogers remade herself doing straight award-winning drama and Astaire remade himself as a solo performer and a man who could dance with just about anyone, they could settle back into one more film and not have one strain of foot or hair out of place. MGM formula and Oscar Levant aside, it’s a very nice way to end a professional marriage.
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  • William Fredrick Cooper 2 years ago
    5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
    5.0 out of 5 stars
    They Can’t They That Away From Them.., October 15, 2008
    William Fredrick Cooper (Bronx, New York) –

    This review is from: The Barkleys of Broadway (DVD)
    After a ten year hiatus, Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers got together made their tenth and final movie together. Finding Astaire 50 years old, and Rogers, 38, it’s the dancing couple’s first and only picture together in color, full, saturated Technicolor, no less.

    The movie differs from the stars’ previous work in that they start out as a bickering married couple. Rogers is tired of being made to feel that Astaire has been her Svengali and craves a serious move. (Kitty Foyle, somebody?) The French climax was a brilliant touch.

    Astaire is awesome. The “Shoes With Wings” routine, I feel was only the third best dance scene in the movie. “Bouncing The Blues,” an entertaining workout, was incredible! Staccato taps, to stripper-like finish with Rogers concealing their affection with the curtain at dances end, was pure joy. Though not as limber as she was in her youth, Ginger looks athletically muscled, and makes up for the changes over time. Her partner leads with a chemistry only those two know.

    But the emotional apex of the film has to be the rhapsodic reprise of “They Can’t Take That Away From Me,” from “Shall We Dance,” on which both Ira and George Gershwin worked. With Breathless artistry and excellent precision, I get chills watching this dance. Watch Ginger and Fred near the end of this closely: Magically mesmerizing, they made love in dance, and you can feel the flames of their passion.

    That timeless highlight was the pinnacle of their whole union. My only regret is even after ten movies, they left me wanting more.

    Alas, history can’t take the magic from their legacy away from me.

    William Fredrick Cooper

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