Wednesday, April 28, 2010

She was such a lady

I'm afraid I neglected my blog yesterday. My schedule has been a little irregular. Last night I got home late and I had to get up early this morning so I couldn't write a post. It was very sad. So, the 100 movies count-up will continue next week. In the meantime, without further ado.....

1. Cyd Charisse

I'm not even going to bother with solos because I can't think of many that she did and I just love so many of her dances, I'll just list my favorites in no particular order:

"Frankie and Johnny" from Meet Me in Las Vegas

I can't get enough of this song. It's so fun and funny and it makes me wish my legs would go that high. Sadly, they don't. One of the reasons Cyd Charisse is my favorite is because she was athletic without losing her femininity. She was graceful and sexy at the same time. She was most famous for being a sultry femme fatale in various jazz ballets but she could just easily dance her way into sweet, romantic, fun-loving roles.

"Broadway Melody (The Hoofer and the Vixen)" from Singin' in the Rain
This song is just classic. I love it. It's so sexy and amazing. The part where he grabs her and the music swells... gets me every time. I remember watching this movie with my grandparents. I had seen the movie tons of times before and loved this part. When this segment came up, my grandma said, "I don't remember this part of the movie. I guess I was young and innocent..." which I always thought was an odd thing to say. Anyway, whether or not I'm young and innocent, I love this part. It's one of my favorite scenes in the entire movie. I remember hearing that Cyd Charisse's favorite dance with Gene Kelly was "Heather on the Hills" from Brigadoon and I remember being rather aghast that she didn't say this one. Ah well.

"Dancing in the Dark" from The Band Wagon

I love this number. When people think of Cyd Charisse, they often think of her jazz ballets in Singin' in the Rain and The Band Wagon and her roles as vixens. If you Google Image her, most of the pictures you'll find will probably be from those two scenes. I love her dual roles in the "Girl Hunt Ballet" but I love this little number more. It's sweet, exciting, romantic, and sexy - all at the same time. I love it!

"All of You (Reprise)" from Silk Stockings


I'm planning to start writing posts on musical remakes one of these days and, when I do, this movie will be on the list. In the meantime, I just want to discuss this little number. It drives me crazy that it isn't on YouTube because it's fantastic. It's so fun. She looks so happy and free, obviously in contrast to her sternness at the beginning. This is the advantage musicals have over straight films. I found it hard to see the character shift in Ninotchka but with a musical, her character can (and does) grow through dance. And through dance we can see how great that change has been. I love this little number. Now that I finally have it up, I may talk more about it in the future. My favorite part is when he picks her up and she kicks. I don't know why, but I love it!

It really is a tough call between Cyd Charisse and Ginger Rogers. I like tap dancing more than I like ballet, generally speaking, which gives Ginger the advantage. However, as I said in my last post, it drives me crazy that I've only gotten to see Ginger with one partner. Cyd Charisse has that advantage. She's a different dancer, somehow, when she's dancing with Fred Astaire than when she's dancing with Ricardo Montalban. And with Gene Kelly she's a little different than when she's with Joe Brascia. We get to see more of her in her array of musicals. They really are extremely close and my favorites are in constant flux (I've been wanting to reorganize my Favorite Actresses list for months now!). But currently, this is how things stand for me. Do you agree? Disagree? I'd love to hear your thoughts!

Thank you again for following in my daily posts. I truly appreciate it! I'm very excited about next month's set-up. I'll post a full list of lady dancers soon.


  1. How about New Sun in the Sky from Band Wagon? Just re-watched BW yesterday for the first person in about 10 years. I was kind of amazed how she integrated ballet with the other stuff! Regardless, she was gorgeous!

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  2. I loved Cyd Charisse's dance with Gene Kelly in Singing in the Rain! She is super flexible at dancing yet very elegant! Love her!

  3. You forgot so many... the girl-hunt ballet, all dance numbers in "Silk Stockings" but also "Brigadoon", "It's always fair weather"... Ginger was not a dancer in fact, haven't you ever realized that?

  4. I think I figured out why the Singin in the Rain dance was never Cyd's favorite.

    From IMDB:

    Filming of the Cyd Charisse dance number had to be stopped for several hours after it was discovered that her pubic hair was visible through her costume. When the problem was finally fixed, the film's costume designer Walter Plunkett said, "It's OK, guys, we've finally got Cyd's crotch licked." comment