Wednesday, July 18, 2012

My heart won't let my feet do things they should do

Another comparison post! I really love these! I'm afraid that I'll eventually run out of songs but when that happens, I guess I'll just think of something else to write about! Plus, after I've written a post, I'll often discover another version of the song, so that's always an option too.

Anyway, the song for today's discussion is "I Won't Dance" by Jerome Kern. Now, the obvious choice is to, yet again, compare Roberta and Lovely to Look At, which are actually the same story, so that's almost cheating. But I do like comparing remakes. And this song happens to be pretty popular in other movies too. Take a look:

from Roberta (1935), we have Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers:



then there's Till the Clouds Roll By (1946) with Lucille Bremer and, of all people, Van Johnson:



then, of course, there's Lovely to Look At (1952), with Marge and Gower Champion. I'm sure I've said this before but I do think it's a pity that this movie was a remake simply because the Champions were fantastic dancers in their own right. Obviously no one can compare to Fred and Ginger but they had their own style and spark. I really do enjoy watching them a great deal.



Now, we come to the contemporary portion of our discussion. There are several movies post-1980's that use this song. Love's Labor's Lost, Warm Springs, (both which have Kenneth Branagh, oddly enough). I wanted to show you the former one here but it's not on YouTube, so you'll have to take my word for it that it's pretty cute. The second one is a TV movie that I'd never heard of but looks way too sad for me to actually watch so I won't bother putting it in here. Now, what I will post here is a movie that I don't really have any interest in watching all the way through, but I find this dance sequence quite intriguing. Take a look:



Despite the fact that Gene Kelly never (to my knowledge) sang this song, I think it's fascinating how much this scene pays homage to him. Running through the taxi cab and dancing with trashcan lids are both used in It's Always Fair Weather and then, of course, rolling over a couch is totally Singin' in the Rain-ish. He even jumps up on a lamppost! It makes me wonder how many other musicals they're referring to throughout the scene.

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