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6 November 2011

You'll Never Get Rich (1941)

"You'll never get rich by diggin' a ditch.
You're in the Army now..."
Having dabbled with madness a couple of months back when I reviewed "Band Wagon", I'm pleased to say that I've finally pulled through. Today I've been watching more Fred Astaire.

This time, the fun comes in the form of the 1941 Columbia film: "You'll Never Get Rich."

Fred whispers sweet nothings
You'll Never Get Rich, Columbia 1941

I've decided that Rita Heyworth is my all time favourite of Fred Astaire's partners. This was the first film that the two were paired and whilst it's not as good as the follow-up "You were Never Lovelier", this isn't a bad film at all.

Fred and Rita learn to fly
You'll Never Get Rich, Columbia 1941

Fred Astaire plays dancer Robert Curtis who unwittingly gets caught up in his business partner's failed attempts to woo showgirl Sheila Winthrop (Rita Hayworth). Business partner Martin Cortland (played by Robert Benchley) devises a predictably implausable plan to hide his affair from his wife Julie Cortland (played by Freida Inescort). Fred reluctantly agrees to pretend that he's the one chasing Rita. Only Rita isn't informed of the plan...

Through a haphazard series of complications and misunderstandings, things quickly go pear-shaped and Fred finds himself with what he thinks is the only option left open to him: to skip town quick. So he enlists in the Army.

Fred cooks up a scheme
You'll Never Get Rich, Columbia 1941

But don't go thinking that this is a War film. There is no mention of the War that is waging in Europe at the time, and only the slightest hint that something might be awry in the Pacifc.

Looking at the timeline, this perhaps isn't surprising; "You'll Never Get Rich" was released prior to the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbour, so for Hollywood and the average American, World War II was still something to be funded but not actively engaged in. That would all change within months of this film hitting cinemas.

Fred and Rita married?
You'll Never Get Rich, Columbia 1941

Back to the story...

Fred ends up at boot camp where his past catches up with him. And get this... he really does fall for Rita! And who can blame him. Fortunately for Fred, she shows up to give him his last chance to win her over. Does he manage it? Well, what do you think?

Fred woos Rita
You'll Never Get Rich, Columbia 1941

In my opinion the story is overly complicated, but that really doesn't matter. The fun comes in some great showcase dancing. This is classic Fred without the gimmicks; You won't find him dancing on the ceiling or setting off fire-crackers with his feet. Fred weaves a little magic the old-fashioned way. And I'm no expert in Dance, but I picked up on a few Jitterbug moves here and there. He's helping to set trends once again!

The music is all courtesy of Cole Porter. None of the tunes are bad by any stretch of the imagination, but equally, none are memorable either.

Fred thrills the girls
You'll Never Get Rich, Columbia 1941

So did I enjoy the film?

You know that I did!

On the Triple-B I'm going to spend 5 days in the guard-house for impersonating a Captain. I'll do anything to spend a little time with my lovely Rita!

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