You Were Never Lovelier

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Starring Fred Astaire and Rita Hayworth, You Were Never Lovelier is good light entertainment. Astaire plays Robert, a New York dancer who’s gone to Buenos Aires and wants to work at a a night club that’s owned by a man who’s got four daughters. The first daughter is married and soon never seen again. The second daughter is in no hurry to marry but her two younger daughters have secret fiancés lined up. However, the father just finds Astaire to be irritating.

Dear old dad decides that he’ll write mysterious love letters to Maria, daughter #2. He has no idea how this game will end or actually give her daughter long time happiness. Maria does get swept off her feet by the romantic letters and mistakenly assumes Robert has been writing the letters. A typical 1940s plot unfolds. Rita shines and Astaire is Astaire. They both dance wonderfully and the costumes are dazzling. Yes, the story is far fetched and the jokes rather corny, but the film is fun.

The song’s lyrics aren’t the best. Some rhymes are forced, but I was entertained.

Trivia

Astaire once said that his favorite dance partner was Rita Hayworth. He said that if she was taught a complicated dance in the morning, she’d have it down by lunch.

Weekend Coffee Share

wordswag_15073188796611453091488Weekend Coffee Share is a time for us to take a break out of our lives and enjoy some time catching up with friends (old and new)!

Grab a cup of coffee and share with us! What’s been going on in your life? What are your weekend plans? Is there a topic you’ve just been ruminating on that you want to talk about?

If we were having coffee, I’d tell you that I’m getting ready to go to Peoria for the Illinois Library Association Annual Conference. I’m volunteering so the registration fee is waived. It’s about a 2 hour drive so I’m able to borrow a car and have used hotel points so the trip is very economical. One day I hope to have a job where I don’t have to pay for such events out of my own pocket.

I have come to regret getting this Master of Library Science. As much as I love libraries, I have learned that while it looked from the outside that there were plenty of full time jobs for hard working, successful graduates, there aren’t. It’s a very costly field as you have to sacrifice years of full time work with benefits and take poorly paid part time work to get your foot in the door. So this week I ramped up my applications to other jobs outside libraries. Fingers crossed.

I highly recommend Coursera’s Manager’s Toolkit course. I’ve finished three weeks and the information is well researched and useful. On top of that it’s free!

Poldark S4 - EP2

I’d discuss Poldark, Season IV and if you haven’t seen the series, I’d urge your to watch. The characters are well drawn and the conflicts nail biting.

I want to add how demoralizing it was to see a friend I taught with in Japan. She’s smart and hardworking. She’s a single mother and wants to live in her hometown, the Bronx, where her older mother is. She has to cobble together a slew of part time ESL university jobs and never knows if she’ll have enough work to make ends meet. Schools don’t offer courses till the end of a semester and it’s hard to make the schedule of school A fit with the work offered by school B. Sadly, she qualifies for Medicaid. This is why I’m intent on leaving the field. This is no way for an educated person to live.

On a lighter note, I’d urge you to check out You Were Never Lovelier with Fred Astaire and Rita Hayworth. I knew Astaire was a master at dance, but Hayworth also is.

From the Writer’s Almanac

Fred Astaire. Restored by Nick & Jane for Dr. Macro's High Quality Movie Scans Website: http://www.doctormacro.com. Enjoy!

Fred Astaire.

I love the charm and elegance Astaire brought to the screen. I should watch or rewatch some of these films.

Fred Astaire, born Frederick Austerlitz, in Omaha, Nebraska (1899), made dancing look effortless on screen and stage, and the writer John O’Hara called him the “living symbol of all that is the best of show business.”

He started dancing when he was four, and when he was six he formed an act with his sister, Adele, that became a popular vaudeville attraction on Broadway. When Adele retired in 1932, Astaire made a screen test. The movie executive wrote: “Can’t act, can’t sing. Balding. Can dance a little.” Still, Astaire got a part in Dancing Lady(1933). It starred Joan Crawford, Clark Gable, and the Three Stooges.

He’s famous for the movies he made with his dancing partner Ginger Rogers: classics like The Gay Divorcee (1934), Top Hat (1935), and Swing Time (1936). They rubbed off on each another. People said she gave him sex appeal, and he gave her class. Their only on-screen kiss came in the movie Carefree (1938), in a dream sequence.

He was a perfectionist who worked up to 18 hours a day. He said, “The only way I know to get a good show is to practice, sweat, rehearse, and worry.” He demanded the same of his partners. One scene in Swing Time took 47 takes to film, and by the end Ginger’s feet were bleeding. In the film, she says, “I’ve danced with you. I’m never going to dance again.”

In one routine, Astaire had to toss an umbrella across a room, into an umbrella stand. He said: “I did it 45 times, and it always hit the edge. So I said, ‘That’s it! Tomorrow morning, first thing, I’m coming back, and I’m going to get [it].’ […] I came back next morning fresh as a daisy, and that umbrella went into the stand on the first take.”

He kept dancing until late in his life. At age 50, he said: “How do I keep going? What do I do? Nothing. Absolutely nothing. I don’t eat health foods. I never dance unless I have to. I don’t work out in a gym. Vitamin pills? Never! Who needs ’em?” He said: “Old age is like everything else. To make a success of it, you’ve got to start young.”

He said: “The higher up you go, the more mistakes you are allowed. Right at the top, if you make enough of them, it’s considered to be your style.”