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Beauty vs Beast: The Charm About You

Jason from MNPP here with this week's "Beauty vs Beast" - this Wednesday marks 118 years since the birth of the dancing legend Fred Astaire, light as air, and so let's tackle (with as much grace as we can muster) his greatest film opposite his greatest co-star, 1935's Top Hat with Ginger Rogers. The story, as much as is there one is a case of mistaken identities - Jerry (Astaire) tap dances his way into the heart of Dale (Rogers) while she thinks he's somebody else, yadda yadda, they bicker and they dance and they make eternal movie magic.

PREVIOUSLY The monkey won! Last week's King Kong competition ping-ponged between the ape and the blonde but in the end twas the Beast that finally killed the Beauty this go-round with 55% of your vote. Said Edward L:

"I call this a tie. Kong is the mightiest film character...but all he wants is Ann, so she's got to have something too."

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This was tough since both were amazing talents who sparked off each other as few do. Since I couldn't choose that way I had to go to with personality. Fred from what I've read seemed like a decent sort, a bit reserved but a good man...Ginger on the other hand apparently was an imperious bitch who treated most of the people in her films, except her co-star and director., like vassals to her queen. That made me land firmly in Fred's camp.

May 8, 2017 | Unregistered Commenterjoel6

Ginger -- since i've always been taken with the notion of "backwards in heels"

May 8, 2017 | Registered CommenterNATHANIEL R

Well-made epigrams (and clever tweets?) can last a long time, even known and remembered when the reader is not familiar with the original.

It's kind of sad that Fred Astaire, one of the most generous and attentive of partners, is categorized by this epigram as an insensitive, credit-grabbing lout.

"Ginger did everything Fred did; but backwards and in high heels".

Well, no.
If she was dancing backwards, her dress would be bunched up in front of her. It's not, it's flying out behind her. I think they might be doing spiral movements, with Fred as a moving pivot.

Ginger carries the basic melody of the movement, Fred is adding counterpoint and harmony. He can be doing three taps to her one, but Fred makes it look like they are both doing it.

Fred is also looking after his partner, showcasing her good points, helping her over the difficult sections. That leaves Ginger free to concentrate on her dancing. She's thinking of herself, he's thinking of both of them.

Fred was renowned for his ability to appreciate his partner's unique abilities and delight in them. Every woman he danced with looked good. Every woman wanted to dance with Fred Astaire.

And yes, Ginger did wear high heels and she was terrific, lively, game, funny and hardworking. Which the dances showcase.

May 8, 2017 | Unregistered Commenteradri

This is CRUEL!!! I propose a tie, since Top Hat wld not hav been so successful w/o their magical chemistry together. As indv performers, they r not so memorable, but as a team, they are certainly on TOP!

thr will b no Fred w/o Ginger , n vice versa

May 9, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterClaran

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