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Fred Astaire – Second Chorus / Royal Wedding (U)
Fred Astaire (1899 – 1987) was an American film and Broadway stage dancer, choreographer, singer and actor. His stage and subsequent film career spanned a total of seventy-six years, during which he made thirty-one musical films. Named the fifth Greatest Male Star of All Time by the American Film Institute, Astaire is generally acknowledged to have been the most influential dancer in the history of film and television musicals.
Second Chorus, the 1941 Hollywood musical comedy film starring Astaire, Burgess Meredith, Paulette Goddard, Artie Shaw and Charles Butterworth, with music by Artie Shaw, Bernie Hanighen, Hal Borne and lyrics by Johnny Mercer, sees Danny O’Neill (Astaire) and Hank Taylor (Meredith) as rival trumpeters with college band the Perennials. Both men find themselves competing for the affections of Ellen Miller (Paulette Goddard) while trying to get the other one fired.
Among the musical compositions written for this film were: Concerto for Clarinet, I Ain’t Hep to That Step, But I’ll Dig It, Love of My Life, Me and the Ghost Upstairs, Poor Mr. Chisholm.
The 1951 Hollywood musical comedy film set in London in 1947 at the time of the wedding of Princess Elizabeth and Prince Phillip. Starring Fred Astaire, Jane Powell, Peter Lawford, Sarah Churchill and Keenan Wynn, with music by Burton Lane and lyrics by Alan Jay Lerner, the film was directed by Stanley Donen.
Astaire and Powell play a brother and sister song and dance duo, echoing the real-life theatrical relationship of Fred and Adele Astaire. Powell falls for Lawford, who plays an English aristocrat – mirroring Adele Astaire’s romance and eventual marriage to Lord Charles Cavendish, son of the Duke of Devonshire.