Archive for September 22nd, 2011

by Judy Geater

Director: Stanley Donen

Producer: Arthur Freed

Music: Burton Lane

Lyrics: Alan Jay Lerner

Screenwriter: Alan Jay Lerner

Choreographers: Fred Astaire/Nick Castle

Cinematographer: Robert H Planck

Studio: MGM

Main actors: Fred Astaire, Jane Powell, Peter Lawford, Sarah Churchill, Keenan Wynn


Don’t be misled by the title – though MGM probably hoped people would be. There is nothing very glitzy about this movie, not all that much pageantry, and the only “king” featured is Fred Astaire in a pasteboard crown for the opening musical number.

For the most part, the royal wedding, of Princess Elizabeth and Prince Philip, is just a backdrop. The main story is an amusing and occasionally poignant backstager partly based on Astaire’s own early career, when he and sister Adele were famous dancing partners until she retired from the stage to marry a British aristocrat. However, the story is probably secondary to the stunning dance numbers, including the famous one where he dances up the walls and around the ceiling. Jane Powell ‘s beautiful singing voice is another definite plus to this movie.

There are a lot of cheap public domain DVDs of this movie available with badly faded Technicolor, and it is also available all over the place to watch online in a similar state. Fortunately there is also a properly restored region 1 DVD available from Warner, issued as a double set with another Astaire movie, The Belle of New York, and including numerous special features. (more…)

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