Sign In. Silk Stockings Hide Spoilers. Terrell-4 11 September There are a number of good things about Silk Stockings, but there also is a professional finality about the movie that makes it easier to observe than to be delighted by it. It was the last musical Fred Astaire made as the lead.
It was the last film directed by Rouben Mamoulian. It was based on the last Broadway musical Cole Porter wrote. Silk Stockings also was used to make a statement about the Fated To Be Mated - Various - Those Glorious MGM Musicals - Silk Stockings / The Barkleys Of Broadwa some thought were ruining films and music It even takes a crack at the fashion for ballet in many musicals. You've got to be very clever and original to successfully parody things which are already self-parodies.
Silk Stockings, even with its many entertaining moments, isn't that clever. The story is based on Ninotchka, the female Soviet Te Vi Pasr / Aquel Señor - Lucha Villa - 25 Años De Lucha who comes to Paris and finds romance reluctantly Paris is presented as a place where decadence was never more innocent and persuasive.
One of the things that seems so odd is that, for a Fred Astaire film, Astaire spends a good deal of time doing knee drops, full-length on-the-floor sprawls and athletic dance moves that limit the sophisticated and smooth Astaire style. He was 59 when he made the picture, and this might explain the relative shortness of some of the sequences. Still, while he is assured and immensely watchable and while he can still do wonders with a canethree major dance productions he is in just seem choppy.
Most of the songs from the Somethin Else - Various - Diner • Original Motion Picture Soundtrack show were retained and Porter wrote a couple of new ones.
It's become routine with Porter to say that whatever his latest show was, the Thirty Days - The Radio Kings - Money Road was never one of his best. In this case, it's true. The romantic songs are great, but the topical specialty numbers just seem tired. Siberia and The Ritz Roll and Rock in particular miss the mark, in my opinion.
Astaire, as always, is first class. Charisse is easy to look at and a fine dancer. George Tobias, as a commissar in Moscow and Ninotchka's boss, gives a sly and dead-pan performance. Some of Porter's songs are very good.
Mamoulian brought the film in on time and under budget. And Silk Stockings was a success with ticket buyers. Was this review helpful?
Sign in to vote. Cyd Charisse, along with Vera-Ellen and Ann Miller, was one of the premier dancing stars of the 's and 's Known for her cool sex appeal, Cyd Charisse has a beautiful face, a perfect Fated To Be Mated - Various - Those Glorious MGM Musicals - Silk Stockings / The Barkleys Of Broadwa, and a thrilling musicality She is the American cinema's lyrical dancing beauty with a lovely flow of movements and crystalline footwork, a bonus to any film, a compliment of any arm, a true gem The sensitivity and eloquence of character she projects as a dancer found great echo in her roles as an acclaimed Goin Upstairs - The Allman Brothers Band - The Allman Brothers Band 3-4 capable of expressing herself to the entire audience with a flick of the wrist, tapering her high extensions into a musical phrase like a painter controlling a fine sable brush But in 'Broadway Rhythm Ballet,' number from "Singin' in the Rain," Stanley Donen's camera followed the leg up to the figure of a Ping Pong - Biozuni Project - Ping Pong Dancer, a gangster's moll: Charisse was beautiful, bewitching exotic nightclub performer and city vamp, teasing Gene Kelly by balancing his straw hat on the end of her foot, and leaving us all breathless In 'Silk Stockings' she is a humorless, unromantic and cold, a seriously-austere Russian envoy who is sent from Moscow to check three Russian emissaries who, in turn, have orders to bring back with them a Soviet composer about to lend his talents to an American movie producer A 'beautiful dynamite,' Charisse warms to the appeal of romance, and Fred Astaire, to luxury, jazz, and French champagne The chemistry was there when they danced the 'Paris Loves Lovers,' number in which the suave Astaire awakens her interest in life and the City of lights, but in the title song where she throws off her cold uniform for her first fine pair of silk stockings and laces, Charisse, the very serious and dedicated Ninotchkaturns into an explosion of talent and glamor, with the qualities of a scintillating star, radiantly charming and sweet, filling the screen with bravura, energy and spark Peter Lorre, Jules Munshin and Joseph Buloff are the three Kremlin agents, the trio of 'clowns' who become fond of freedom and the pleasures of Paris Janis Paige is delightfully amusing as the temperamental movie star for whom producer Astaire was preparing a musical about Napoleon and Josephine Although worried about being ageless for the role, Astaire sings 'All of You' to Charisse with all of his old ardent feelings, dances beautifully with her in a deserted movie studio to 'Fated to Be Mated,' and joins Janis Paige, playing 'America's Swimming Sweetheart,' in Cole Porter's delicious 'Stereophonic Sound.
For all its merits, Mamoulian's 'Silk Stockings' has a degree of elegance and sophistication, but mostly a sweet sadness, the end of a living legend, in which Fred Astaire appears in his last great musical role Fred Astaire has always been a performer who's work is very close to my heart. The last real Fred Astaire movie excluding his geriatric non-singing, non-dancing Program Me - Hadi Burpee - Program Me EP non-starring roles is 's "Silk Stockings".
I was a little afraid to watch Silk Stockings at first. Now I know what a pleasure I was depriving myself of. It's about a serious stern young Russian woman, sent as an envoy to nab a Russian composer living illegally in Paris.
The composer is betraying his Russian classical heritage by writing music for a low brow movie musical. The director of this movie, played by Fred Astaire, distracts the pretty young Russian Cyd Charisse with the wonders of Paris, classy night clubs, and dancing to jazz.
In falling for him, her strict heartless personality melts away. This movie was produced at the height of the cold war, and the height of Hollywood blacklisting, and it's commie-bashing could make some uncomfortable. To me, those jokes are anything but propaganda.
The cultural stereotypes are played for laughs, and should be taken with a grain of salt. Of course, I'm a big fan of the top hat and tails ritzy romantic culture that Astaire's character teaches Charisse's character the joys of, so it's easy for me to say. But, that being said, they are hilarious. This was towards the end of Porter's career too.
In fact, this was towards the end of the movie musical as America knew it. Rock and Roll was taking over. To me, the most moving moments in this movie are not the dramatic love scenes shared by Astaire and Charisse, they are the self referential moments, where Porter, Astaire, and choreographer Hermes Pan acknowledge that their era in over. Porter wrote special material just for this movie. One highlight is a tune called "Stereophonic Sound". In it, the singer quips about how moviegoers used to be content to see talented performers do their thing, and a nice love story, but these days all they want is "glorious Technicolor, breathtaking CinemaScope, and Stereophonic sound!
Porter writes that these days a great hoofer in tails is not enough, they want a ballet alluding to Gene Kelly's Fated To Be Mated - Various - Those Glorious MGM Musicals - Silk Stockings / The Barkleys Of Broadwa dance number fad.
This sequence, choreographed by Astaire's long-time collaborator Hermes Pan, ends with Fred writhing on the floor, wearing his 's tails and top hat. As the horns hit the last big chord, Fred removes his trade-marked top hat and smashes it flat with his fist.
The message Porter, Astaire and Pan slipped into this novelty number, is very powerful, if you know what you're seeing. Pop entertainment changed in the sixties, and the the old kings abdicated their thrones to Anyway, if you're a Fred-head like me, and you're afraid to see Fred's final fling, "Silk Stockings", don't be.
You'll be reminded why he and his period of Hollywood was great. Doylenf 27 September Slam - Various - Def Jams Greatest Hits A lot of humor at the expense of Fated To Be Mated - Various - Those Glorious MGM Musicals - Silk Stockings / The Barkleys Of Broadwa Soviets natch is present throughout this musical version of "Ninotchka" in which Greta Garbo was the Russian who melts into a normal woman thanks to the spell of capitalism.
Paige is especially good with her "Stereophonic Sound" routine and "Satin and Silk", flirtatious and vivacious as ever in a top supporting role. But it's the dance elements that count here--Astaire at his most elegant and Cyd Charisse gracefully matching him step by step all the way through.
Her performance as the serious minded miss who gradually bends to his ways is one of her better contributions to film comedy. Summing up: A delightful blend of Cole Porter songs and a clever script make this one a sheer pleasure, smooth as silk. Up-dated to be sure, but still an affective comedy about rival systems of politics, social structure, and economics. In the original, a Soviet economic mission is trying to use some jewelry that was originally owned by a Grand Duchess to purchase needed agricultural equipment.
This is jettisoned in the new version. Tobias has reason to be upset. Not only is Canfield trying to corrupt the culture mission not too difficult there but also Boroff, who falls for Peggy Dayton as Canfield hopes. It follows closely the pursuit and "corruption" of Ninotchka, but there is one aspect that is shown here that was barely touched upon in the film. There Swanna's cynical use of the jewelry as a bargaining chip to keep Leon from Ninotchka sort of suggests that pure capitalism has it's drawbacks when in the wrong hands.
Whatever one thinks of music in honor of inanimate objects, Boroff's work represents serious art. Ninotchka and the others including Boroff are furious, and dismiss the glib excuse Steve comes up with many other popular songs are based on classic tunes.
They leave for Russia, and the rest of the musical follows Steve's attempts like Leon's before him to get Ninotchka back. The Porter score here with the score for CAN-CAN were the last two really first rate scores Porter composed, but both were composed for the stage productions of the musicals and transposed to the screen. Here the title song originally sung by Don Ameche on stage, but here by Astaire is one of the best numbers, as is "Glorious Technicolor", where Astaire and Paige describe all the cinematography gimmicks used to draw in the audience leading up to "sterophonic sound", which the film sound track blasts out.
Munchkin, Lorre, and Granach have two big numbers, the second SIBERIA being one of Porter's best comic pieces as the three culture mission people look gloomily to returning to Russia, and possibly being sent to Siberia "Have you seen our choice bill of fare Please try the fillet of polar bear!
It takes elements from Soviet life, exaggerates, and subverts the realities for comedic effect. We're talking comedy here, not documentary. Fred Astaire, as Hollywood producer Steve Canfield, here is an older Fred than we are used to seeing and although given star billing, the film is more of an ensemble effort.
Cyd Charisse, as Ninotchhka, is tasked with playing a prudish, repressed, literal minded Soviet official. Ninotchhka, a personality manufactured by Смутное время - Кипелов - V (Санкт-Петербург Ледовый Дворец 20.10.07 - CD 1) propaganda is more of a one- dimensional caricature, a role that doesn't require great acting skill and Charisse manages her role with facility.
Together Astaire and Charisse make a good dance team but the choreography is lackluster and pedestrian. There's no Fred wow factor that would serve to add another jewel to the King of Dance's crown. Peter Lorre, one of a trio of Soviet commissars come to Paris to waylay a Russian composer's defection to Hollywood, diverges from his familiar portrayals.
Janis Paige was a ubiquitous, popular name in entertainment in the s. She's the crass exhibitionist, Peggy Dayton, a concoction epitomizing the Hollywood star factory; she's a proxy for the over the top, gaudy commercialism of the Capitalist System.
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