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My Stuff Marooned on My Parents' Lawn

Follow The Fleet

Follow the Fleet - Bake & Sherry This is not how we're used to seeing Fred Astaire and Ginger Rodgers, without his top hat and her glamour gown.

But that didn't bother me because I've never seen a Fred and Ginger movie. And this 1936 tale has grown on me.

I thought Fred was cute as a sailor with his odd-shaped head hidden under that white sailor's hat. His awesome sailor's bell bottoms, which pre-dated Cher's by 30 years, moved nicely through the choreography, which we see soon in the first scene on the naval ship, which reminds you uncontrollably of the "Turn Back Time" video.

In Cher's intro, she mentions Fred and Ginger's elegance and how they "rise above the material." The story is a bit fluffy but Ginger and Fred are captivating together with their fussin' and a sparin'.

Cher mentions that her favorite song in the movie is "Get Behind Me Satan" and I guess it's my husband's favorite song too because he sang it to me at the Buffalo Thunder buffet last weekend when I talked him into eating a bite of my cheese cake.

I keep missing the Betty Grable appearance but I cannot miss the Lucille Ball appearance. As Osbourne and Cher agree, she always stands out in her cameos.

This is another movie about stage performers trying to make a living. Ginger is a struggling singer and dancer trying to go solo after success in a duo act with Fred. Fred has been in the Navy for a few years since their relationship faltered.

I appreciated the song "I’m Putting All My Eggs in One Basket" because that's exactly what the supporting actress, Harriet Hilliard, does throughout her plot thread. She  plays Ginger's sister who has suddenly blossomed with a makeover. She's stuck on the first man she meets, Bilge, a lout who only shows signs of humanity when he's made to understand there's a ship in it for him. But Harriet's character is dim in the love department. She wears her ball gown to cook for her man and talks marriage on the first date.

In these old movies, the girls cry with glassy eyes and no tears. But they also say funny things to each other like Ginger says to her sister: "You look too darn intelligent. Girls gotta be dolled up nowdays. It takes a lotta brains to be dumb."

I did get somewhat tired of Irving Berlin's score, which used the same song ("Let Yourself Go") over and over. But this was the depression after all; maybe they were trying to save money and recycle a theme.

The movie slightly touches on class issues as it has in the other Cher TCM picks. For example, in Hobson's Choice there was a class divide between Willie (a laborer) and Maggie's family (business owners). Here there is an official naval class divide between the crew (Fred Astaire and company) and the officers. Ginger plays off this tension to get back at Fred during the party scene.

Rogg020 Fred and Ginger as you are used to seeing them (to the left).

Of course the movie provides a great ballroom dance and these are always worth your attention.

I loved the ship backdrop in this scene. It reminds me of dining out in Long Beach.

 

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