Broadway Melody of 1940 05/01/21

The Warner Archive Collection

For his first teaming sans Ginger, Fred Astaire hot-foots it to MGM and the waiting tap & sweep partner Eleanor Powell, already a terrific box office draw in her own right. These were the days when the caliber of talent in Hollywood justified the exalted, glamorous aura of star status. The story is a backstage mixup with sidebar singing and joke acts, decent dialogue and not much else. But when these two alight on a dance floor — not just ‘a’ dance floor but an enormous expanse of glittering glass — Hollywood hits a too-glamorous-to-be-real peak. The music by Cole Porter includes Begin the Beguine. Just-okay George Murphy is the third wheel on this musical bicycle, with Frank Morgan serving as fuddy-duddy comic relief. On Blu-ray from The Warner Archive Collection.