L a - b e a u t é - s a u v e r a - l e - m o n d e ~ D o s t o ï e v s k i

L a - b e a u t é - s a u v e r a - l e - m o n d e  ~  D o s t o ï e v s k i

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Fred and Gene, beyond celluloid: rehearsal and real life

Rehearsing the "Babbitt and the Bromide" number from MGM's "Ziegfeld Follies", released in 1946. (Astaire and his sister Adele had originally performed the George and Ira Gershwin song in the Gershwin's "Funny Face" of 1927-28.) The two greatest of film dancers would perform together again thirty years later, in "That's Entertainment, Part II" but, though both were under contract at MGM during the late Forties and early Fifties, this was their only pairing while each was still at the peak of his career.

(I'm sorry that I couldn't find a better version of this, and that my skill with Photoshop - and I'm
really rather adept - is not equal to the easing out of that big crease right across Astaire's nose!)


It was no secret that Fred Astaire wore a toupée, and only a little less so that Gene Kelly had a little "assistance" in that department, as well. But both gentlemen were very rarely photographed without their follicular camouflage, and until I recently came across these few casual images, I'd never seen them in their unimproved state. As I, myself, am in a recessional mode, I really do find these photographs most comforting.

With another Kelly. Grace, to be specific.

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