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Ginger Rogers and dancers on screen

I’m watching the excellent.   Sky Arts  Discovering  series on Ginger Rogers on catch up. This programme was broadcast in early December.

The first outbreak of the virus was at the end of that  month so it seemed and was a different age. It’s interesting to put Ginger Rogers’ career in the context of Me Too.

She was not only paid less than Fred Astaire but also the second male lead. She had the typical pushy mum – and she was a tough negotiator – so they both took on the studio heads and won.

Her partnership with Fred Astaire was arguably the most famous ever on the silver screen. Fred Astaire was the better dancer technically but had less warmth. Ginger Rogers had the direct line to the audience.

The programme got me thinking of dancers on screen.

Gene Kelly was more animated, more gymnastic, but I did not care for his Irish republican sympathies.

John Travolta less classical. My favourite dancer was much better known as an actor and one of the great stars of cinema: James Cagney.

Here is a clip to show him at his best: YANKEE DOODLE DANDY MEDLEY (YOUTUBE)





About Neil Rosen

Neil went to the City of London School and Manchester University graduating with a 1st in economics. After a brief stint in accountancy, Neil emigrated to a kibbutz In Israel. His articles on the burgeoning Israeli film industry earned comparisons to Truffaut and Godard in Cahiers du Cinema. Now one of the world's leading film critics and moderators at film Festivals Neil has written definitively in his book Kosher Nostra on Jewish post war actors. Neil lives with his family in North London. More Posts

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