Astaire & Powell, Hope & Cagney

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What is one to do when the temperature is in the 90s and the humidity is not far behind? When the world news is so depressing it’s hard to read the papers? And when movies for grown-ups are still months away? Here’s a solution: watch these two dance videos that are guaranteed (by me) to bring a smile to your face.

Fred Astaire and Eleanor Powell  Set to Cole Porter’s “Begin the Beguine,” this is perhaps the finest dance duet ever to play the movies. It was performed in “Broadway Melody of 1940,” and supposedly – remarkably – shot in a single take.

Bob Hope and James Cagney  Let’s see. Hope was a comedian, and Cagney a tough-guy movie star. But dancers? Yep. As a youth, Hope was a busker and dancer in England.  Cagney, a vaudeville hoofer, won an Oscar as George M. Cohan in “Yankee Doodle Dandy.

Ben Rosen



2 Responses to “Astaire & Powell, Hope & Cagney”

  1. i just looked at the Astaire /Powell duet to Begin the Beguine, which I have seen and loved numerous times and was struck again by their incredible technical ability and the obvious pleasure they take in dancing with each other. Two of the great tap dancers of all time challenging each other to greater speed and (effortless) complexity.

  2. This made my day. Great performances — with a perfect set-up comments. Thank you!

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