Image copyright © by Marcus Trahan

Blue Skies


Lots of sings by Irving Berlin, lots of crooning by Bing Crosby, lots of dancing by Fred Astaire. Who cares that the plot is pretty standard? Fred is in love with Joan Caulfield, but she is in love with Bing. But Bing is unable to settle down, even after they’re married. He compulsively closes nightclubs just as they’re getting successful, and opens a new one with a new theme—which conveniently gives opportunities for lots of musical numbers including a big one, “Heat Wave”—only to sell it when it gets successful. Yeah, right, it’s pretty dumb. But the color is glorious, and so is everything else. It contains one of Fred’s most famous numbers, “Puttin’ on the Ritz,” where he dances with nine other Fred Astaires. Fred announced his retirement at age 47 with this movie. Luckily for us, it only lasted two years, until Easter Parade.