Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Silk Stockings

I was not familiar with this musical, but about 3 weeks ago Andres Roura mentioned in an e-mail that it was one his favorites. So I ordered it intending to see it and write him with my opinion. Unfortunately I didn't get to see it in time to write to him. He died January 14.So as a way of remembering Andres I saw "Silk Stockings".

This movie was probably the last important MGM musical and the last one made by Fred Astaire. It is basically a musical version of the 1930's Greta Garbo comedy. Only "Silk Stockings" was made in 1956 at the height of the Cold War, so the Anti-Soviet feeling here has a sort of nastier edge to it. Which is not a bad thing by itself. In fact, it adds a certain charm since it becomes a reall pop culture artifact of its time.

The music by Cole Porter is a lot of fun. Especially one in which he pokes fun at all the gimmicks Hollywood created in the 1950's to make people stop watching tv and head to the movie theaters.

Of course, the dance sequences are wonderful. Especially a solo by Cyd Charisse set to the title. A very sensual, beautiful sequence.
I mentioned the movie was the last MGM musical. And what an interesting end it is. In the final dance sequence set to a Cole Porter song that pokes fun at the then emerging rock n' roll craze, Astaire dances and ends the sequence by destroying his famous top hat. In a way, saying "this is it". The era of tuxedos and top hats is over. This is the end.

"Silk Stockings" is a very good movie. Light, funny. A sort of perfect movie for a weekend afternoon. Thank you, Andres for recommending it. I still have a couple more on that last list you sent me.

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