Broadway Melody of 1940 (1940)
random000 1 points 19 days ago.

The tremendously radiant & talented Eleanor Powell, hands down as acknowledged by Fred Astaire himself, the best dancer in the world & the only one who ever intimidated him. “We’re just Ellie & Fred- two hoofers”. These two hoofers are the best paired dancing team ever. Ginger who? Ginger took lessons for months on end from Fred for years. Ellie however was never 2nd to Fred, had her own school & worked until her feet bled, wore out pianists & concentrated on just upper body work for several months before moving on. She always designed all of her own material, dictating everyone else’s steps. Aside from her childhood mentor, no one ever choreographed her steps but her.

In this one, she has two good partners- George Murphy as well as Fred. There’s a lot of good stuff here such as a lot of Cole Porter tunes including Begin The Beguine as well as Ellie’s favorite number she ever filmed, Jukebox Dance. I Concentrate On You is pure ballet. And just look at those gorgeous sets. Time for a towel!

For an idea of just how respected she was, just check out the AFI tribute for Fred in 1981 less than a year before she died of cancer. She showed up to honor Fred, but Fred made sure she got her due & Miss Ellie got a very long standing ovation that brought the roof down. As soon as she walked into the room, people were on their feet for her.

This lady danced each show number 3 times. Once for the camera, twice for miking in perfect sync with the camera takes. Effortless perfect vertical high kicks & endless high speed spins one after the other, she was ballet graceful & acrobatic athletic with hula moves. To this day she’s required learning for all dance students. No one compares to her. Shame her husband destroyed her career & ruined her life.