Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|Follow the Fleet|
Actors: Randolph Scott, Harriet Hilliard, Astrid Allwyn
Director: Mark Sandrich
Genres: Drama, Special Interests, Educational
When the fleet puts in at San Francisco, sailor Bake Baker tries to rekindle the flame with his old dancing partner, Sherry Martin, while Bake's buddy Bilge Smith romances Sherry's sister Connie. But it's not all smooth sa... more »
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Fine and somewhat underrated Fred and Ginger musical
Matthew G. Sherwin | last seen screaming at Amazon customer service | 02/22/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Follow The Fleet is a solid RKO musical from 1936 that gives us Fred Astaire as Bake Baker, navy seaman and Ginger Rogers as Sherry Martin dancing at their best, even if the plot is rather thin. Look also for a great performance by Randolph Scott as Bilge Smith, Bake's buddy in the navy; and Harriet Hilliard plays Connie Martin, Sherry's sister. The plot and the action move along at a good pace; and the convincing acting was very nicely done.
The action starts when a navy ship carrying Bake Baker and his buddy Bilge Smith come into San Francisco's port. Bake wants to rekindle his old romance with Sherry but for now at least she wants nothing of the sort between them. Bilge soon falls for Sherry's sister Connie; and this provides a subplot even though too much time is spent on Bilge and Connie's relationship, in my opinion.
Bake wants Sherry back very badly--and he even ruins a job or two for her just to make sure she's still available! This causes obvious complications between Sherry and Bake. Meanwhile, Connie wants marriage with Bilge; but Bilge certainly isn't ready for marriage with any woman.
The song and dance numbers shared by Ginger Rogers and Fred Astaire are nothing less than heavenly; they dance exceptionally well together especially in the film's finale, "Let's Face The Music And Dance." We also get a scene in which Ginger dances by herself; and this is noteworthy simply because it so rarely happened in the movies.
Look also for some great musical numbers on board the navy ship. Fred really knew how to dance!
The DVD comes with a very good bonus about Fred and Ginger; it has historians and Fred's daughter discussing how Fred and Ginger got into show business and finally movies. There's also a cute cartoon and another brief extra entitled Melody Master: Jimmy Lunceford and His Dance Orchestra. This is great bonus material!
Although some believe that Follow The Fleet is not the strongest Fred and Ginger movie, it kept my attention very well and I enjoyed it thoroughly. The song and dance numbers couldn't have been better; and it's nice to see Lucille Ball as a friend of Sherry Martin even if Lucille's part was rather small. The finale features Ginger in the famous beaded dress that she maintained weighed 35 pounds!
I highly recommend this movie for fans of classic movie musicals; and fans of Fred and Ginger will not want to overlook this one!
Not Quite Their Best But Not Bad
Grendel | 09/06/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)
""Follow the Fleet" differs from the 3 classic Astaire and Rogers films "Swing Time", "Shall We Dance" and "Top Hat" in that the comedy beats usually provided by Victor Moore, Eric Blore, Edward Horton, and Helen Broderick are notiecably absent. In their place is a second melo-dramatic plot line with Harriet Hilliard and Randolph Scott which isnt bad but can't compare to say a scene from "Top Hat" with Edward Horton and Eric Blore and the laughs they get.
So, you can skip over the Scott and Hilliard spots or enjoy the irony of Harriet's "Get Thee Behind Me Satan" number knowing that she will become Harriet in the Ozzie and Harriet early TV sitcom.
The rest of the movie is brilliant Astaire and Rogers, launching one great Irving Berlin song after another. There's Ginger's spicy "Let Yourself Go" delivered in an adorable satin sailor suit, Fred's very funny "We Joined the Navy", and the unforgetable duet and tap number "I'm Putting All My Eggs In One Basket", a tune you can't get out of your head along with Ginger's goofy and charming playfullness in the tap dance. And of course this movie contains one of Astaire and Roger's most memorable ballroom dance numbers "Let's Face the Music and Dance". This routine alone shows the amazing story telling ability of Astaire's coreography combined with the Roger's powerful but silent emoting while dancing in that fantastic beaded dress. Any serious Astaire and Rogers collector has to get this movie if just for this dance by itself."
One of the Best Astaire & Rogers Movies Iv'e Ever Seen!!!!!
Grendel | 04/24/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I am a big fan of Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers and thought that "Follow the Fleet" is one of their best films. I especially like the comical plot. Irving Berlin is brilliant, as usual, and delivers several fantastic numbers including "Let Yourself Go" (my personal favorite), "We Joined the Navy", and "Let's Face the Music"(which brings tears to my eyes). I also liked the comical number, "I'm Putting All My Eggs in One Basket". Absolutly Brilliant."
The one-take wonder of "Let's Face The Music."
Chris Aldridge | Washington, DC USA | 11/01/2002
(4 out of 5 stars)
"This film is nice because there are *two* love stories (something of a plot departure), and the second couple (Randy Scott and Harriet Hilliard Nelson) are given the bulk of the dramatics, which allow our stars to be looser, more comical. Astaire chews the gum a little too severely, but he was anxious to make a departure from his customary tuxedoed playboy. Rogers is much more at ease in the role of struggling dancer-singer, and plays well opposite sister Hilliard. (The history is that Ms. Hilliard had to darken her naturally blond hair to distinguish her from Ms. Rogers. But wouldn't they better resemble sisters if they were both blondes?) The Irving Berlin numbers are quite good, ranging from light ("Let Yourself Go," "I'd Rather Lead A Band") to torchy ("But Where Are You?") to elegant. In terms of elegance, "Let's Face The Music And Dance" is the film's bewitching finale (performed on a marvelous, Art-Deco style rooftop) and illustrates Astaire's penchant for full-frame, single-take dancing; it is one of the duo's most glamorous duets ever performed on film. A bit of trivia: Rogers' evening gown makes another bit of indirect upstaging (not unlike the shedding feathers of TOP HAT's "Cheek To Cheek") because its heavy, metallic sleeves whacked Astaire across the cheeks in take one!! Ironically, after many reshoots to cover up that snafu, they had no choice but to go back to the first take (apparently the best perfomance of the dance, but you can still see the sleeves brush across Astaire's face). It loses one point from me, based on Randy Scott's robotic acting."