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Royal Wedding1951

  • 3.7
This delightful Technicolor MGM musical was a special project for Fred Astaire as it was somewhat based on his early stage partnership with sister Adele. It was also director Stanley Donen's only musical between the classics ON THE TOWN and SINGIN' IN THE RAIN (both co-directed with star Gene Kelly). Adding to its pedigree was a script and lyrics by Alan Jay Lerner who, with composer Frederick Loewe, created such Broadway and screen triumphs as CAMELOT, GIGI, MY FAIR LADY and BRIGADOON. ROYAL WEDDING is set in 1947 when there was no bigger news than the planned nuptials of England's Princess Elizabeth (who wouldn't become Queen Elizabeth II until 1952) and Prince Philip of Greece and Denmark. Astaire and Jane Powell play a sibling hoofer team who get invited to perform in London during all the commotion around the highly public ceremony. Both find love en route, naturally. The film features two of Astaire's most famous solos: his "duet" with a hat rack and the astounding number where he "dances on the ceiling," a concept paid slavish homage much later by Lionel Richie's song and music video (which Donen himself directed). Just twenty-one while her co-star was fifty-one (making them a rather far-fetched sister and brother), Powell got a big break here that came about only after the pregnant June Allyson and pill-addled Judy Garland had to drop out. Unfortunately for her, by the time she hit twenty-five movie musicals were fading from popularity. So she wound up taking her considerable talents to the stage (her later roles including several Lerner hit shows). - Dennis Harvey

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Member Reviews (2)

loved the dancing

Three stars for the movie as a whole, which is little more than "cute." But five stars and more for the jaw-dropping ceiling dance sequence, still as amazing to watch now as when first filmed, even after having been ripped off ad nauseum by INCEPTION, GLEE, etc.