Thursday, April 16, 2009

Feet on Fire: An Ann Miller retrospective

Ann Miller's birthday was on Sunday. You can read her bio here, but her on-screen partners will tell you a lot. She danced with Gene Kelley, Fred Astaire, and Bob Fosse (among others) and shared the screen with Cary Grant, Katherine Hepburn, and so many more. Making a total of 47 appearances on the screen (TV and Movie), she never failed to impress. Sadly, she never got to be a leading lady, but usually played the second female lead in most of her shows. Below are some of my favorite movies she danced through. Funny enough, in many of her musicals, her moments are steal the show (for me at least). . . possibly because her numbers are saucier than the lead's goody-two-shoes numbers.

  • Stage Door - She's only a bit player, but I had to include this movie as it is one of my favorites. Yes, that is Miss Ginger Rogers she is rehearsing with.

  • On the Town - With Gene Kelley and Frank Sinatra (I adore the fact that she is looking for a Neanderthal Man, and I think my cousin adored the fact that she was an "Anthropologist").

  • Small Town Girl - Love this because it stars Jane Powell in a Deanna Durbin remake--why not take a bunch of old movies and remake them with a younger girl? No one will notice. Whatever. I still will always love Jane for Seven Brides for Seven Brothers.
  • Kiss Me Kate - Kiss Me Kate is my favorite Ann Miller movie (and hers). Though starring Jane Powell's costars from Seven Brides (Howard Keel & Tommy Rall--Frankincense), Annie tends to steal a few scenes (and how great is it that her name is Lois Lane?). Here are my favorites . It doesn't hurt that all the music is by Cole Porter either. . .

    Tom, Dick, or Harry, Too Darn Hot, and Brush Up Your Shakespeare (which doesn't actually show Ann, but I love it) are featured in a few tiny clips during this Ann-narrated piece on Kiss Me Kate.

  • Why Can't You Behave

  • True to You in My Fashion

By now I know that C is rolling his eyes and saying something like, "Of course you like these!" somewhat exasperatedly as I'm usually a sucker for the songs where the guy has to get the girl to commit, rather than the other way around. Anyway, Happy Late Birthday, Annie. You are missed.

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