17.2.10

Carefree, 1938



Carefree is a ScrewBall Comedy- Musical rather than a Musical Comedy and stands out for being topsy turvy when compared to other Astaire and Rogers films. 
"Dr. Flagg is a horrible Monster, men like him should be shot down like dogs" Strange babble for a doctor to use to hypnotize a patient with, but this is screwy film. Short and sweet this film is  lesser celebrated because of the minimal amount of dance numbers and Carefree's dance numbers do not stand out as being one of their greatest achievements on screen. This being a screwball comedy with gimmicky dance numbers. Ginger Rogers has a huge talent for comedy especially as she strolls down the street high on anesthetic, classic comedic touch. Fred Astaire doesn't play his usual role as a dancer although his Psychiatrist character Tony Flagg did once have aspirations for the stage. 
Ginger plays a radio singer who is not particularly keen on the the idea of marrying Ralph Bellamy's character Stephen. He sends Ginger to Dr. Tony Flagg to figure out what is wrong, Tony discovers that she doesn't dream and sends her out to dinner to eat all the ridiculous foods like Lobster and Mayonnaise. This sends her into a dream which contains fred and gingers first passionate kiss on screen. now realizing she loves Fred she makes up a ridiculous dream story so she can still keep on seeing him as a patient and the screwiness continues.





Carefree only showcases 4 song and dance numbers which isn't much compared to Fred and Ginger's 7 predecessors. Irving Berlin wrote the score although I think they aren't well known tunes they are still superb songs like Change Partners which Astaire sings because he is banned to talk to Ginger. Ginger is really the gem in this film in my opinion, known well for being a great comedic and dramatic actress this showcases her comic abilities brilliantly. Its a change in character for both actors Fred usually playing the love struck American dancer and Ginger usually playing the proper lady but then again she is drugged up and hypnotized in a good part of this 83-min film so whose to know whose who. This has a great supporting cast also, but I did miss Edward Everett Horton he is the icing on the cake in Top Hat, The Gay Divorcee and Shall we Dance.When this originally came out it was underestimated and I think its definitely still an underrated classic comedy but I would say that because I enjoy all of Ginger and Fred's escapades they are terrific.  
Photo: Ginger, Irving Berlin, Fred.
Random thought:
gingers top with the heart and Arrows reminded me of this Karen Walker t - shirt I have lol Inspiration? different but the same. 




...and Karen walker's dress version is even more similar, she's a N.Z designer , her clothing rules look her up if you are interested heres a link:  Karen walker


hope you enjoy! and especially vkmfan from Gingerology
:)

8 comments:

arlee bird said...

You have good taste. I have the CAREFREE dvd as part of a box set and don't remember it extremely well, but I do recall enjoying it immensely. I think Fred Astaire is one of the finest actors ever if you rate acting with movement. Can't recall an Astaire movie that I've ever seen that I didn't like.
Lee

Mythical Monkey said...

It's funny that you would mention Edward Everett Horton -- I love Astaire-Roger musicals, but I tend to separate them out in my head not based on the dancing or songs but by whether they include Edward Everett Horton. He somehow adds an essential ingredient -- the fussy, sensible straight-man who ends up being the biggest loon on the screen. Makes Astaire and Rogers seem "real" by comparison. Something like that. I'll be writing about him in more detail eventually, assuming I live long enough, either in connection with Design For Living, The Gay Divorcee or Top Hat. Maybe I'll have worked out my thoughts by then ...

KC said...

This really is more a screwball comedy than musical. I've never thought of that before. I love the heart design. Man, I really want a dress/shirt with that on it now. So cool!

Zoe said...

MythicalMonkey: Edward definitely does add that little bit of zany, he should of really been a supporting cast member in all fred & ginger movies they could of been called Fred,Ginger and Horton movies lol like in carefree he could of played the judge or something but i wont dwell on it, I'm looking forward too your Edward Evertt Horton posts nw! yay.

K.C: hi, glad you like it! :)
Carefree has been called a Comedy with Music lol sums it up nicely - but a bit strange for fred and ginger.

Arlee Bird: yes he is or was the greatest musical actors in my opinion, thanks for stopping by.

VKMfan said...

Great Post, Zoe!!!

Well, you KNEW ol' VKMfan had to weigh in on this review... you really nailed it right on the head! This one is Ginger's from start to finish...LOVE it! Fred plays a nice role, something a bit different... but the dancing and songs, well, not as much as in the previous GandF movies.
Now, a shocking thought here...it would have been interesting if they had someone other than Fred play the doctor...and see if the movie would have done better box-office wise... crazy? Well, of course, Fred and Ginger were 'automatic' box office gold, sure, but just imagine oh, David Niven as the doc instead...of course the dancing would have been non-existent, but overall, the movie might have been more 'accepted', and not 'downgraded' since folks expect 5-6 dance numbers in a GandF movie...
Well, just blabbing on, but yeah, this one IS really one of my favorite GandFs...

Zoe said...

hi & thanks VKMfan,
that is a really good point I could definitely imagine it with a david Niven like actor! & then the critics and audiences wouldn't of expected all the spectacular dance numbers they has previously experienced with F&G and it could of gone down quite well as a straight comedy.. But i still like it regardless of course!
:)

C.K. Dexter Haven said...

Darling, your blog is lovely!

http://hollywooddreamland.blogspot.com/2010/02/one-lovely-blog-award.html

VKMfan said...

...well, sure, it is great 'as-is'!!! but it's good to throw 'alternate takes' out there every now and then...

Hope all is well, Zoe!!!

VKMfan
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