April 7th, 2013: Easter Parade (1948)

Cast and Crew: Frances Goodrich and Albert Hackett (Story); Arthur Freed (Producer); Irving Berlin (Songs); Jules Munshin

What It’s About:  When dancer Don Hewes’s (Fred Astaire) partner Nadine Hale (Ann Miller) walks out on him the night before Easter to advance her own career and to pursue the affections of their mutual friend, Johnny Harrow (Peter Lawford).  Hewes decides to show Nadine what’s what by turning bar chorus girl Hannah Brown (Judy Garland) into his new partner.  Will Hewes be able to turn Brown into a sophisticated dancer (and lady) in time to show her off in next year’s Easter Parade?

Why Watch it Today?: Easter Parade begins the day before Easter, 1911, and ends on April 7th, 1912.   While Easter Parade isn’t one of the best MGM musicals, there are some nice seasonal numbers, plenty of bright spring colors, and  a few stand out routines-Ann Miller’s solo dance to “Shakin’ the Blues Away” as well as Fred Astaire dancing with a chorus to “Stepping Out with My Baby”, including a fantastic section shot in slow motion.

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