Later On

A blog written for those whose interests more or less match mine.

“Royal Wedding” and some notes

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I just rewatched Royal Wedding (the 1951 Lerner and Lowe movie musical. The actual royal wedding was in 1947, and footage from the event is included in the musical — the crowds! the coach!)

Some points of interest:

Winston Churchill daughter Sarah plays a prominent role as the love interest of Fred Astaire’s character.

I realized as I watched the movie that the famous dance sequence in which Fred Astaire dances with a coat rack follows closely the dance Fred Astaire later does with Jane Powell. (They play a brother-and-sister dance duo, and her love interest is played by Peter Lawford, later of Kennedy clan fame.)

There’s a wonderful slapstick Bronx-set dance sequence in which Astaire’s costume hints at a zoot suit: the trousers have the high waist, though are not so full cut (because he has to dance in them), but the coat does suit, totally lacking in the requisite drape shape. Here’s a real zoot suit worn with panache by Cab Calloway. (I have seen Calloway wearing what seems to be the same suit in a color film. The suit there is yellow — bright yellow.)


Another reason that a zoot suit might have been avoided in a movie probably made in 1950 is the still-recent memory of the zoot-suit riots of 1943, which took the suit out of fashion. The riots occurred in Los Angeles, so Hollywood would have been keenly aware.

There’s one of Astaire’s most famous dance sequences later in the movie, but I won’t spoil the surprise for those who are viewing the movie for the first time. And here’s the full movie.

Written by Leisureguy

30 October 2020 at 12:20 pm

Posted in Movies & TV

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