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You’ll Never Get Rich (1941, Fred Astaire, Rita Hayworth)

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Fred Astaire and Rita Hayworth trip the light fantastic to a host of Cole Porter tunes in this sprightly wartime musical.

This was the first of a pair of movies (You Were Never Lovelier being the other) in which Columbia’s bosses teamed up lovely Rita with old twinkletoes to break ‘The Love Goddess’ into the upper echelons of the stellar set. It worked. The pair even appeared on a Chesterfields cigarette ad, such was the film’s success.

The story concerns Broadway choreographer Bob Curtis (Astaire) who acts as fall guy for philandering producer Martin Courtland (ROBERT BENCHLEY). He pretends to be the lover of the boss’s chorus-girl squeezes whenever Mrs Courtland (FRIEDA INESCORT) gets suspicious. Things get messy for Bob when he’s asked to stand in with chorine Sheila Winthrop (Hayworth), who’s secretly got a thing for her dance instructor. When she discovers his affections are false she raises the alarm. Bob makes a dash from the meller when he’s called up to the army. Unfortunately, his commanding officer is Sheila’s boyfriend, Tom Barton (JOHN HUBBARD) and Bob spends most of the time in the guardhouse. But then the old show comes to the camp to boost the troops’ morale, and Bob spots an opportunity to make it up with Sheila.

Astaire is on flying form as you’d expect, but the undoubted star is Hayworth. Even the hyper-critical Astaire admitted that she danced ‘with trained perfection and individuality’.’

production details
USA | 88 minutes | 1941

Director: Sidney Lanfield
Writer: Michael Fessier, Ernest Pagano

cast
Guinn Williams as Kewpie Blain
Fred Astaire as Robert Curtis
John Hubbard as Captain Tom Barton
Rita Hayworth as Sheila Winthrop
Robert Benchley as Martin Cortland
Osa Massen as Sonya
Frieda Inescort as Mrs. Julia Cortland
Donald MacBride as Top Sergeant
Cliff Nazarro as Swivel Tongue
Marjorie Gateson as Aunt Louise
Ann Shoemaker as Mrs. Barton
Boyd Davis as Colonel Shiller

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