The Belle of New York

  • MGM, 1952, Color, 82 minutes, ***½
  • Released February, 1952

Fun flight of fancy that features Fred Astaire as a turn-of-the-century playboy set on romancing mission girl Vera-Ellen. Delightful duets through the clouds above remain a highlight. Marjorie Main, Keenan Wynn, Alice Pearce co-star. Songs include “Oops,” “I Wanna Be a Dancin’ Man” and “Bachelor’s Dinner Song.”

Classic Musicals from the Dream Factory, Vol. 2 DVD Box Set (shown right) includes this film and The Pirate, Words and Music, That’s Dancing, Royal Wedding, That Midnight Kiss, The Toast of New Orleans.

Details

  • Produced by: Arthur Freed
  • Directed by: Charles Walters
  • Screen Play by: Robert O’Brien and Irving Elinson
  • Adapted for the Screen by: Chester Erskine
  • From the Play by: Hugh Morton
  • Songs: Music by Harry Warren, Lyrics by Johnny Mercer
  • Musical Direction: Adolph Deutsch
  • Orchestrations by: Conrad Salinger and Maurice DePackh
  • Musical Numbers Staged and Directed by: Robert Alton
  • Art Directors: Cedric Gibbons and Jack Martin Smith
  • Set Decorations: Edwin B. Willis, Richard Pefferle
  • Special Effects: Warren Newcombe, Irving G. Ries
  • Women’s Costumes Designed by: Helen Rose
  • Men’s Costumes Designed by: Gile Steele
  • Hair Styles Designed by: Sydney Guilaroff
  • Make-Up Created by: William Tuttle
  • Recording Supervisor: Douglas Shearer
  • Director of Photography: Robert Planck
  • Color by Technicolor
  • Technicolor Color Consultants: Henri Jaffa, James Gooch
  • Film Editor: Albert Akst

Cast

  • Fred Astaire [Charlie Hill]
  • Vera-Ellen [Angela Bonfils]
  • Marjorie Main [Mrs. Phineas Hill]
  • Keenan Wynn [Max Ferris]
  • Alice Pearce [Elsie Wilkins]
  • Clinton Sundberg [Gilfred Spivak]
  • Gale Robbins [Dixie McCoy]
  • Lisa Ferraday [Frenchie]
  • Henry Slate [Clancy]
  • Carol Brewster
  • Meredith Leeds
  • Lyn Wilde [Frenchie’s Girls]
  • Buddy Roosevelt [Cab Driver]
  • Roger Davis [Judkins]
  • Dick Wessel
  • Percy Helton
  • Tom Dugan [Bowery Bums]
  • Anita Ellis [singing voice of Vera-Ellen]

Musical Program

  • [0:00] When You’re Out with the Belle of New York (sung by Chorus behind titles)
  • [0:07] Who Wants to Kiss the Bridegroom? (sung and danced by Fred Astaire and his girlfriends, one of whom is Lyn Wilde)
  • [0:11] Let a Little Love Come In (sung by Alice Pearce, then sung by Anita Ellis dubbing for Vera-Ellen)
  • [0:15] Seeing’s Believing (sung and danced by Fred Astaire walking on air and atop the Washington Arch in Washington Square – great f/x!)
  • [0:26] Baby Doll (sung by Fred Astaire, danced by Fred Astaire and Vera-Ellen)
  • [0:33] Oops (sung by Fred Astaire, danced by Fred Astaire and Vera-Ellen on trolley – cute number!)
  • [0:42] A Bride’s Wedding Day Song (Currier and Ives) (sung by Anita Ellis dubbing for Vera-Ellen, danced by Fred Astaire and Vera-Ellen with Ensemble – beautiful number!)
  • [1:02] Naughty But Nice (sung and danced by Vera-Ellen, dubbed by Anita Ellis
  • then sung and danced by Alice Pearce)
  • [1:08] Baby Doll (reprised by barbershop quartet of waiters, including Fred Astaire as one of the four)
  • [1:12] I Wanna Be a Dancin’ Man (sung and danced by Fred Astaire)
  • [1:19] When You’re Out with the Belle of New York (reprised by Chorus at end of film)