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Second Chorus PDF Print E-mail

Directed by: H.C. Potter


Fred Astaire

Danny O'Neill

Paulette Goddard

Ellen Miller

Artie Shaw

Artie Shaw

Burgess Meredith

Henry 'Hank' Taylor

Charles Butterworth

J. Lester Chisholm

Produced by: Boris Morros, Robert Stillman (Associate), Fred Astaire (Associate)

Written by: Frank Cavett, Elaine Ryan, Ian McLellan Hunter and Johnny Mercer (Contributions)

Choreographed by: Hermes Pan

Cinematography: Theodor Sparkuhl

Words and Music by: Johnny Mercer, Yip Harburg, Will Harris, Artie Shaw, Bernard Hanighen, Hal Borne, Victor YoungProduction Company: Paramount

Premiere: New York, January 15, 1941

Synopsis (from VideoHound's Golden Movie Retriever 2001): Rivalry of two trumpet players for a girl and a job with the Artie Shaw Orchestra. Music, dance and romance. Nothing great, but pleasant. (2½ out of 4)

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P.J. Says:

The much reviled "Second Chorus" really isn't that bad. It has some nice touches, some witty lines and some good acting. It does stretch the credibility, though, when Fred utters, "Seven years ago I was just a simple freshman," which would make him around 25 or 26 in the movie. He was 40!

The highlight has to be "I Ain't Hep To That Step (But I'll Dig It)". One reason is seeing Hermes Pan and Fred together on screen for the first and only time. Another is the choreography. Paulette Goddard never danced a step before this movie. Can you tell? Probably not unless you're a pro. Fred and Hermes definitely learned from the disastrous "Things Are Looking Up" number of several years before.

Also, "Concerto For Clarinet" was a big hit. Artie Shaw puts in a good account of himself and his bad.

Still, only Fred completists will need to see this movie. Ironically, though, it is one of the two Fred movies in public domain, and as a result is probably the most widely available of his thirty-one musicals.

The final word:

Dancing value: 6/10
Acting value: 7/10
Entertainment value: 6/10

Overall Ranking: 29/31


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Last Updated on Thursday, 05 November 2009 12:55