A disappointing reunion for the unbeatable team of Astaire and Rogers, the handsomely produced THE BARKLEYS OF BROADWAY retells with some -- but not enough -- wit a thinly disguised version of what was perceived as the duo's actual working relationship. Astaire and Rogers play Josh and Dinah Barkley, an affectionate and highly successful, if sometimes contentious, married musical comedy team. Trouble comes when Dinah's dramatic ambitions and Josh's jealousy over the attention paid to his wife by a handsome French playwright (Francois) encourage the pair to split both professionally and personally. Although each enjoys considerable solo success, they finally realize they belong together doing musical comedy.
The team's first pairing in ten years, which came about after Astaire's costar in the previous year's highly successful EASTER PARADE, Judy Garland, suffered one of her many breakdowns, it would also prove to be their last together. THE BARKLEYS OF BROADWAY shows neither the screen duo nor screenwriters Comden and Green at their best, despite the sharp support from Levant, Burke, and others. The film's chief weakness is the score by Harry Warren and Ira Gershwin, though Fred and Ginger also reprise George and Ira Gershwin's decade-old classic, "They Can't Take That Away from Me." Oddly enough, the legendary pair most closely approximates their earlier magic during the warm comic and romantic interludes, though their delightful and spirited tap duet to "Bouncin' the Blues" does bring some of their patented incandescence onto the dance floor.
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- Rating: NR
- Review: A disappointing reunion for the unbeatable team of Astaire and Rogers, the handsomely produced THE BARKLEYS OF BROADWAY retells with some -- but not enough -- wit a thinly disguised version of what was perceived as the duo's actual working relationship. As… (more)