Friday, April 25, 2008

"Royal Wedding" (1951) -- Initial Thoughts

Today, I watched Royal Wedding (1951), which stars Fred Astaire, Jane Powell, Peter Lawford, and Keenan Wynn. Kind of an interesting cast, huh?

Astaire and Powell play a brother-sister team of singers and dancers, but not all the musical numbers are part of their show. Jane Powell sings several songs as she falls for Peter Lawford, and Fred Astaire does two of his most memorable dance routines off-stage as well: dancing with a hat tree, and dancing on the ceiling and walls of his hotel room. Their numbers together on-stage are pretty good, particularly the classic "Why Do You Believe Me When I Tell You That I Love You When You Know I've Been a Liar All My Life?" :-D They had a nice, friendly chemistry, and you could believe they were siblings.

But I enjoyed the two supporting guys, Lawford and Wynn, most of all. I've only seen Peter Lawford in a handful of things like Ocean's Eleven and Easter Parade (which I barely remember and should really watch again -- maybe next week?), and I was unprepared for his dry, boyish charm. I may have to try to find more of his movies!

As for Keenan Wynn, well, who doesn't love Keenan Wynn? He's always funny, whether playing a Disney villain or an overbearing Combat! colonel (I did half expect him to belt out, "Don't just stand there suckin' on a prune pit!" in this). And he plays twins in this, one American, one British (a difference that is never explained), so we get several split-screen scenes of him confusing himself with British- and Americanisms.

It ended a bit abruptly, but not unenjoyably so. I think of all the "new" musicals I've watched so far this year, this is one of my favorites.

Oh, and how's this for some interesting trivia? According to, Jane Powell and I currently reside in the same county!


  1. This is one of my favorite musicals. We used to watch it all the time growing up.

  2. I can see that. It's quirky, a little off-beat, and not overly gooshy :-D


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