Daddy Long Legs (Trivia & Reviews)
Daddy Long Legs began life as a novel by Jean Webster, then a Broadway play in 1914, and was filmed thrice before this: 1919 with Mary Pickford and Mahlon Hamilton (First National), 1931 with Janet Gaynor (Fox), and 1935 with Shirley Temple (with the title Curley Top).
Phyllis Astaire died on September 13, 1954 from lung cancer, a few days before filming was to begin. Fred was shattered and tried to get out of the production, offering to pay all costs. Studio boss Darryl F. Zanuck kept Maurice Chevalier on the sidelines just in case. At the urging of friends and family, and remembering Phyllis wanted him to play this role, Fred changed his mind and agreed to go ahead. The process was painful for Fred, especially since he was doing difficult ballet sequences and was filming in Cinemascope for the first time, but he persevered and his spirits lifted as filming went on.
"Something's Gotta Give
" became Fred's biggest hit in the 1950s. "Dream" was incorporated into the score at his insistence.
, Fred's future partner in the television specials
, and his favourite partner, appears with him for the first time in the first dream sequence, wearing a blonde wig.
Fred is dubbed for the first and only time of his career, in the first dream sequence. As Caron pictures him as a Texas millionaire, he lip syncs to the deep bass (and southern accented) voice of Thurl Ravenscroft.
Academy Awards: Best Art Direction-Set Decoration, Color: John DeCuir, Paul S. Fox, Walter M. Scott, Lyle R. Wheeler (nominated); Best Scoring of a Musical Picture- Alfred Newman (nominated); Best Song, "Something's Gotta Give" (nominated).
Arthur Knight, Dance Magazine, June 1955: "Like Paderewski, Fred Astaire keeps coming back for one more 'final appearance' every few years. And each time he does, he impresses all over again with the precision of his technique, the casual elegance of every gesture, his marvelously bouyant personality and brimming vitality... and Daddy Long Legs proves to be one of his best films in ages.
New York Post, 6 May 1955: "Of its type, Daddy Long Legs is a winner, and there is a double reason named Astaire and Caron- besides the exquisitely mounted production backgrounds. Astaire grows more agile with age. Each time he decides to come out of 'retirement,' his leaps belie his years."
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Last Updated on Friday, 06 November 2009 10:57