Easter Parade (1948)

Easter Parade (1948), directed by Charles Walters.

A rich and colorful Irving Berlin musical with a typically negligible plot: Judy Garland loves Fred Astaire who loves Ann Miller who loves Peter Lawford who loves Judy Garland... It's something of a Pygmalion (1938) plot packed with singing and dancing. Nothing to do with Easter.

Several last-minutes cast changes: Gene Kelly and Cyd Charisse had injuries and were replaced by Astaire and Miller (who had also hurt her back but wanted the job). Lawford came in for Frank Sinatra for some reason.

I wish I could have seen a version with Kelly and Charisse: it would have been an entirely different picture. No replacing Judy Garland, of course: the superstar who loved the clowning bits.

One of Astaire's numbers is done in something that looks like "brown face" makeup. I've never seen anything like it in a musical. "Steppin' Out with My Baby": meant to be Creole? The song was introduced in this film.

Available on Blu-ray with a happy and fact-filled commentary track by a film historian and Astaire's daughter.