Damsel In Distress (1937) – Fred Astaire Film Review

You like Fred?  Or Wodehouse?  Totally worth checking out.  This old chestnut was aired on UK terrestrial telly recently.  I was still waking up on the sofa on Sunday morning, with Beeb 2 airing randomly. blinking and sipping coffee, before I really knew what I was watching.

And what I was mostly thinking, as I became aware that I was watching telly at all, was, “Hello!  This jolly old thing has a bit of a Wodehouse-y feel, what-ho!”

It did.  It really did!  Stray butlers, foppish bemused young chaps, determined foxy females packed with moxie, unlikely plots, millions of bucks and tap-dancing…. It had Peregrine Granville stamped all over it.

Then I remembered Wodehouse had a lost weekend, or decade or something, in Hollywood.  Checked out IMDB and Uncle Bob’s yer Uncle Fred, there it was.

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And tbh, a lot of this particular effort is almost directly filched from his books and stories.  In particular it’s a xerox of a lot of the Blandings stories, plus added fancy footwork.  But so what.  All to the good, right?  Astaire is fantastic, a man almost made to be a Wodehouse hero, and could have played Wooster quite credibly I reckon.

If you’re a big fan of Astaire, Wodehouse, vintage b&w films or vintage hoofing, this is the one for you.  Unmissable.

 

 

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