11/17/16

THE TORRENTIAL TWENTIES: GINGER ROGERS PRE-ASTAIRE



Today's visit to the strange--almost incomprehensible--world of the 1920s features Ginger Rogers in what can only be described as her pre-sexual phase. It's a clip from a short film called 'A Night In A Dormitory", shot in 1929 when she was nineteen years old. She does two songs--"Why Can't You Love That Way" (which she sings in an annoying Betty-Boopish voice) and "I Love A Man In a Uniform (An' How!)". The stone-age flat shooting style of the entire nightclub act is for me one of the delights of these pieces of antiquity, as it really does make you feel like you're sitting in the nightclub staring at the floorshow. And what a train wreck of a floor show it is! The chubby chorus girls all seem to be dancing to different songs in different time meters. I've noticed this before in other '20s musicals. Unless you were a bona fide dancing star like Marilyn Miller, not much was expected of your dancing abilities. As for Ginger, I doubt I would have recommended her for a screen test based on this. Which is as much a reflection on my lack of abilities as a talent scout as it is on her as yet
non-existent persona.

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