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Blue Skies

Fred Astaire once surprised an interviewer by naming not Ginger Rogers nor Rita Hayworth as his favorite movie partner, but Bing Crosby. As this digitally remastered, double-feature set makes clear, there indeed was something special about the Crosby-Astaire teaming: an easygoing naturalness in playing off each other that made them icons of popular singing and dancing, respectively, from the late ’20s to the dawn of the rock era. The thin showbiz plots of both films are an excuse for a parade of Irving Berlin songs. Holiday Inn showcases ”White Christmas” and ”Easter Parade,” each marvelous, but the best is Blue Skies‘ ”Puttin’ on the Ritz,” in which Astaire precision-dances with 10 images of himself in as masterful a piece of on-screen magic as anyone has done before or since. Both movies: A-

Blue Skies
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