Blue Skies (1946)

Genres - Musical  |   Sub-Genres - Musical Drama, Romantic Drama, Showbiz Drama  |   Release Date - Oct 16, 1946 (USA - Unknown)  |   Run Time - 104 min.  |   Countries - United States   |   MPAA Rating - NR
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Review by Craig Butler

A screenplay was written and shot for Blue Skies, but they really needn't have bothered; this is a film that can only be enjoyed in spite of its script, a situation that is unfortunately true of many other musicals. However, unlike many other musicals, Blue Skies has a score of Irving Berlin oldies (and one or two originals) and the likes of Bing Crosby and Fred Astaire to deliver them. If you can forget (or just skip over entirely) the dialogue, you're apt to be mighty entertained, for both men are in fine musical form. Crosby delivers a persuasive "You Keep Coming Back Like a Song," a melancholy "All by Myself," and, with a peppery Olga San Juan, a lively "I'll See You in C-U-B-A." Astaire, whose swan song this was supposed to be, joins San Juan for a torrid "Heat Wave" and escorts a number of beauties in a lavish "A Pretty Girl Is Like a Melody." But it's Astaire alone -- except for ten miniature copies of himself -- who provides the film's highlight with a dynamite "Puttin' on the Ritz" that is deservedly acknowledged as one of the classic musical film moments. (Astaire and Crosby also team up for "A Couple of Song-and-Dance Men," a number that is quite good without quite being exceptional.) As indicated, in between numbers, Blue Skies becomes a bit of a bore -- especially when Joan Caulfield is onscreen or when Billy De Wolfe is encouraged to hang around for more than a minute or two. Still, it's worth catching for the two stars and the songs.