The Sky's the Limit (1943)

Genres - Comedy, Musical  |   Sub-Genres - Musical Romance  |   Release Date - Sep 2, 1943 (USA - Unknown)  |   Run Time - 89 min.  |   Countries - United States   |   MPAA Rating - NR
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Review by Craig Butler

Coming on the heels of the immensely popular Holiday Inn, Fred Astaire's The Sky's the Limit was deemed something of a letdown. On its own terms, however, it's an engaging and appealing little film and somewhat more insightful than most musicals of the period. Although the dialogue is fairly weak, the script does at least dally with the concept of a career woman and includes a rather tearful finale that is unusual for the genre at the time. Also of interest is the fact that Astaire is essentially playing a traditional Gene Kelly role, that of a persistent male who is a bit overbearing in his pursuit of a female (and is in the armed forces, to boot). There's less music than in most Astaire films (which is one reason why the deficiencies of the script are more apparent), but it does feature two lovely duets with Joan Leslie, as well as Astaire's classic, rowdy bar dance. The score itself features two first rate songs, the haunting "My Shining Hour and the immortal "One for My Baby," as well as the lesser-known but charming "I've Got a Lot in Common with You." Astaire is in top form throughout, and he and Leslie make a wonderful pair. They have a definite chemistry, and her dancing blends very well with his. Robert Benchley provides solid support, especially with his memorable befuddled monologue. Astaire would follow Sky with the more ambitious but very uneven Yolanda and the Thief.