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Robert Harris

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Blue Skies, released by Paramount in 1946 is a bit of an oddity. Directed by Stuart Heisler, it's "based upon an original idea" by Irving Berlin, using his songs.

Never a great film, it has some wonderful moments, which make it worthwhile, such as Mr. Astaire doing Puttin' on the Ritz.

One of 35 Technicolor productions released in 1946 (for those into numbers), and one of 3 from Paramount. To place things in a bit of perspective, there were 26 films in the process in 1945, 28 in 1944, 25 in 1943, 17 in 1942, 19 in 1941, 16 in 1940, 13 in 1939, 13 in 1938, 7 in 1937. Point being, especially until the 1950s, they were rarities.

Historically speaking, this isn't a major Technicolor production, so one would be correct in presuming that a digital restoration (think Warner Archive) is in not in order. It isn't.

What we're given by Universal via Kino is more than good enough to make the point. Color seems generally accurate, even if imperfect, and overall registration is fine. Shadow detail is lacking.

Image – 3.5

Audio – 5

Pass / Fail – Pass

Upgrade from first DVD – Yes

Works up-rezzed to 4k - Okay

RAH
 

marcco00

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I know Blue Skies was a big, big hit, but I would have thought Easter Parade grossed more money. I'm just guessing: I have done no research.
it makes sense tho with two of the biggest musical stars of the 1940's, Fred and Bing, in the same film. 'Holiday Inn' was also a HUGE hit for Fred. 'White Christmas' out-grossed both films.....Bing had requested Fred for that film also but Fred stuck to his 2 film collaboration rule to avoid permanent partnerships. all info from my Starring Fred Astaire book, still my favorite of the dozen or so books i got on Astaire
 

Will Krupp

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all info from my Starring Fred Astaire book, still my favorite of the dozen or so books i got on Astaire

I DO love that book, though I don't own a copy. From what I remember, it was none too charitable to Ginger. Am I right in remembering it that way?
 

David Weicker

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it makes sense tho with two of the biggest musical stars of the 1940's, Fred and Bing, in the same film. 'Holiday Inn' was also a HUGE hit for Fred. 'White Christmas' out-grossed both films.....Bing had requested Fred for that film also but Fred stuck to his 2 film collaboration rule to avoid permanent partnerships. all info from my Starring Fred Astaire book, still my favorite of the dozen or so books i got on Astaire
One of the few Astaire books I didn't own (just placed an order for it on Amazon).

My favorite books are are Astaire Dancing (John Mueller) or The Fred Astaire & Ginger Rogers Book (Arlene Croce).
 

marcco00

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I DO love that book, though I don't own a copy. From what I remember, it was none too charitable to Ginger. Am I right in remembering it that way?
no actually it is a very good, journalistic approach to Fred's career with little gossip or the author's opinion throw in. a nice big picture book also
 

marcco00

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One of the few Astaire books I didn't own (just placed an order for it on Amazon).

My favorite books are are Astaire Dancing (John Mueller) or The Fred Astaire & Ginger Rogers Book (Arlene Croce).
i think you will enjoy!! not a great fan of the mueller book (we have differing opinions of Fred's dance partners). early on in my Astaire fandom i worshipped the Astaire/Rogers RKO series and compared every other Astaire film to them. i've evolved over time to look at each Astaire film on its own because i love Fred so, he truly is a POET IN MOTION. so there are some books i don't reach for often, tho over the years i've collected every Astaire book i could find.
 

RobertMG

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it makes sense tho with two of the biggest musical stars of the 1940's, Fred and Bing, in the same film. 'Holiday Inn' was also a HUGE hit for Fred. 'White Christmas' out-grossed both films.....Bing had requested Fred for that film also but Fred stuck to his 2 film collaboration rule to avoid permanent partnerships. all info from my Starring Fred Astaire book, still my favorite of the dozen or so books i got on Astaire
On White Christmas many different reasons given over the years why he did not do the film including he did not like the script -
 

RobertMG

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I DO love that book, though I don't own a copy. From what I remember, it was none too charitable to Ginger. Am I right in remembering it that way?
Fred was always respectful of Ginger - sad though Astaire's wife stopped allowing film clips of Fred and Ginger to be aired honoring Ginger while Ginger was still with us.
 

Will Krupp

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no actually it is a very good, journalistic approach to Fred's career with little gossip or the author's opinion throw in. a nice big picture book also

Fred was always respectful of Ginger - sad though Astaire's wife stopped allowing film clips of Fred and Ginger to be aired honoring Ginger while Ginger was still with us.

Is this NOT the book where the author talks about Fred calling Ginger "the Wasp" behind her back because of her prickly personality while they were making Barkleys of Broadway? Is it a different book? I could swear it was the book with the top hat and the cane on front? Maybe I'm thinking of a different book, then. My apologies if so.
 

RobertMG

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Is this NOT the book where the author talks about Fred calling Ginger "the Wasp" behind her back because of her prickly personality while they were making Barkleys of Broadway? Is it a different book? I could swear it was the book with the top hat and the cane on front? Maybe I'm thinking of a different book, then. My apologies if so.
Hugh Fordin's book tells the story where he felt something was off while they were filming Barkley's and he went over to Hermes Pan and discussed it and they realized Ginger was wearing heels making her taller than him something she had never done in their earlier films.
 

RobertMG

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Blue Skies, released by Paramount in 1946 is a bit of an oddity. Directed by Stuart Heisler, it's "based upon an original idea" by Irving Berlin, using his songs.

Never a great film, it has some wonderful moments, which make it worthwhile, such as Mr. Astaire doing Puttin' on the Ritz.

One of 35 Technicolor productions released in 1946 (for those into numbers), and one of 3 from Paramount. To place things in a bit of perspective, there were 26 films in the process in 1945, 28 in 1944, 25 in 1943, 17 in 1942, 19 in 1941, 16 in 1940, 13 in 1939, 13 in 1938, 7 in 1937. Point being, especially until the 1950s, they were rarities.

Historically speaking, this isn't a major Technicolor production, so one would be correct in presuming that a digital restoration (think Warner Archive) is in not in order. It isn't.

What we're given by Universal via Kino is more than good enough to make the point. Color seems generally accurate, even if imperfect, and overall registration is fine. Shadow detail is lacking.

Image – 3.5

Audio – 5

Pass / Fail – Pass

Upgrade from first DVD – Yes

Works up-rezzed to 4k - Okay

RAH
I know you really cannot say for certain w/o seeing the negs but interesting that such a major film would not have a full redo restoration yet when watching The Emperor Waltz one is literally in risk of getting suntan from the Glorious Technicolor!
 

marcco00

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Is this NOT the book where the author talks about Fred calling Ginger "the Wasp" behind her back because of her prickly personality while they were making Barkleys of Broadway? Is it a different book? I could swear it was the book with the top hat and the cane on front? Maybe I'm thinking of a different book, then. My apologies if so.
that's the right book, but that story is not in it. maybe that's peter levinson's book, it has a lot of dish, though i like it for it's up to date info. Starring was written in the mid seventies when Astaire was still alive, and is very middle of the road and very respectful, with a lot of quotes from co-workers and movie reviews of the time.
those Astaire books written from that era are my favorites---bob thomas, benny green, michael freeland, and roy picard
 

marcco00

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I know you really cannot say for certain w/o seeing the negs but interesting that such a major film would not have a full redo restoration yet when watching The Emperor Waltz one is literally in risk of getting suntan from the Glorious Technicolor!
the print on my old dvd of 'blue skies' is decent looking, so i'm hopeful! also recently found a great print of 'let's dance' 1950 on youtube, so my Astaire library is complete!!
 

RobertMG

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the print on my old dvd of 'blue skies' is decent looking, so i'm hopeful! also recently found a great print of 'let's dance' 1950 on youtube, so my Astaire library is complete!!
Spot on the dvd is decent - still have the laser it was a double with Holiday Inn and the laser looked like Technicolor much more than the dvd. Even though the film was a bit of a let down compared to Holiday Inn the film was a box office champ, audiences paid to hear Der Bingle croon and Astaire move those feet not to get as "Variety" the industry Bible would label as "Boffo" in the story dept.
 

RobertMG

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Spot on the dvd is decent - still have the laser it was a double with Holiday Inn and the laser looked like Technicolor much more than the dvd. Even though the film was a bit of a let down compared to Holiday Inn the film was a box office champ, audiences paid to hear Der Bingle croon and Astaire move those feet not to get as "Variety" the industry Bible would label as "Boffo" in the story dept.
Just for fun

Top Grossing Movies of 1946​

RankMovieRelease
Date
DistributorGenre1946 GrossTickets Sold
1Song of the SouthNov 12, 1946Walt DisneyAdventure$49,504,170123,760,425
2NotoriousAug 15, 1946Thriller/Suspense$24,464,74261,161,855
3The Best Years of Our LivesNov 21, 1946RKO Radio PicturesDrama$23,600,00059,000,000
4Duel in the SunDec 31, 1946Western$20,400,00051,000,000
5The Jolson StoryOct 10, 1946$19,000,00047,500,000
6Blue SkiesOct 16, 1946Paramount PicturesMusical$14,300,00035,750,000
7The Postman Always Rings TwiceMay 2, 1946$12,000,00030,000,000
8MargieOct 16, 1946$10,000,00025,000,000
9GildaMar 14, 1946$10,000,00025,000,000
10Night and DayJul 2, 1946$7,500,00018,750,000
11The YearlingDec 18, 1946Western$5,200,00013,000,000
12The Harvey GirlsJan 18, 1946Musical$4,100,00010,250,000
13Easy to WedJul 11, 1946$4,100,00010,250,000
14Holiday in MexicoAug 15, 1946$3,700,0009,250,000
15Two Sisters from BostonJun 6, 1946$3,600,0009,000,000
16Without ReservationsMay 13, 1946$3,000,0007,500,000
17The Bandit of Sherwood ForestFeb 21, 1946Sony PicturesAdventure$3,000,0007,500,000
 

Waldo Lydecker

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David N. Heathman
Why is “Swingtime” the only Astaire & Rogers film on blu-ray? Why no restorations on the RKO series…?
 

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