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The Barkleys of Broadway

The Barkleys of Broadway(1949)

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NOTES

powered by AFI

The working title of this film was You Made Me Love You. Some contemporary reviews incorrectly refer to the film as The Berkleys of Broadway. According to a July 1948 Hollywood Reporter news item, Judy Garland, originally set for the part played by Ginger Rogers, began work on the picture but was later replaced due to an "illness." (As noted in modern sources, Garland's "illness" was widely known to be a nervous breakdown.) The film marked the screen debut of Broadway musical star Joyce Mathews, and was the first re-teaming of Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers since their appearance in the 1939 film The Story of Irene and Vernon Castle (see AFI Catalog of Feature Films, 1931-40; F3.4333). The Barkleys of Broadway was the final film in which Astaire and Rogers were co-starred. Actor Jacques Francois was borrowed from Universal-International for this picture.
       A September 1948 Hollywood Reporter news item indicates that three Harry Warren and Ira Gershwin songs written for the film were not included in the picture: "Swing Time," "The Courtin' of Elmer and Ella" and "Natchez on the Mississippi." Modern sources note that a fourth song, "Poetry in Motion," was written for the film but never used. The song "They Can't Take That Away from Me" was also used in another Rogers and Astaire film, the 1937 RKO picture Shall We Dance (see AFI Catalog of Feature Films, 1931-40; F3.3991). The Barkleys on Broadway included one of Astaire's most famous solo numbers, "Shoes with Wings On." The number, which is part of a Broadway show starring "Josh Barkley," features Astaire as a cobbler whose shoes "come to life" and dance around his shop.
       A biography of producer Arthur Freed lists writer Sidney Sheldon as having contributed to the screenplay. Modern sources indicate that the final cost of the film was $2,325,420. Harry Stradling was nominated for an Academy Award in the category of Best Color Cinematography. Rogers reprised her role for a Lux Radio Theatre broadcast of the story on January 1, 1951. George Murphy played Astaire's role in the radio version.