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Damsel in Distress

“After the difficulties encountered during the making of Shall We Dance, the celebrated Astaire and Rogers looked forward to doing another Gershwin musical under less tumultuous circumstances, with George Stevens directing. Stevens' Swing Time had been one of their greatest triumphs, and preparations were made on A Damsel In Distress. Unfortunately, Rogers found herself committed to some comedies which delayed production, the composer George Gershwin died suddenly in the midst of scoring another film, and RKO refused to change the original shooting schedule. So, Fred Astaire went ahead without Ginger. His leading lady, a newcomer named Joan Fontaine, never really tried to replace Rogers, fortunately, and such people as George Burns and Gracie Allen proved to be quite merry companions. Allen's tap dancing skills surprised everyone, and the film's humor and excellent songs (‘A Foggy Day,' ‘Nice Work If You Can Get It') have made this rarely-seen musical something of a neglected classic.”

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