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Daddy Long Legs

Daddy Long Legs

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Daddy Long Legs, On a trip to France, millionaire Jervis Pendleton sees an 18 year old girl in an orphanage. Enchanted with her, but mindful of the difference in their ages, he sponsors her to college in New England. She writes him letters, which he doesn’t read. After 3 years, he goes to visit her at a dance, not telling her that he is her benefactor. They fall in love, but the usual movie-type difficulties get in the way before they can get together at the end.

Daddy Long Legs Is Wonderful ****


Fred Astaire and Leslie Caron were such marvelous dancing partners in 1955’s Daddy Longlegs.

The story line is wonderful. Astaire “adopts” a young Parisian orphan and pays for her college tuition. Throughout the years, she writes in gratitude but he chooses to ignore the letters.

Fred Clark and Thelma Ritter, two veteran movie pros, gave terrific support as workers under Astaire. The sentimental Ritter, as Alice, is able to bring the two together and the film takes on a new meaning until Caron discovers that Astaire has been her benefactor. As romance blossoms, we’re happy to see that Clark and Ritter have romantic designs on each other as well.

The dance sequences have never been better. Both Astaire and Carone show their gracefulness. Fred even knew how to put-over “Something’s Got To Give.”

Masterfully choreographed, lush visual style, and charming script

This is one of the best films I’ve seen in quite some time. The dance sequences were used beautifully to further the story and flesh out characters. Astaire and Caron have great chemistry, overcoming the age difference of the characters. And Caron is with Astaire on every step of the dance sequences.

Unlike some dance-heavy, Astaire-vehicles (like An American in Paris in some places), this film’s dance sequences do not drag down the plot or flow of the film. To the contrary, they are delightful– and I’m generally not one for these kinds of films.

I have to say that I wasn’t engaged throughout the entire film. But I really think this is more a matter of generation gap than quality of cinema. It’s relatively long for a fairly simple story, and thus takes some patience to watch all the way through. However, I believe it’s worth it for more thoughtful viewers and lovers of ’50s films and dance.

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