Daddy Long Legs

I watched the Partridge Family episode that had Keith about to fail a sex education class.  I found it hard to believe that he was doing better in his classes in math and physics.  Sex education just involves remembering things, but math involves disciplined thought and deductive reasoning.  I didn’t understand why Laurie didn’t enter Keith’s room and wake him up after the alarm clock went off at 8:30.  In the middle of the night, I watched “Daddy Long Legs” on television.  The stars were Fred Astaire and Leslie Caron, and the plot was uncomfortable, with a rich man pulling strings and controlling an 18-year-old girl’s life, plucking her from an orphanage in France and sending her to a college in Massachusetts.  This movie was from 1955, and Astaire still had some life left in his dancing legs, but the age gap between him and Caron made the story difficult.  The plot is actually foolish, so you see a movie like this for the music and dancing.  Astaire does some dancing in the middle of a crowd of college students, and there is an obligatory dream dance sequence towards the end, bringing back memories of “An American in Paris.”  The movie was one of Fred Astaire’s favorites, and one of Akira Kurosawa’s favorite films, but I couldn’t work up very much enthusiasm for it.  Thelma Ritter and Fred Clark were in the cast.  The Sluefoot never became a dance craze.  I liked the song “Something’s Gotta Give” more than anything that was in “La La Land.”  I didn’t mind the 12-minute Nightmare Ballet, even if it did slow down the movie.  Fred Astaire’s wife died of cancer the day before filming was to begin.  The director was Jean Negulesco, who also directed “How to Marry a Millionaire” and “Three Coins in the Fountain.”  He was nominated for an Oscar for “Johnny Belinda.”  He died in 1993.  Fred Astaire went on to appear in “Funny Face,” “Silk Stockings,” and “Finian’s Rainbow,” and non-musicals like “On the Beach,” “The Notorious Landlady,” “The Towering Inferno,” “The Amazing Dobermans,” and “Ghost Story.”  He was born in 1899, and he died in 1987.  Some of the people who died on January 23 include Edvard Munch (1944), Samuel Barber (1981), George Cukor (1983), Salvador Dali (1989), Richard Berry (1997), Bob Keeshan (2004), Johnny Carson (2005), and Jack La Lanne (2011).  Today is a birthday for Prince Caroline of Monaco (60), Chesley Sullenburger (66), and Richard Dean Anderson (67).

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