Second Chorus (Blu-ray + DVD Combo)
In only his second film after ending his legendary partnership with Ginger Rogers in 1939, Fred Astaire returned to the screen in the frothy big band musical Second Chorus.
Excited about the opportunity to work with legendary big band leader Artie Shaw, Fred signed on for this romp co-starring Burgess Meredith and a winning Paulette Goddard. Shenanigans abound: Fred and Burgess play friendly rivals, musicians who purposely flunk their college courses in order to maintain lucrative jobs as college band leaders, but the real attraction, of course, lies in Fred's musical numbers.
With lyrics by the legendary Johnny Mercer ("Dream", "Moon River") and music by both Hal Borne (Astaire's rehearsal pianist) and Artie Shaw, Second Chorus received Academy Award nominations for Best Song ("Would You Like to Be the Love of My Life?") and Best Score. But it's the film's terrific final number, "Poor Mr. Chisholm", that's the real award winner, with Fred whirling through an all-stops-out sensational tap while simultaneously conducting Artie Shaw's top of the line big band-proof yet again of Astaire's unquestioned status as the greatest dancer in Hollywood history.