There are very few bad Fred Astaire movies, but there are a few. You’ll Never Get Rich definitely falls into that category. Even Rita Hayworth, who is at her most lovely, cannot save this pathetic wreck of a movie. The plot is convoluted, which is normal for an Astaire movie, but the movie makes the fatal mistake of casting Astaire as a cowardly, dishonest man. Nobody expects a macho Fred, but nobody wants a quivering, cowardly, lying Fred. The dancing is lovely, though, and TiVo means that you can just fast forward to the good parts.
There was one scene in the movie, however, that merited watching. I’ll try setting it up as briefly as possible: An unwitting Rita Hayworth opens the morning paper to discover a false headline saying she was engaged to Astaire. She believes (erroneously) that Astaire planted the headline. Hayworth’s fiance, a Captain in the Army, then calls her and, when he learns the headline is a lie, heads over to her apartment while wearing his civilian clothes. Astaire also heads for Hayworth’s apartment to berate her, since he believes (erroneously) that Hayworth planted the headline. The Captain reaches Hayworth’s apartment first. When he, Hayworth, and her roommate hear Astaire banging at the door, Hayworth shoos the Captain and her roommate into the bedroom. And here’s where this mess of a plot momentarily gets interesting.
Once in the bedroom, the Captain says something along the lines of “I’ve got a great idea to prank this guy.” He then turns to the roommate and (I quote) asks, “Have you got a gun?” Without so much as a blink, she replies “It’s in that drawer.” He opens the drawer and grabs a large revolver. Armed with his gun, the Captain bursts into the living room, pretending to be Hayworth’s outraged Southern brother demanding that Astaire marry his “sister.” Astaire rabbits out of the room. In the next scene, an agitated Astaire is telling his boss, who’s the real culprit behind the newspaper headline, about the threat to his life. His boss says, “Buy yourself a gun.”
Can you imagine any Hollywood movie today showing a woman having a revolver just hanging around in her vanity drawer? Can you imagine a gun being used as a playful joke in a happy musical? And can you imagine that a Hollywood movie would show someone terrified of being attacked getting advice from a colleague to “buy a gun”? It’s inconceivable (and I know what that word means, too).
And while we’re on the subject of guns, Charles C. W. Cooke notes that everything the Progressives tell you about the necessity for gun control laws is a lie. Since all the elaborate registration requirements and background checks currently on the books don’t prevent mass shootings, small wonder then that Second Amendment supporters suspect that increased registration requirements are simply a predicate to gun confiscation or otherwise criminalizing gun owners.
I did mention, didn’t I, that the dancing is lovely?