Mary Pickford was the American sweetheart of an actress who suffered the orphanage hardships when First National made Daddy Long Legs in 1919. With Leslie Caron and Fred Astaire in the leads, the property [Jean Webster's novel] was completely rewritten and fashioned into an appealing musical [words and music by Johnny Mercer; ballet music by Alex North].

Mary Pickford was the American sweetheart of an actress who suffered the orphanage hardships when First National made Daddy Long Legs in 1919. With Leslie Caron and Fred Astaire in the leads, the property [Jean Webster’s novel] was completely rewritten and fashioned into an appealing musical [words and music by Johnny Mercer; ballet music by Alex North].

Astaire was a good choice and works well as the undisciplined and friendly moneybags who develops a wanna-get-married crush on the girl he sends through college, this despite the acknowledged difference in age. And he’s still the agile hoofer, although the choreography he and David Robel blue-printed doesn’t require too robust a workout. Caron is beguiling all the way.

Thelma Ritter and Fred Clark, as social and business aides to Astaire, team up for laughs – the Phoebe and Harry Ephron screenplay has some crackling dialog.

Daddy Long Legs

Production

20th Century-Fox. Director Jean Negulesco; Producer Samuel G. Engel; Screenplay Phoebe Ephron, Henry Ephron; Camera Leon Shamroy; Editor William Reynolds; Music Alfred Newman (sup.); Art Director Lyle Wheeler, John DeCuir

Crew

(Color) Widescreen. Available on VHS, DVD. Extract of a review from 1955. Running time: 126 MIN.

With

Fred Astaire Leslie Caron Terry Moore Thelma Ritter Fred Clark Charlotte Austin
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