Ruby Keeler Centenary

Seeing the above photo you can readily understand the appeal of Ruby Keeler. She was a lovely creature. Keeler's centenary is August 25, 2009.

I confess, Keeler's appeal as a dancer and actress has alternately amused, bemused and flummoxed me. But, love her or hate her, who cares? The big musicals staged by Busby Berkeley for Warner Brothers during the peek of 1933-1936 are still jaw dropping and incredible fun.

Footlight Parade is my favorite of the big musicals, it's got a great cast including most of the regulars, Frank McHugh, the delicious Joan Blondell, Ruth Donnelly, Dick Powell, Guy Kibee and James Cagney. Loaded with snappy dialogue, a troup of scantily clad beauties and great songs by Al Dubin and Harry Warren and the most awesome musical number ever filmed (okay, okay, this is my opinion). Ruby mellowed and ripened as a performer and was far less flat than in 42nd Street and shined with some of the snappy banter.

Ruby exhibiting all her dubious musical charms from "Sitting on the Backyard Fence" from Footlight Parade:

Okay, so Ruby does not tap dance here, but this is my absolute favorite Busby Berkeley number from Footlight Parade:


Mercurie said…
I think Ruby certainly was certainly lovely and she possessed a considerable amount of charm. I think she actually did improve a good deal as time went by.
Anonymous said…
I have always adored Ruby - I can't help but root for her. She's so cute, and so much fun. I hear that she was a nice lady in real life, too. Having never seen By A Waterfall before, I can honestly say I never realized she'd paved the way for Esther Williams!
rudyfan1926 said…
Graceann! You've never seen By a Waterfall? Does this mean you have never seen Footlight Parade??!!!!! You MUST!

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