A Damsel in Distress 1937 NR CC

Amazon Instant Video

(51) IMDb 7/10

Fred Astaire sails across the pond to meet damsel in distress Joan Fontaine and delightful (if unlikely) dance partners George Burns and Gracie Allen in a musical co-scripted by master wit P.G. Wodehouse and directed by George Stevens (Swing Time).

Starring:
George Burns, Gracie Allen
Runtime:
1 hour 41 minutes

A Damsel in Distress

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Product Details

Genres Romance, Musical, Comedy
Director George Stevens
Starring George Burns, Gracie Allen
Supporting actors Gracie Allen, Joan Fontaine, Reginald Gardiner, Ray Noble, Constance Collier, Montagu Love, Harry Watson, Jan Duggan, Pearl Amatore, May Beatty, Eugene Beday, Charles Bennett, Frank Benson, John Blood, Angela Blue, Monte Blue, Grace Bohanon, Myrta Bonillas
Studio RKO Pictures
MPAA rating NR (Not Rated)
Captions and subtitles English Details
Rental rights 24 hour viewing period. Details
Purchase rights Stream instantly and download to 2 locations Details
Format Amazon Instant Video (streaming online video and digital download)

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Customer Reviews

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See all 51 customer reviews
It's all so simple that it somehow works.
Paul S. Rottenberg
This film contains great solo dancing by Astaire, and for comical dancing he is joined by George Burns and Gracie Allen.
Ryan
It's as great as I remember it, the songs are fantastic, the acting is superb, and the comedy is hilarious.
William Hine

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

41 of 42 people found the following review helpful By "tweedyjoan" on January 12, 2001
Format: VHS Tape
This is one of the most delightful movies, and it preserves the flavor of Burns & Allen. Since we have so little film of Vaudeville, this movie shows us what we missed. The wiskbroom routine surely came from the stage, and the dialogue between Gracie and George and Fred surely came from the stage. Come on folks. Don't compare this film with Ginger and Fred. Its not supposed to be like Top Hat. I personally like Damsel more than Swing Time which doesn't feature enough dancing in the first hour. Sure Joan Fontaine is lost but she's only 19!! Look where she went from here. Get the movie, pop the corn and relax. This is a feel good, just dang fun movie, and you'll be happy you saw it.
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24 of 24 people found the following review helpful By DouglasLeland on March 27, 2006
Format: VHS Tape
There are several things of importance about this film. Most importantly.......it's George Gershwin's LAST COMPLETE score. He did write 1 more song for 38's GOLDWYN FOLLIES but never completed it (Ira Gershwin and Vernon Duke did.....OUR LOVE IS HERE TO STAY) but A DAMSEL IN DISTRESS is choc a bloc with gags and songs and great comic performances. Fred Astaire really seems so much more at ease here than with his former dance partner Ginger Rogers. The storyline is bright and breezy and filled with great character actors Constance Collier,Ray Noble(yes, the British band leader),Reginald Gardner and Harry Watson.The charming if wan Joan Fontaine but most importantly George Burns and Gracie Allen at the top of their game....GB:(criticizing Gracie for her forgetfulness) "Gracie, sometimes I think that their's nothing up here" (indicating his brain)to which Gracie replies: "Ah George , you're self conscious!"

The Gershwin songs are some of his best...A FOGGY DAY, NICE WORK IF YOU CAN GET IT,I CAN'T BE BOTHERED NOW and STIFF UPPER LIP

Burns and Allen and Fred Astaire have two dynamite dance numbers as a trio......most impressively is the "fun house" sequence which contains bits from his Broadway days with sister Adele...take note of the "Swiss Miss" section in the fun house! It's the closest thing to actually seeing Fred and Adele Astaire actually dance on film. Point of interest: Adele had retired from the stage and had refused to team up with Fred in films because she met and married British nobility and retired to live in Britain before the start of WWII.

Hermes Pan is credited with the dance direction but you can see Fred Astaire's mark all over the film.
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18 of 19 people found the following review helpful By Ryan on September 5, 1999
Format: VHS Tape
Well, that's my opinion. Sure, it was his first to lose money. But that's because the 1937 public had a hard time accepting the genius of a man without Ginger. This film contains great solo dancing by Astaire, and for comical dancing he is joined by George Burns and Gracie Allen. We'll just leave out that outdoor dance he did with Joan Fontaine, though the song was a beaut. We see Astaire pounding away on the drums in every way imaginable for "Nice Work if You Can Get It", avoiding the bobby with "I Can't be Bothered Now", and spending time with George and Gracie in a fun house during "Stiff Upper Lip." Those songs, by George and Ira Gershwin are legendary. "Nice Work if you can Get It" is first sung by a madrigal choir that Astaire introduces to swing. "Things are Looking Up" is a romantic tune Astaire delivers to Joan Fontaine. We also hear "A Foggy Day," George Gershwin's last completed score is a can't miss. Pick this one up as soon as you can. You won't forget Gracie Allen's hilarious line: "Well, I don't blame him, if I were Art I'd object too."
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful By G. Schneider VINE VOICE on December 9, 2008
Format: DVD
A Damsel in Distress [ NON-USA FORMAT, PAL, Reg.2 Import - France ] This movie has always gotten short shrift (though how many long shrifts have you ever seen?), primarily because Ginger Rogers isn't in it and Joan Fontaine is. So? Does every Fred Astaire movie have to have Ginger Rogers in it to be good? (Answer: No) Is Joan Fontaine relatively weak and poorly cast? (Answer: Yes) So what do we have?

We have Fred Astaire, being as brilliant as he always was. We have Burns & Allen at perhaps their best. We have on film Gracie dancing, which is a rare treat in and of itself. We have Ray Noble, a bandleader/actor/songwriter, who doesn't turn up all that often in films. And let us not forget one of the best things: a brilliant score by George & Ira Gershwin. And face it, folks: they didn't write all that many movie scores. How can we dismiss a movie that introduced to the world such masterpieces of The Great American Songbook as "A Foggy Day," "Nice Work If You Can Get It," "I've Got Beginner's Luck," etc.? (1937 was the the year the Academy made one of its most notorious and shameful blunders by giving the Oscar for Best Song to "Sweet Leilani," a thoroughly forgettable ditty sung by Bing Crosby in HAWAIIAN WEDDING...and it wasn't even written for the movie! Gershwin never in his lifetime received even a nomination for the brilliant and timeless classics he wrote for his few films.)

So...the big question: Why is this movie not available on DVD in the USA? We get a French import that's in the wrong format. This is as much a slap in the face as that Oscar for "Sweet Leilani"! Come on, whoever has the rights to the RKO library this week: get on the ball and let us have this film. And don't skimp on the extras, either! Give us retrospectives and trailers and featurettes on the Gershwins at the movies and everything else that this movie deserves...that WE deserve!
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