Just Turn Her Loose on Broadway: Our Critics Discuss Forever Female (for Parterre Box)

Cameron Kelsall: Listen to how a novice playwright critiques the performance of a superstar actress near the beginning of Forever Female, another in the long line of movies about life in the theater that came around in the late ‘40s and early ‘50s: “Half the time I thought you were charming. The other half you were so sure you were charming it gave me kind of a queasy feeling in my stomach.” That could serve as a review of the film itself, which is ostensibly a star vehicle for Ginger Rogers, seen here at her most radiant and glamorous. It hooked me right away in its detailed depiction of New York’s golden age, replete with martinis sipped at the Stork Club and opening night parties at Sardi’s.

David Fox: It took less than a minute for me to get a lump in my throat in Forever Female: when the inevitable opening shot of Time Square crossfades into a view of the Broadhurst Theatre marquee, then home to the musical Seventeen, which was running in 1951, when this movie was made. (Fun theater family fact: Seventeen featured Ann Crowley, the sister of Pat Crowley, who plays the ingénue role here.) We also glimpse marquees for the Music Box (Affairs of State with June Havoc) and the Booth (the long-forgotten Lace on Her Petticoat). Ah, the Broadway of yesteryear!…

Click here to read the full post on Parterre Box.

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