Monday, April 20, 2009
Busby Berkeley Crew
If you have ever seen more than one Busby Berkeley movie, you will notice that there is a group of people that generally appears in his movies, namely Dick Powell and Ruby Keeler. Actually I just saw "Golddiggers of 1935" and Powell was pretty much alone in that one! Joan Blondell can be noted here, I guess James Cagney can too for "Footlight Parade" (which Powell and Keeler appear in as well). I have deemed this group the "Busby Berkeley crew" since clearly there is one. Ginger Rogers was a member of the crew for a bit, appearing in "42nd Street" and "Golddiggers of 1935." A small player, Guy Kibbee, is someone I consider part of the crew as well. The quintessential members, of course, are Dick Powell and Ruby Keeler. They have appeared in practically every one of Berkeley's movies. Why is that? I don't know. My guess is that Powell is so cheerful and youthful, which embodies the spirit needed for these musicals. Ruby Keeler is, I am sorry to say, not the greatest of actresses (she delivers her lines so oddly) but she really can dance-- obviously important for the musicals. And she can sing on-key, which is better than I can do, and was apparently enough to get the job done for Berkeley's productions. Keeler was also very sweet (in contrast with the girls around her) which is something that attributed to her success as a crew member.