In both comedies and dramas, Judy Garland always had a tendency to rely on her girlish indignation (audiences must have enjoyed watching her rigid-side thaw and soften under the tutelage of a persistent male). In Charles Walters' "Easter Parade", she's a bit more flexible than usual after initially getting her feathers ruffled by hoofer Fred Astaire, who needs a replacement for sassy Ann Miller after Miller moves onto Broadway. Pairing Garland with Astaire was an inspired idea, however the teaming never quite catches fire (the plot mechanisms surrounding them being far too trite). Impertinent Ann Miller easily steals the show, however Astaire's jazzy opening number is one of his best. Peter Lawford, that perennial hole in the screen, rounds out the romantic foursome, though it's almost impossible to care who ends up with who. ** from ****
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