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The Barkleys of Broadway (1949)

Passed | | Comedy, Musical | 1 September 1949 (Sweden)
A successful but constantly-feuding husband and wife musical comedy team threatens to break up when the wife entertains an offer to become a serious actress.


Charles Walters


Betty Comden (original screenplay), Adolph Green (original screenplay)
Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 3 nominations. See more awards »


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Complete credited cast:
Fred Astaire ... Josh Barkley
Ginger Rogers ... Dinah Barkley
Oscar Levant ... Ezra Millar
Billie Burke ... Mrs. Livingston Belney
Gale Robbins ... Shirlene May
Jacques François ... Jacques Pierre Barredout (as Jacques Francois)
George Zucco ... The Judge
Clinton Sundberg ... Bert Felsher
Inez Cooper ... Pamela Driscoll
Carol Brewster Carol Brewster ... Gloria Amboy
Wilson Wood Wilson Wood ... Larry


Josh and Dinah Barkley are a successful (though argumentative) musical-comedy team, yet Dinah chafes as Galatea to her husband's Pygmalion. When serious playwright Jacques Barredout envisions her as a great dramatic actress, Dinah is not hard to persuade. Written by Diana Hamilton <hamilton@gl.umbc.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


M·G·M's New Technicolor Musical Hit See more »


Comedy | Musical


Passed | See all certifications »





English | French

Release Date:

1 September 1949 (Sweden) See more »

Also Known As:

You Made Me Love You See more »


Box Office


$2,325,420 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Sound System)


Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


This film was first telecast in Los Angeles 15 February 1957 on KTTV (Channel 11); it first aired in Chicago 4 April 1957 on WBBM (Channel 2), in New Haven CT 26 April 1957 on WHNC (Channel 18), in Seattle 7 June 1957 on KING (Channel 5), in Syracuse 8 June 1957 on WHEN (Channel 8), in Philadelphia 27 August 1957 on WFIL (Channel 6), in Akron 22 September 1957, where, together with Honky Tonk (1941), it launched the MGM Library on WAKR (Channel 49), in Tampa 26 September 1957 on WFLA (Channel 8), in Binghamton NY 8 October 1957 on WBBF (Channel 12), in Minneapolis 28 November 1957 on KMGM (Channel 9), in New York City 5 February 1958 on WCBS (Channel 2), and in San Francisco 29 November 1958 on KGO (Channel 7). At this time, color broadcasting was in its infancy, limited to only a small number of high rated programs, primarily on NBC and NBC affiliated stations, so these film showings were all still in B&W. Viewers were not offered the opportunity to see these films in their original Technicolor until several years later. See more »


The "Shoes With Wings On" number could not have been presented on a stage. The dancers controlling the shoes would have been visible. The "invisible" dancers could only be done with optical effects. Notice that you cannot see the inside of the shoes. See more »


Jacques Pierre Barredout: We haven't met. I'm Jacques Barredout.
Dinah Barkley: Oh, how do you do? Of course, I should have recognized you from your pictures.
Jacques Pierre Barredout: I'm glad you didn't. They're frightful. The only good one I have is rather indecent, I'm afraid - taken on a bear skin rug at three months.
Dinah Barkley: O, I have one of those too!
See more »


Featured in Rain Man (1988) See more »


They Can't Take That Away from Me
Music by George Gershwin
Lyrics by Ira Gershwin
Sung by Fred Astaire (uncredited)
Danced by Fred Astaire (uncredited) and Ginger Rogers (uncredited)
See more »

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User Reviews

Ginger has lost none of her spice! Great reunion with Fred...
10 May 2001 | by DoylenfSee all my reviews

Nice to see that when Ginger Rogers put her dancing shoes on again for a reunion with Astaire, she was still a great trouper even though years had flown by in films without Fred. Lucky she was available! Seems that Judy Garland was unable to go on and had to be replaced by Ginger who was relaxing at her farm in Oregon. The script by Betty and Adolph Green had to be revamped to suit Fred and Ginger--and the result is pure gold! Rumors had it that Judy wasn't too happy about being replaced and gave Ginger a hard time by showing up on the set. None of the strain shows in Ginger's performance.

By no means is the storyline a new one--but the manner in which Fred, Ginger, Oscar Levant, Billie Burke and others play it is what makes the film so watchable. And the singing and dancing numbers can't be faulted. Fred has his solo routine with "Shoes With Wings On" (a number, by the way, which would have been impossible to perform on a real stage as he does here)-- but things like that never bothered filmgoers in the '40s. Ginger and Fred have a fine time with their 'My One and Only Highland Fling' routine (in kilts with brogues) and join forces for an elegant version of 'They Can't Take That Away From Me' in formal attire which -- for me at least -- was the highlight of their team effort. Acid-tongued Oscar Levant has plenty of chance to dazzle too with his nimble piano work on 'Sabre Dance' and even joins the two for "A Walk in the Country" which gets the story off to a jaunty start.

Though Judy's fans missed the opportunity to see her again with Astaire after "Easter Parade", nobody was disappointed with the results. For their fans, this was their only chance to see Fred and Ginger together in a Technicolor musical with no expense spared. The results were Grade A entertainment.

Ginger's Sarah Bernhardt recitation has become a camp classic--good for laughs! The less said about it, the better. Nevertheless, it's easy to see why Astaire welcomed her back with open arms.

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