You’ll Never Get Rich (1941): First Fred Astaire-Rita Hayworth Musical (Oscar-Nominated)

The first Fred Astaire-Rita Hayworth musical, “You’ll Never get Rich,” boasts the Oscar-nominated song by Cole Porter, “Since I Kissed My Baby Goodbye,” and his even more popular tune, “So Near and Yet So Far.”

Astaire and Hayworth play Bob Curtis and Sheila Winthrop, a team of Broadway dancers whose partnership abruptly ends, when he is drafted into the Army. Unable to adapt to military routine, Astaire frequently ends up in the guardhouse.

Occasion to sing and dance: During one of these visits, Bob and the Delta Rhythm Boys collaborate on the lively song-and-dance number “The A-starable Rag.”

Sheila shows up at the army base, pretending to be girl friend of captain John Hubbard, which leads to more fancy footwork.

Though it’s not a first-rate Cole Porter score, one of the songs, “Since I Kissed My Baby Goodbye”, was nominated for an Oscar.

Robert Benchley provides comic relief, as he would in the subsequent Astaire vehicle The Sky’s the Limit. He plays a producer who tries to hide from his wife his infatuation with Sheila.

The movie, sort of a musical service comedy, was released shortly before the Pearl Harbor attack

“You’ll Never Get Rich” was followed by the better Astaire-Hayworth pairing “You Were Never Lovelier.”

Oscar Nominations: 2

Scoring: Morris Stoloff

Song: Since I Kissed My Baby Goodbye, music and lyrics by Cole Porter

Oscar Awards: None

Oscar Context:

The Oscar went to Jerome Kern and Oscar Hammerstein’s The Last Time I Saw Paris, from the movie “Lady Be Good.”

The Scoring Oscar went to Frank Churchill and Oliver Wallace for “Dumbo.”

Running time: 89 Minutes.

Directed By Sidney Lanfield

Released: September 25, 1941

DVD: October 21, 2003

Sony Pictures Home Entertainment

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