“Royal Wedding”

12 March, 2014

Year: 1951.

Director: Stanley Donen.


Fred Astaire (Tom Bowen).

Jane Powell (Ellen Bowen).

Peter Lawford (Lord John Brindale).

Sarah Churchill (Anne Ashmond).

Royal Wedding- Film of The Week on Vintage by Lopez Linares (2)


Nominated for one Oscar in 1952: Best Music, Original Song.


  • The scene where Fred Astair dances in a room it was shot by placing the camera and operator in a 10 metres long rotatory container.
  • According to an interview, Fred Astair tried to dance with more than 30             coat stands before the Productor made one just for him, at a cost of around 4000 dollars (nowadays). The coat stand disappeared not long after the release day.
  • Both Fred Astair and Jane Powell sing together the longest song title in a Hollywood film: How Could You Believe Me When I Said I Love You When You Know I’ve Been a Liar All My Life
  • June Allyson and Judy Garland were candidates to play the main role.
  • In England the title was changed to Wedding Bells just to avoid a confusion with the recent Royal Wedding of Princess Elizabeth (later Queen Elizabeth II)
  • The store Harridge´s is a mix between Harrod’s and Claridge’s, both very well-known shopping mall and 5-star Hotel in London, respectively.
  • The scene dancing over the roof seems to have been taken in just one shot. However if you pay closer attention there are three, maybe up to four very sutile cuts.
  • The plot reminds a bit what really happend to Fred Astaire’s sister Adele, who got married to Lord Charles Cavendish, son of the Duke of Devonshire.

Royal Wedding- Film of The Week on Vintage by Lopez Linares (4)

In my opinion it’s a classic music with an impressive production.

It’s probably the movie that pushed Fred Astaire up in fame worldwide. He was claimed as the best dancer ever in Hollywood. Actually there was people who even believed he was able to fly.

The scene I’m referring to it’s the mitic momento when Fred Astaire, who starts dancing down in the floor ends walking through the ceiling like a magician. The whole scene was perfectly developed and edited, specially taking into account the moment it was shot, when visual effects were not easy at all.

Fred Astaire convinced everyone that cinema from the mid 20th century is the kind of spectacle everyone wants to enjoy in a film. He also shows again he has a special skill for dancing with an exquisite elegance. He did so not only in the famouse scene we’ve been talking about but in the boat addressing England. Or, why not? That scene where Fred Astaire dances with the famous coat stand, almost as famous as the rotating room.

If you like musicals and dance, those three scenes are really worth it so is the movie itself.

In this video I’ve found for you it’s easier to understand the way they shot the scene in the rotating room.




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