Second Chorus (1940) torrent download

Second Chorus


Action / Comedy / Musical / Romance



Danny and Hank are surprised when Artie Shaw hires competent manager Ellen away from their college band. The two trumpet players scheme to get into Shaw's outfit themselves, each trying to trump the other's plays.


H. C. Potter


Fred Astaire
as Danny O'Neill
Paulette Goddard
as Ellen Miller
Artie Shaw
as Himself
Charles Butterworth
as J. Lester Chisholm
Burgess Meredith
as Hank Taylor
Jimmy Conlin
as Mr. Dunn

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by fwb-2 5 /10

OK, not great

This is an OK Fred Astaire movie. A couple of good dance sequences - one with Paulette Goddard, who is not impressive on the floor, and one where he's tap-dancing while conducting Artie Shaw's orchestra. The plot is dismal, Burgess Meredith as comic relief is faintly amusing at best, though in his defense the script gave him very little to work with.

Fans of swing will want to see "Second Chorus", though, for the musical sequences. In particular, a five-minute fantasia that Shaw and the band (plus a string section) play. This piece has been scored and has been recorded several times under the title of Artie Shaw's Clarinet Concerto; but no other clarinetist, popular or classical, has brought the same excitement to the piece that Shaw did. It's worth renting for that sequence alone.

It's a real shame that the director couldn't work out a sequence in which Astaire dances to Shaw's clarinet - playing, say, "Begin the Beguine", or "Frenesi", or "Traffic Jam", or any other his many other hits. A real shame indeed.

Reviewed by guil12 9 /10

Astaire and Goddard Dance Together

In this 1941 Paramount film Fred Astaire has a new dancing partner in Paulette Goddard. They actually dance a number together. The ads read, "Fred's Best Yet! 'Cause He's Got Paulette!" Mostly Astaire dances solo in this story about two musicians, Astaire and Burgess Meredith, who try vainly to get jobs in Artie Shaw's band. With the help of Paulette, they get hired. This is a trendy "swing" musical with Shaw's band and Astaire's dancing taking the spotlight.

The Astaire-Goddard production number was called, "I Ain't Hep to That Step but I'll Dig It." Astaire had to teach Goddard to dance. He worked "like a dog" from the beginning saying, "She's a lovely girl, with a breathtaking figure, who couldn't dance and somehow resisted every attempt to break down her handicap."

They filmed it just once. Just one take. Goddard said she could never go through it again. Unusual, also, for Astaire to do only one take to any number he was in. He was always a task master at perfecting his dances. The number, viewed today, is not only totally professional; it's good.

Interesting note that Goddard's other male lead was Burgess Meredith, whom she went on to marry years later as she was still married at the time to Charlie Chaplin.

Reviewed by babblingbooks 6 /10

Vas Good? ... Vas Pair-fect (but not so the film)

SECOND CHORUS 1940 Vas Good? ... Vas Pair-fect. (but not so the film.)

The Wonderful Fred Astaire and the vibrant, young, healthy and sexy Paulette Goddard struggled valiantly with this picture. Unfortunately there were no Irving Berlin or Cole Porter melodies to hang it on. If you are an Artie Shaw fan, then you will be content. As to the acting ability of Artie Shaw, I found nothing wrong with it. He was quite natural and, as a band leader, seemed quite at home . However, he was right up there, as a dramatic actor, with Xavier Cugat and Harry James. Fred was not at his best with the love song (even Paulette looked rather dubious about it) They looked good as dancing partners but it was obvious Fred taught her what little terpsichorian skills she possessed. (nice legs, though ... but then that is my weakness) I liked the little Russian number that Mister Astaire had some fun with.

Burgess Meredith and Fred Astaire actually were pretty snappy as a comedy team. Burgess had that same glitter in his eye as Paulette (they were later married in real life)

The video that I saw was a poor copy and suffered accordingly. Perhaps it would fare better with a clear one.

With all its faults and a minimal plot, I still would recommend that you get a good copy and watch some attractive young people show the present day, minimal twits what comedy should be.

Has anyone else noticed a resemblance between Burgess Meredith and Harpo Marx? Maybe it's just the attitude. Thank you for your patience with my ramblings. Comments are welcome. OLD DAD from Babbling Books ([email protected])

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