Easter Parade is yet to surface on the stage, but remains one of the most popular musical films of the ‘golden age’. Released in 1948, the film starred Judy Garland and Fred Astaire, who were at the time two of the biggest names in Hollywood musicals. The film features a score by Irving Berlin and includes standards such as ‘Seppin Out With My Baby’, ‘We’re a Couple of Swells’ and ‘Snooky Ookums’, which have gone on to be covered by artists around the world in stage shows, films and albums. The film was the highest grossing musical of the year and the most financially successful show for both Astaire and Garland, and remains popular with each new generation.

Easter Parade

Irving Berlin

Irving Berlin

Albert Hackett, Frances Goodrich, Sidney Sheldon

Arthur Freed

Charles Walters

Easter Parade

Original Film

Film - Opened 8 Jul 1948, closed 18 Dec 2012

Cast: Judy Garland, Fred Astaire, Peter Lawford, Ann Miller

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It’s Broadway in 1912 and stage star Don Hewes goes to buy Easter gifts for his girlfriend Nadine, which include flowers, a hat and a cuddly bunny rabbit. He takes the presents to Nadine who is also his dancing partner. She tells him that she has had an offer to join a show where she would be a solo star, and Don attempts to persuade her to stay. His friend Johnny arrives and Nadine tells him that they are not going to be dancing together any more and it is clear she has feelings for Johnny.

Don is upset and drinks in a local bar. Johnny tries to convince him that everything will be okay, but Don brags and says he will make the next girl he meets a star and picks out one of the girls from the chorus. Hannah Brown attends rehearsal with him the next day and he tries to make her a copy of Nadine, giving her fancy dresses and the stage name ‘Juanita’. At their first outing Hannah can’t handle the pressure and their dance is a disaster.

Hannah and Johnny seem to hit it off straight away and Don is immediately jealous. Don realises he made a mistake trying to turn Hannah into Nadine and starts from scratch to make routines to suit her personality. They become a duo called ‘Hannah & Hewes” and perform a montage of successful performances. They audition for the Ziegfeld Follies where Nadine is working as a dancer and Hannah demands to know if Don and her were ever in love. Johnny arrives and takes Hannah out for dinner and tells her that he is in love with her. She is flattered but tells him she is actually in love with Don and has been deliberately been making mistakes in order to make their rehearsals last longer. Don tells her that he turned down the Follies gig, saying that Hannah and Nadine are not meant to be in the same show.

Don goes to see Nadine’s show and is unimpressed. He invites Hannah to dinner where he suggests a dance rehearsal and Hannah is furious that he hasn’t noticed her new clothes and only sees her as a pair of dancing shoes. As she goes to leave Don kisses her and they realise they are in love. Their double act continues to get booked for variety shows and they regularly perform together. As they leave to celebrate they end up watching Nadine perform and the audience give Don and Hannah an ovation as they walk in which angers Nadine. She gets Don to perform with her for old time’s sake which makes Hannah jealous and she runs out. She feels used and yells at Don as he arrives at her apartment. She throws him out and consults Johnny who tells her to take him back. The next morning she goes to meet him, and Don starts receiving gifts such as a top hat and a rabbit. Hannah arrives and they join together in the Easter Parade as Don proposes to her.

  • Happy Easter
  • Drum Crazy
  • It Only Happens When I Dance With You
  • I Want To Go Back To Michigan (Down On the Farm)
  • A Fella With An Umbrella
  • I Love a Piano
  • Snookey Ookums
  • The Ragtime Violin
  • When the Midnight Choo-Choo Leaves for Alabam’
  • Shaking the Blues Away
  • Steppin’ Out With My Baby
  • Mister Monotony
  • A Couple of Swells
  • The Girl on the Magazine Cover
  • Better Luck Next Time
  • Easter Parade

Academy Awards: Best Scoring of a Musical Picture.