Yolanda und der Dieb1945
Yolanda and the Thief is a 1945 American Technicolor MGM musical-comedy film set in a fictional Latin American country. It stars Fred Astaire, Lucille Bremer, Frank Morgan, and Mildred Natwick, with music by Harry Warren and lyrics by Arthur Freed. The film was directed by Vincente Minnelli and produced by Arthur Freed.
The film was a long-time pet project of Freed's to promote his lover Bremer's career, but fared disastrously at the box office. An attempt to create a whimsical fantasy, it ended up, in the words of critic John Mueller, as "egg-nog instead of the usual champagne". Despite admirable production values, it ruined Bremer's career and discouraged Astaire, who decided to retire after his next film, Blue Skies.
Perhaps it also vindicated Astaire's own horror of "inventing up to the arty"—his phrase for the approach of those who would set out to create art, whereas he believed artistic value could only emerge as an accidental and unpremeditated by-product of a tireless search for perfection. In his autobiography, Astaire approvingly quotes Los Angeles Times critic Edwin Schallert: "'Not for realists' is a label that may be appropriately affixed to Yolanda and the Thief. It is a question, too, whether this picture has the basic material to satisfy the general audience, although in texture and trimmings it might be termed an event." Astaire himself concluded, "This verified my feeling that doing fantasy on the screen is an extra risk."
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