Saturday night, I was flipping through the TV channels and landed on Turner Classic Movies. The Essentials was on, and the featured essential movie was Top Hat, with Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers.

When Monkey saw that the movie was black and white, she started to head up to her room to listen to music and possibly sing into her microphone while she posed in the mirror (I'm not saying that's what she does in her room, but it might be). But I stopped her and told her that Fred Astaire was one of the greatest dancers to ever appear on screen. I told her Bob Fosse's story of an Astaire encounter (Astaire greeted Bob Fosse with a "Hiya, Foss", and Fosse was thrilled that Astaire knew part of his name), and she settled in to watch the movie with me.

At first, she was skeptical - it took a couple of dance numbers for her to thrill at Astaire's elegant grace the way I do - he moves like gravity doesn't work as well on him as it does on the rest of us lunks. I hadn't seen the movie since my childhood, and I was surprised by the sex-oriented jokes, including some winks at same-sex loving. (Loki would suggest that I might have imagined the latter, being the fan of homoeroticism that I am).

As the movie ended, I started to tell Monkey about my favorite movie star/dancer: Gene Kelly.

Gene Kelly defeated gravity through athletic force, and he had those great, manly legs...yeah, he makes me swoon a little.

Anyway, Monkey didn't have to listen to me talk about Gene Kelly, because TCM presenter Robert Osborne mentioned that they had decided to schedule a sort of "dance-off" between the two great dancers, Fred Astaire and Gene Kelly. The next movie up was Anchors Away, in which Gene Kelly co-starred with young, skinny, gawky Frank Sinatra (I think a large part of Sinatra's appeal was that gorgeous, smooth baritone voice - before the years of drinking and smoking - coming out of such a skinny kid), Kathryn Grayson and Dean Stockwell (when he was an adorable little moppet).

Monkey had to go to bed, but I recorded the movie for her, and then I recorded Royal Wedding and Singin' In The Rain, which might be my all time favorite movie-for-pleasure.

While Sio and I were at church on Sunday, Monkey had a little MGM movie marathon. One of the cool things about being a parent is sharing something you love with your kids. That turns into joy when your kids love it as much as you do.

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