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The Royal Wedding

  Unrated HD Closed Captioning

Stanley Donen

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Plot Summary

Oscar-winner Fred Astaire ("Easter Parade, "Top Hat") and Jane Powell ("Seven Brides for Seven Brothers") star as a brother-and-sister musical team who each find romance when they tour London for Queen Elizabeth's wedding. Featuring Astaire's legendary floor-to-ceiling dance number and Oscar-nominated song, "Too Late Now". Co-starring Rat-Packer Peter Lawford ("Ocean's Eleven").

Rotten Tomatoes Movie Reviews


  • Reviews Counted: 22
  • Fresh: 20
  • Rotten: 2
  • Average Rating: 7.2/10

Top Critics' Reviews

Fresh: One swell number, three or four that are good, a laugh here, a laugh there; colored newsreels of the British royal wedding and so long pal. Mr. Astaire has fared better in his lifetime -- and he has also fared much worse. – Bosley Crowther, New York Times, Apr 4, 2012

Fresh: This is an engaging concoction of songs and dances in a standard musical framework, brightly dressed in color to show off its physical attributes. – Variety Staff, Variety, Apr 4, 2012

Fresh: This is the one in which Fred Astaire dances on the ceiling, an impeccably executed bit of movie magic and a sublime expression of Donen's love for the medium. – Dave Kehr, Chicago Reader, Apr 4, 2012

Fresh: A pleasant enough score by Burton Lane and Alan Jay Lerner, helped out by Donen's stylish direction. – Geoff Andrew, Time Out, Apr 4, 2012

Read More About This Movie On Rotten Tomatoes

Customer Reviews


Why can't I buy this? I can't save it in my wishlist either! What is going on iTunes?

Why can't John sing or dance?

I don't understand why

Well worth buying…

Astaire and Powell play a successful brother-and-sister team who each pursue their own romantic interests and risk breaking up their act. Though available in the public domain, this version looks and sounds much better. And though I dislike much of the film, its merits entirely justify adding it to a collection.

First, the bad: 1) Astaire is paired with perhaps the least compelling romantic interest (Sarah Churchill) of his movie career, and 2) Jane Powell's three soprano solos are probably the least bearable of hers. And much of the plot is rather ponderous - I often fast-forward through the slower bits.

But wow, the good: 1) Powell never looked better than here, nor was she ever more charming, nor did she ever dance with a more expert partner. 2) Two and a half comedic dance duets between Astaire and Powell, one of which is a slapstick highlight of both their careers, and another which is among my all-time personal favorites. 3) TWO of Astaire's most outstanding and legendary solo routines (one with the hat rack, the other on the ceiling). 4) Plenty of good trans-Atlantic humor, and also a few inside jokes referring to Astaire's real-life career arc with his own sister before she left their act for marriage twenty years earlier.

So though it sometimes teeters on the edge of awful, at least four of the performances are truly exceptional, and worth paying for, and then plenty of other grins and giggles besides.

The Royal Wedding
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  • $17.99
  • Genre: Comedy
  • Released: 1952

Customer Ratings