“Easter Parade firmly establishes Judy as the screen’s first lady of tempo and tunes”
—The Hollywood Reporter
Irving Berlin sold the property to MGM for the chance to work with Judy Garland. Fred Astaire came out of retirement (after Gene Kelly broke his ankle) to partner with her. And Charles Walters moved into the first rank of directors while overseeing this performance by his Girl Crazy and Lily Mars dancing partner.
The film’s 17 numbers lift it into the “classic” stratum. Garland offers a couple of remarkable ballads—and Berlin himself said, “No one has ever sung my songs better than Judy Garland.” Astaire has two show-stoppers, Ann Miller has one, and they share a third. But Judy and Fred prove to be the dream team as they deliver a vaudeville mélange, the hobo-garbed “A Couple of Swells,” and the title song.