Fred Astaire Stars in SECOND CHORUS, Coming to Blu-ray/DVD Today

Two college veterans are friendly trumpet rivals looking for spots in Artie's Shaw's big band in this hilarious musical comedy, SECOND CHORUS (1940), available in a DVD/Blu-ray combo pack today, May 14 from Film Chest on the HD Cinema Classics label.

STARRING: Fred Astaire (Funny Face, Royal Wedding ), Paulette Goddard (Modern Times, The Women), Artie Shaw (1940s big band leader with appearances in several films), Charles Butterworth (Love Me Tonight, Swing High, Swing Low), and Burgess Meredith (Man on the Eiffel Tower, Rocky).

Danny O'Neill (Astaire) and Hank Taylor (Meredith) prolong their college career by purposefully failing for seven years to lead the college band, "O'Neill's Perennials." Ellen Miller (Goddard) serves Danny and Hank a collection notice for a set of encyclopedias the pair never paid for. Danny and Hank woo Ellen away from the debt collection agency to be their manager.Artie Shaw , playing himself, and his band grow tired of losing gigs to the Perennials and try to draw Ellen away to work for them. O'Neill and Taylor audition for Shaw's band, but their shenanigans get them both fired quickly. Finally O'Neill acts professionally and successfully dance-conducts his own composition.

"We were delighted to give Second Chorus its due respect with transferring and restoring it from an original 35mm nitrate," comments Phil Hopkins , President of Film Chest. "Fans of Fred Astaire and Artie Shaw will be thrilled with their brilliant performances."

With lyrics by the legendary Johnny Mercer ("Dream," " Moon River ") and music by both Hal Borne (Astaire's rehearsal pianist) and Artie Shaw , Second Chorus received Academy Award nominations for Best Song ("Would You Like to Be the Love of My Life ?") and Best Score.

More On: Fred Astaire, Paulette Goddard, Charles Butterworth, Burgess Meredith, Danny O'Neill, Ellen Miller, Johnny Mercer, Hal Borne, Tom Santopietro.

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