Fred Astaire and Rita Hayworth – “So Near and Yet So Far”
The reputation of Ginger Rodgers as Astaire’s legendary partner “Everything he did I did too, backwards, in heels” has eclipsed that of any of his other dance partners but Rita Hayworth, especially in this clip from You’ll Never Get Rich, was at least her equal.
Hayworth was more openly sexual, as good a dancer, and had a relationship with the camera that only Gene Kelly could compete with. She lacks Ginger Rodgers lightness of foot, but she glows on camera, actually putting Astaire in the shade.
He comes off as a bit of a stick in this movie, more stand offish and distant, despite the lyrics of his song. But Hayworth sails in and reduces Astaire to a support act. She literally takes the eye away from him during their dance which is no mean trick.
Pity we can’t see her lustrous red hair in this black and white clip nor more than a glimpse of her fabulous legs. Even so, you can’t take your eyes off her.
See what you think.