This movie is a showcase of talent: Fred Astaire, Judy Garland, Irving Berlin, Ann Miller... need I say more?
There are many memorable scenes in this movie. One such scene is at the opening of the movie, where we see Fred, who plays Don Hewes — a famous dancer of his time — strolling through the streets of his town and buying gifts for his sweetheart, who is also his dancing partner. Happy as can be, he loads the arms of his gift carriers, while unbeknown to him, his sweetheart is signing a contract and leaving their act. In this particular scene, Fred sees a rabbit he really wants to buy. Unfortunately, a little boy has sighted that same rabbit. Fred has to dazzle the boy with his dancing, and manages to draw his attention away to another toy: drums. One can't help thinking the boy's mother would have preferred the rabbit! Nonetheless, Fred dances amazingly here. The absolute ease with which he dances still leaves me speechless.
To this day, I have not seen anyone dance as gracefully and as effortlessly as Fred Astaire, and this scene is a great example. Every other tap dancer I've seen struggles through difficult movements, while Fred lightly tosses them at the viewer, nonchalantly, as if to say, "Look, it's no big deal, I'm just enjoying myself." Wow!
Ann Miller plays her usual role of hard-working girl, and her legs take center-stage in one of the movie's big numbers. I think she manages to show her legs in most — if not all — of the movies where she acts, but nowhere as prominently as in Kiss Me Kate (1953). I wonder if she wanted to do that, or the directors pushed her to do it. Peter Lawford also reprises his usual role of the time, that of the English pal, and does a great job at it, too.
Check out the trumpet player in the scene where Judy sings "That's why I wish-igan I was in Michigan". He can't help smiling as Judy stands next to him. He's starstruck, and it's pretty funny.