Broadway Melody of 1940 is a 1940 MGM film musical starring Fred Astaire, Eleanor Powell and George Murphy (Astaire’s first male dancing partner on film. It was directed by Norman Taurog and features music by Cole Porter, including “Begin the Beguine”.
The film was the fourth and final entry in MGM’s “Broadway Melody” series of films, and is notable for being the only on-screen pairing of Astaire and Powell, who were considered the finest film musical dancers of their time.
In New York City, the dance team of Johnny Brett (Fred Astaire) and King Shaw (George Murphy) are at the bottom of the heap, and barely scraping by in dance halls. When a producer, Bob Casey (Frank Morgan), catches sight of Brett’s moves, he wants to cast him as the dance partner of the Broadway star Clare Bennett (Eleanor Powell). However, after some misdirection and confusion, Shaw becomes Bennett’s partner instead, but Brett still has some dancing to do when Shaw fails to perform.