| In the early 1930s, Hollywood was an irresistible magnet for top songwriters.
Cinema was booming and bursting with confidence following the advent of the
talkies, while popular theatrical entertainment was facing the dual threat of
competition with movies, and the Depression.
During the decade McHugh and Fields wrote songs for over a dozen
films. Despite being based in Hollywood, they also undertook several
projects for Broadway revues. An amusing article
from Popular Songs in 1935 interviews the pair at this time.
Significantly Dorothy branched out to begin working with other
composers a single song with Max Steiner, four songs with music by Fritz
Kreisler (although the
| collaborators never met), three songs with Oscar Levant,
and most importantly, several collaborations with Jerome Kern.
Some of the Kern collaborations were for film operettas, a style
which never suited Dorothy's talents. However one film with Kern
represents the summit of her Hollywood achievements the glorious
Swing Time, starring Fred and Ginger.
This movie introduced the simple and tender
The Way You Look Tonight , the exhilarating Pick
Yourself Up , and the sardonic and frustrated A
Fine Romance . Two solo numbers for Fred Astaire dances,
Never Gonna Dance and Bojangles
of Harlem are also wonderful songs. The
Way You Look Tonight won Kern and Fields an Oscar.