Fred & Ginger

All ten Fred Astaire/Ginger Rogers musical pairings.

Fred Astaire was a genius dancer and Ginger Rogers was his most celebrated onscreen partner. Their films together are great fun, mixing screwball comedy with charming romance and some of the best music ever written.

The Astaire/Rogers films introduced many songs that would become pop standards from well-known composers like Irving Berlin, George and Ira Gershwin, Jerome Kern, and Dorothy Fields.

Although the storylines sometimes seem recycled (if freshened up), each film is a delight thanks to the stars and the music.
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Flying Down to Rio (1933)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  
An aviator and band leader who is always getting his group fired for his flirtatious behavior with the female guests soon finds himself falling for an engaged woman. (89 mins.)
“ In their first movie together, Fred & Ginger play supporting roles, but manage to steal the show from leads Gene Raymond and Dolores del Rio. As members of Raymond's band, Ginger is a wisecracking singer and Fred is an accordionist with a knack for dancing. The two have one dance together, the "Carioca".

Songs by Vincent Youmans, Gus Kahn & Edward Eliscu:
"Music Makes Me"
"Orchids in the Moonlight"
"Flying Down to Rio" ” - Jimmy L.
The Gay Divorcee (1934)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  
An American woman travels to England to seek a divorce from her absentee husband, where she meets - and falls for - a dashing performer. (107 mins.)
Director: Mark Sandrich
“ The movie that set the tone for the screwball musicals to come. Fred & Ginger's first star vehicle, building off their success in "Flying Down to Rio". Maybe the funniest of their pairings. A personal favorite.

Songs by Con Conrad & Herb Magidson/Cole Porter/Harry Revel & Mack Gordon:
"Don't Let it Bother You"
"A Needle in a Haystack"
"Let's K-nock K-neez"
"Night and Day"
"The Continental" ” - Jimmy L.
Roberta (1935)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  
In Paris, a man clueless about fashion suddenly inherits his aunt's dress shop, while his bandleader friend reunites with his old flame. (106 mins.)
“ Fred & Ginger play second fiddle to the romantic stars Irene Dunne and Randolph Scott. Ginger acts/sings in a put-on foreign accent.

Songs by Jerome Kern, Otto A. Harbach, Dorothy Fields & Jimmy McHugh:
"Let's Begin"
"Russian Lullaby"
"I'll Be Hard to Handle"
"I Won't Dance"
"Smoke Gets in Your Eyes"
"Lovely to Look At" ” - Jimmy L.
Top Hat (1935)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  
An American dancer comes to Britain and falls for a model whom he initially annoyed, but she mistakes him for his goofy producer. (101 mins.)
Director: Mark Sandrich
“ A slight variation on the "Gay Divorcee" formula, with Fred chasing Ginger while she thinks he's somebody else. Reunites much of the cast, too: Fred, Ginger, Edward Everett Horton, Eric Blore, Erik Rhodes, director Mark Sandrich.

Songs by Irving Berlin:
"No Strings (I'm Fancy Free)"
"Isn't This a Lovely Day (To Be Caught in the Rain)?"
"Top Hat, White Tie and Tails"
"Cheek to Cheek"
"The Piccolino" ” - Jimmy L.
Follow the Fleet (1936)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  
A Navy sailor tries to rekindle a romance with the woman he loves while on liberty in San Francisco. (110 mins.)
Director: Mark Sandrich
“ Fred & Ginger are relegated to the "B" plot, behind the story of Randolph Scott and Harriet Hilliard. There's no boy-chases-girl for Fred & Ginger this time around, as they are on-again/off-again sweethearts. Joining the fun is a trained monkey.

Songs by Irving Berlin:
"We Saw the Sea"
"Let Yourself Go"
"Get Thee Behind Me, Satan"
"I'd Rather Lead a Band"
"But Where Are You?"
"I'm Putting All My Eggs in One Basket"
"Let's Face the Music and Dance" ” - Jimmy L.
Swing Time (1936)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  
A performer and gambler travels to New York City to raise the $25,000 he needs to marry his fiancée, only to become entangled with a beautiful aspiring dancer. (103 mins.)
Director: George Stevens
“ George Stevens takes the director's chair and tinkers with the winning formula, switching out familiar cast members (like Edward Everett Horton) in favor of new ones (Victor Moore) and making Ginger the one chasing Fred. Probably has the best songs of any of the movies, and might be the most purely romantic.

Songs by Jerome Kern & Dorothy Fields:
"Pick Yourself Up"
"The Way You Look Tonight"
"Waltz in Swing Time"
"A Fine Romance"
"Bojangles of Harlem"
"Never Gonna Dance" ” - Jimmy L.
Shall We Dance (1937)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  
A budding romance between a ballet master and a tap dancer becomes complicated when rumors surface that they're already married. (109 mins.)
Director: Mark Sandrich
“ The familiar set-up, with the twist that Fred & Ginger are celebrities caught in a publicity-fueled rumor mill. Fred's a ballet dancer this time.

Songs by George Gershwin & Ira Gershwin:
"Slap That Bass"
"They All Laughed"
"Beginner's Luck"
"Let's Call the Whole Thing Off"
"They Can't Take That Away From Me"
"Shall We Dance" ” - Jimmy L.
Carefree (1938)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  
A psychiatrist agrees to hypnotize his friend's girlfriend in order to convince her to accept his proposals of marriage, but she ends up falling for the psychiatrist instead. (83 mins.)
Director: Mark Sandrich
“ Fred is a psychologist who uses hypnosis on Ginger, his friend's fiancée. Ginger shows her considerable talents as a comedienne as she falls madly in love with her doctor. The songs are fairly inconsequential this time around.

Songs by Irving Berlin:
"Since They Turned Loch Lomand Into Swing"
"I Used to Be Color Blind"
"The Yam"
"Change Partners" ” - Jimmy L.
The Story of Vernon and Irene Castle (1939)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.0/10 X  
The story of married couple Irene Castle and Vernon Castle, sensational ballroom dancers prior to World War I. (93 mins.)
Director: H.C. Potter
“ The music and dancing is reined in by the real-life historical context in this biographical film about the ballroom dancing pair who set the world on fire prior to WWI. It's a more plot-driven and dramatic vehicle for Fred & Ginger.

Original song by Harry Ruby, Con Conrad & Bert Kalmar:
"Only When You're In My Arms"

Various other period songs:
"By the Beautiful Sea"
"The Yama Yama Man"
"By the Light of the Silvery Moon"
"Oh, You Beautiful Doll"
"Waiting For the Robert E. Lee"
"Too Much Mustard"
"The Castle Walk"
"Keep the Home Fires Burning"
"Nights of Gladness"
"Missouri Waltz"
etc. ” - Jimmy L.
The Barkleys of Broadway (1949)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  
A successful but constantly-feuding husband and wife musical comedy team threatens to break up when the wife entertains an offer to become a serious actress. (109 mins.)
Director: Charles Walters
“ Reunited at MGM after nine movies at RKO, this was their first pairing in color, made a decade after their previous outing. This time around Fred & Ginger play a bickering married couple who happen to be a popular Broadway dance team. Oscar Levant plays their sardonic buddy and shows off his virtuosic piano skills.

Songs by Harry Warren & Ira Gershwin:
"You'd Be Hard to Replace"
"My One and Only Highland Fling"
"Week-End in the Country"
"Shoes With Wings On"
"Manhattan Downbeat"

"They Can't Take That away From Me" - by George Gershwin & Ira Gershwin ” - Jimmy L.