In Buenos Aires, a man who has decreed that his daughters must marry in order of age allows an American dancer to perform at his club under the condition that he play suitor to his second-oldest daughter.
William A. Seiter
In order to cover up his philandering ways, a married Broadway producer sets one of his dancers up on a date with a chorus girl for whom he had bought a gift, but the two dancers fall in love for real.
Aviator and band leader Roger Bond is forever getting his group fired for flirting with the lady guests. When he falls for Brazilian beauty Belinha de Rezende it appears to be for real, even though she is already engaged. His Yankee Clippers band is hired to open the new Hotel Atlântico in Rio and Roger offers to fly Belinha part way home. After a mechanical breakdown and forced landing, Roger is confident and makes his move, but Belinha plays hard to get. She can't seem to decide between Roger and her fiance Júlio. When performing the airborne production number to mark the Hotel's opening, Júlio gets some intriguing ideas... Written by
Gary Jackson <firstname.lastname@example.org>
In the original prints, the "Orchids in the Moonlight" number was color tinted. See more »
Just after the flying sequence with the wing dancers there is a scene with characters sat on the terrace. The back projected image is to the wrong scale resulting in someone with an enormous head being next to the parapet. See more »
From other sources you will have learned that this is pretty sexy stuff in terms of transparent clothes; not a bra on the hundreds of candidates. And the original dirty dancing before it was outlawed, and that crack about what Brazilian women have "below the equator." Also, you will have heard about this being the first Astaire-Rogers pairing.
You may not have heard of one of the most racially respectful scenes I know from the era: a couple land on a supposedly deserted island and the woman is frightened by what she thinks are natives. Turns out one comes out of the woods. He's playing golf and while shirtless (in order to make the joke work) speaks English normally and carries himself like a regular man. Its the reverse joke of what you'd usually see in bugeyed stepinfetchits.
But what I find fascinating is the way sex, romance, money and music are all somehow related to aviation. Our hero, we are told is heir to a fortune if only he would give up his music and planes. But it is plain that he does it because of the women. And by that we know he means sex, only sex. We first see him as he climbs out of his plane, which has a piano stuffed in it. Now think about that a minute.
This is what technology meant in those days: adventure, charm, bodily pleasure. And its what the sort of music we see in films was supposed to imply as well. If you do not see this, let me describe the climax. Scores of scantily clad women are strapped to what looks like a dozen small planes to perform choreographically as best you can when bolted down. Every shot you can take of a woman's body is presented, along with a wingload of errant nipples. I can just imagine the smiles when they thought it up.
There's something else to watch for. This has the most elaborate transitions I believe I have seen for any film. They really are amazingly varied and so copious they are as much a feature as Fred's dancing.
Ted's Evaluation -- 2 of 3: Has some interesting elements.
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