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Swing Time (1936)

Not Rated | | Comedy, Musical, Romance | 12 October 1936 (Brazil)
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.



(screen play), (screen play) | 1 more credit »

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Won 1 Oscar. Another 1 win & 3 nominations. See more awards »



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Complete credited cast:
Margaret Watson
Georges Metaxa ...
Ricky Romero


Lucky is tricked into missing his wedding to Margaret by the other members of Pop's magic and dance act, and has to make $25000 to be allowed to marry her. He and Pop go to New York where they run into Penny, a dancing instructor. She and Lucky form a successful dance partnership, but romance is blighted (till the end of the film at least!) by his old attachment to Margaret and hers for Ricardo, the band leader who won't play for them to dance together. Written by Sebastian Gibbs <sjg94@aber.ac.uk>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

dance | wedding | love | dancer | performer | See All (64) »


A glorious songburst of gaiety and laughter! See more »


Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:






Release Date:

12 October 1936 (Brazil)  »

Also Known As:

I Won't Dance  »

Box Office


$886,000 (estimated)

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(RCA Victor System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


The original concept of "Bojangles of Harlem" was actually much more elaborate than what ended up on film. A scenario called "Hot Fields" was prepared as a loose parody of the all-black vehicle "Green Pastures." It would have involved the Bojangles character traveling through a variety of stylized sets representing Heaven, Hell and jungle locations, and would have involved many routines with that most familiar Bill Robinson setting - stairs. Thirty-three scenes would have been required. No doubt such an elaborate series of sequences was deemed to be too expensive to construct and film. All that remains in the film is an introduction to the character involving an outsized bowler hat which turns into enormously long legs. See more »


When Penny Carrol's things fall on the ground, Pop Cadetti takes her purse and introduces his left hand into it to grab Lucky Garnett's quarter. But after the cut, he holds the quarter in his right hand. See more »


Mabel Anderson: [after having just been hit in the face with a snowball] You know, snow tastes just as bad as water.
See more »


Featured in George Stevens: A Filmmaker's Journey (1984) See more »


Pick Yourself Up
(1936) (uncredited)
Lyrics by Dorothy Fields
Music by Jerome Kern
Sung and Danced by Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers
Danced by Victor Moore and Helen Broderick
Played in the score often
See more »

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User Reviews

Excellent Astaire/Rogers Feature
8 November 2004 | by (Ohio) – See all my reviews

An excellent feature in almost every respect, "Swing Time" is usually (and deservedly) considered to be, along with "Top Hat", the best of the series of Ginger Rogers/Fred Astaire musicals. And while "Top Hat" is a well-crafted and enjoyable movie, "Swing Time" might be even better. The story is light but entertaining, and the singing and dancing sequences are not only first-class, but also contain quite a variety of material, making this an ideal showcase for the stars and their talents.

Fred and Ginger are joined by Helen Broderick, who fits in very well. Victor Moore has some good moments, although his character is a bit over-used, and ceases to be funny after a while. The four of them carry almost all of the load - Eric Blore and Betty Furness are in the cast, but they do not get a lot of screen time.

The story is not bad, but it is the musical numbers that make this so enjoyable. Practically all of them can be watched a number of times without becoming dull. The upbeat sequence in the dance studio, and the "A Fine Romance" song in the snow both show, in different ways, the two stars working together closely. Astaire's tribute to Bojangles is an impressive display of talent and choreography. Then there are the more thoughtful sequences between the two, which show yet another side of their talents.

If "Swing Time" had Edward Everett Horton back in the cast, instead of the Victor Moore character, this would easily be the best of all of the Astaire/Rogers musicals. Even as it is, it's awfully good.

34 of 39 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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