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William A. Seiter
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 <email@example.com>
Easy to see why it was Ginger's personal favorite...
SWING TIME just misses being the best of all the Astaire-Rogers musicals because of one factor--too much Victor Moore and too little Eric Blore. I tend to favor TOP HAT as their best collaboration because among the supporting players in that one was Edward Everett Horton and, of course, the Irving Berlin tunes were great.
This time, in SWING TIME, we're at least spared the mistaken identity theme which ran through so many Astaire-Rogers plots. It's a simple boy meets girl, boy loses girl, boy wins girl sort of thing without wearing the patience thin and sprinkling some nice Gershwin tunes throughout.
My own favorites are "A Fine Romance", staged among the snowflakes in a country setting, and "Never Gonna Dance" which is the most dramatic of the duo's dancing numbers and takes place in an art deco setting that is strikingly photographed in great B&W photography.
Ginger's eye make-up looks a little heavy but she's pretty as a picture as the dancing instructor Eric Blore almost fires. Fred Astaire not only acquits himself with finesse on the dance floor but in the acting department as well.
Victor Moore soon gets tiresome (in a way that Edward Everett Horton did not). The plot is paper thin and Betty Furness has next to nothing to do--but in this kind of film, all fans really wanted was to watch Astaire and Rogers glide across the dance floor in intricate style--and this they do.
Ginger Rogers was told that SWING TIME did even better business at Radio City Music Hall than TOP HAT--and has declared that among all her films with Astaire, this is her own personal favorite. It's easy to see why. Her big dance numbers with Astaire were filmed in one long, unbroken take--but since she complained of bleeding in her dance shoes you have to wonder how many takes it took to get the perfection seen here.
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