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William A. Seiter
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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 <firstname.lastname@example.org>
The shadow dance idea for "Bojangles of Harlem" occurred to choreographer Hermes Pan and Fred Astaire during rehearsals, when three different light sources illuminating Astaire produced three shadows. See more »
During the shadow dance, the shadow behind Lucky is visible through him. See more »
Any of the films in which Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers appeared is worth a look. Each one has something that will endear it to the viewer that seeks in their films entertainment, as well as fun. "Swing Time", their 1936 film was directed by George Stevens, a distinguished American director that had a long career in Hollywood. It helps though that Jerome Kern and Dorothy Fields worked in writing some of the most beautiful melodies heard in the movie.
"Swing Time" is a pretext to present the stars doing what they did best: dancing! Lucky Garnett is made to be late for his own wedding to the socialite Margaret, who contrary to what one expects is forgiving and accepts her boyfriend's excuses. Garnett has to prove his luck, where else?, but in New York. Accompanied by Pop Cardette, they embark in an adventure to try to raise cash and fulfill his promise to Margaret's father.
Fate intervenes in the person of the beautiful Penny. She's a dancing instructor who we first see being cheated out of a quarter by Pop and Lucky. Later they follow her to the studio where Lucky goes to receive a dancing lesson! We know what comes after that. Penny and Lucky were made for one another and it will take the rest of the movie for they to realize this fact and for us to watch some amazing production numbers.
The funniest sequence has to be when Lucky, Penny, Pop and Mabel decide to take a ride to the New Amsterdam resort during a snow storm in a convertible! Not only that, but when they arrive at the inn, finding it closed, they decide to get out and walk in the thick snow without any galoshes! Oh well! The songs one hears in the film are classic standards.
"A Fine Romance", "Pick Yourself Up", "The Way You Look Tonight", "Never Gonna Dance", and others are given excellent treatment. The two excellent musical numbers, "Bojangles' Harlem" and "Swing Time Waltz", show the talent of Mr. Astaire, in the first one, and of Ms. Rogers and Mr. Astaire in the second.
Fred Astaire is always good doing no matter what he does in this film. Ginger Rogers is also appealing as the object of Mr. Astaire's attentions. Victor Moore as Pop, is not as funny as perhaps the film makers wanted him to be, but Helen Broderick, as Mabel was excellent. Eric Blore, Betty Furness and Georges Metaxa and the rest of the cast do their best to support the principals.
This film is a joy to watch thanks to Mr. Astaire and Ms. Rogers under Mr. Stevens' direction.
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