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Swing Time (1936)

Not Rated  |   |  Comedy, Musical, Romance  |  12 October 1936 (Brazil)
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Ratings: 7.7/10 from 8,519 users  
Reviews: 74 user | 56 critic

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), 5 more credits »
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Won 1 Oscar. Another 1 win & 3 nominations. See more awards »



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Complete credited cast:
Victor Moore ...
Helen Broderick ...
Eric Blore ...
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 <>

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?


44th American President Barack Obama referred to a quote from the movie in his inauguration acceptance speech on 20th January, 2009. See more »


In the scene at the New Amsterdam, when Lucky first gets out of the car, there is a large white mark on the seat of his coat. This is possibly because no-one brushed off his coat after a previous take of the same scene, in which he sits down on a "snow" covered bench. See more »


Mabel Anderson: Beautiful, isn't it?
Everett 'Pop' Cardetti: What is?
Mabel Anderson: The music.
Everett 'Pop' Cardetti: What music?
Mabel Anderson: The music they're playing.
Everett 'Pop' Cardetti: Oh, yeah.
Everett 'Pop' Cardetti: What made you think of it?
Mabel Anderson: Think of what?
Everett 'Pop' Cardetti: The music.
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

Swing Time is a sweet time!
1 April 2002 | by See all my reviews

I completely agree with my fellow film buffs that "Swing Time" ties with "Top Hat" as Fred and Ginger's best musical together. While "Top Hat" has an elegant, almost dreamy atmosphere to it, "Swing Time" gets a gold star for its more real (albeit musical numbers) and honest feel. Fred and Ginger just shine as dapper Lucky and sassy but classy Penny. One of their best dance numbers together is the spontaneous and fun "Pick Yourself Up", where Fred is in overly formal attire and Ginger wears a cute black business dress. Fred's big moment in the sun, however, is the legendary "Bojangles of Harlem" number. Many people today object to it because Fred dances in black face, but I feel it's totally misunderstood. Instead of the awful, grotesque black face Al Jolson wore (pitch black face with white lips), Fred wears tasteful theatrical makeup (think Laurence Olivier as Othello). Also, Fred isn't doing a jig in a cotton field and eating watermelon; the backdrop is a city with glamorous backup dancers. It's not a racist parody, it's one great dancer's tribute to another (that's who Bojangles was, after all). Forget what's on Fred's face, just watch him display a talent no one sees anymore. Because that's what it is: talent and tribute, not hate.

16 of 17 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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