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Dolores del Rio,
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>
This was, in many ways, the zenith of the Astaire-Rogers 10-film saga. And it manages to reveal a perfectly cohesive story (as well as a marvelous musical score) without one frame of mistaken identity or a misunderstanding which takes an hour-and-a-half to resolve. (Spoiler-ish) Astaire is initially betrothed to society girl Furness, but goes out into the world to raise a wedding dowry and ends up meeting, dancing with, and falling in love with Rogers instead. (If it reads like it all happens too fast, by all means acquaint yourself with the rest of the A-R film series.) The plots ultimately didn't matter- only the duo's ravishing dance duets, which were their love scenes. Probably no more thrilling dances have ever been presented on film: the tap routine "Pick Yourself Up" which first introduces the couple to each other; the 'lovely Waltz in Swing Time' (a happy duet which sort of marks the Act 1 finale); and the dramatic "Never Gonna Dance." This number is stunning for two reasons: it's a dance of a break-up, and it's the dance which may have been their most difficult to film. Because Astaire's mantra was uncut (or nearly uncut) dance numbers, his duets with Rogers were usually all done in one unbroken camera shot. In "Never Gonna Dance," the action travels from one dance floor up two curved staircases to another, cutting only one time, to a final 2-shot showing Rogers gloriously spinning in and out of Astaire's arms several times before making a dramatic exit. The shoot, history says, lasted from mid-morning until about 4 a.m. THE NEXT DAY, as take after take of the dance was spoiled with one problem after another (cameras bumping into walls, lights crashing, Astaire's toupee flying off his head!). Eventually, Rogers' feet bled into her high heels, but neither she nor Astaire wanted to stop until they got it right- and they finally did on take number FORTY-EIGHT. Now that's entertainment.
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