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 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 »
Position of Lucky and Gordon changes several times when figuring out which dance Miss Carol will teach. See more »
[after having just been hit in the face with a snowball]
You know, snow tastes just as bad as water.
See more »
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?