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A Damsel in Distress (1937) Poster

Trivia

When Fred Astaire learned that Gracie Allen was nervous about dancing with him onstage, he reportedly made a point of tripping and falling in front of her the first day on the set to put her at her ease.
Joan Fontaine joked that this movie set her career back four years. At the premiere, a woman sitting behind her loudly exclaimed, "Isn't she awful!" during Fontaine's on-screen attempt at dancing.
After learning that Fred Astaire wanted Burns and Allen to audition for him, George Burns hired a vaudeville dancer he knew to choreograph a complex routine with whisk brooms. Astaire enjoyed the performance by George and Gracie so much that he insisted on working it into the film.
In the late Thirties, Fred Astaire's box-office appeal temporarily dimmed somewhat. This film has been labeled a financial disappointment. Following next, the final two Astaire-Ginger Rogers pairings of the decade failed to equal the hefty profits of their seven prior match-ups.
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The song "Put Me To The Test" was used as an instrumental in this film, but Ira Gershwin had written lyrics to it, and when the Technicolor musical film "Cover Girl" was made in 1944, composer Jerome Kern fitted his own tune to the already existing lyrics, and the newly revised song was sung and danced in that film by Gene Kelly.
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"Pay Some Attention to Me" by Ira Gershwin and George Gershwin was written for the movie but not used.
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During the part of the "Stiff Upper Lip" number that takes place on a turntable, Fred Astaire and Gracie Allen perform the dance variously known as the "runaround," the "nut dance" or the "oompah trot." Consisting of the dancers moving in a circle and doing walking steps in strict rhythm, this dance had been a trademark of Fred and his sister Adele Astaire on stage. But Astaire didn't do it in a film before this because he didn't think Ginger Rogers was right for it.
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Ruby Keeler, Betty Grable, Carole Lombard and British musical star Jessie Matthews were each approached to play the role of Alyce, but were unavailable. It went to Joan Fontaine.
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When Jerry, George, and Gracie drive to Lady Alyce's house, they are in a 1936 Cord 810 convertible coupe. With a MSRP at the time of $2,145 ($37,000 in 2016), such a car in 2016 could be worth up to $300,000 depending on condition.
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R.L. Stine's favorite movie.
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