IMDb > The Story of Vernon and Irene Castle (1939)
The Story of Vernon and Irene Castle
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The Story of Vernon and Irene Castle (1939) More at IMDbPro »

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Down 69% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
Richard Sherman (screen play)
Oscar Hammerstein II (adaptation) ...
View company contact information for The Story of Vernon and Irene Castle on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
29 March 1939 (USA) See more »
This is the film version of Vernon and Irene Castle, sensational ballroom dancers prior to World War I. Full summary » | Add synopsis »
1 nomination See more »
Astaire Dances Everywhere Today on TCM
 (From Alt Film Guide. 5 August 2015, 12:13 PM, PDT)

User Reviews:
A Musical with a Plot See more (31 total) »


  (in credits order) (verified as complete)

Fred Astaire ... Vernon Castle

Ginger Rogers ... Irene Castle

Edna May Oliver ... Maggie Sutton

Walter Brennan ... Walter
Lew Fields ... Lew Fields
Etienne Girardot ... Papa Aubel
Janet Beecher ... Mrs. Foote
Rolfe Sedan ... Emile Aubel
Leonid Kinskey ... Artist
Robert Strange ... Dr. Foote
Douglas Walton ... Student Pilot
Clarence Derwent ... Papa Louis
Sonny Lamont ... Charlie
Frances Mercer ... Claire Ford
Victor Varconi ... Grand Duke
Donald MacBride ... Hotel Manager
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Buzz Barton ... Bit Part (uncredited)
Max Barwyn ... Bit Part (uncredited)
Brooks Benedict ... Stockbroker (uncredited)
Joe Bordeaux ... Bit Part (uncredited)
Eugene Borden ... Frenchman (uncredited)
Lynton Brent ... Mechanic (uncredited)
Mary Brodel ... Irene's Girlfriend (uncredited)
Don Brodie ... Stage Manager at Benefit (uncredited)
Neal Burns ... Bit Part (uncredited)

Marge Champion ... Irene's Girlfriend (uncredited)
Tom Chatterton ... Announcer at Benefit (uncredited)
Willis Clare ... Bit Part (uncredited)
Frank Coghlan Jr. ... Boy in Montage (uncredited)
James Conaty ... Man in Montage (uncredited)
Armand Cortes ... Wardrobe Man at Benefit (uncredited)
Adrienne D'Ambricourt ... French Landlady (uncredited)

Roy D'Arcy ... Actor in 'Patria' (uncredited)
Hal K. Dawson ... Man in Balcony in Fields Audience (uncredited)
Dick Dennis ... Singer (uncredited)
Elspeth Dudgeon ... Lady Bolton (uncredited)
Dick Elliott ... Train Conductor (uncredited)

Frank Faylen ... Adjutant (uncredited)
Billy Franey ... Bit Part (uncredited)
Jack Gargan ... Soldier in Nightclub (uncredited)
Dorothy George ... Small Role (uncredited)
Jack George ... Orchestra Conductor - Paris (uncredited)
Wesley Giraud ... Newsboy at Train Station (uncredited)
Eleanor Hansen ... Irene's Girlfriend (uncredited)
Neal Hart ... Bit Part (uncredited)
Ethel Haworth ... Irene's Girlfriend (uncredited)
Russell Hicks ... Colonel (uncredited)
Leyland Hodgson ... British Sergeant (uncredited)

George Irving ... Colonel's Aide (uncredited)
Ida May Johnson ... Small Role (uncredited)
Tiny Jones ... Lady in Revolving Door (uncredited)
Jacques Lory ... French Cab Driver (uncredited)
Dorothy Lovett ... Bit Part (uncredited)
Max Lucke ... Frenchman in Hotel (uncredited)

Hugh McArthur ... Bit Part (uncredited)
David Mcdonald ... Army Pilot (uncredited)
Louis Mercier ... French Singer (uncredited)
John Meredith ... Army Pilot (uncredited)
Frank Mills ... Frank - Stage Manager at Benefit (uncredited)
Bruce Mitchell ... Movie Director (uncredited)
Edmund Mortimer ... Nightclub Extra (uncredited)
Leonard Mudie ... British Officer (uncredited)
Esther Muir ... Bit Part (uncredited)
Emmett O'Brien ... Drag Dancer at Benefit (uncredited)
Frank O'Connor ... Bit Part (uncredited)
Milton Owen ... Recruiter (uncredited)
Bill Patton ... Bit Part (uncredited)
Steve Pendleton ... Adjutant (uncredited)

Jack Perrin ... Bit Part (uncredited)
Joe Polosci ... Newsboy at Train Station (uncredited)
Fred Reinhold ... Small Role (uncredited)
Jack Richardson ... Old Man in Montage (uncredited)
Jean Sablon ... Piano Specialty (French Version of 'The Darktown Strutters ' Ball' (uncredited)
Jean Stevens ... Small Role (uncredited)
Kay Sutton ... Girl with Stockbrokers (uncredited)
Fred Sweeney ... Streetcar Conductor (uncredited)
D.H. Turner ... Bit Part (uncredited)
Ellinor Vanderveer ... Guest with the Grand Duke (uncredited)
Theodore von Eltz ... Bit Part (uncredited)
Allen Wood ... Flower Delivery Boy on Bus (uncredited)
William Worthington ... Man Reading Newspaper (uncredited)
Lillian Yarbo ... Mary - Claire's Maid (uncredited)

Directed by
H.C. Potter 
Writing credits
Richard Sherman (screen play)

Oscar Hammerstein II (adaptation) and
Dorothy Yost (adaptation)

Irene Castle (based on stories: "My Husband" and "My Memories of Vernon Castle" by)

Produced by
George Haight .... producer
Original Music by
Robert Russell Bennett (uncredited)
Cinematography by
Robert De Grasse (photographed by) (as Robert de Grasse)
Film Editing by
William Hamilton (edited by)
Art Direction by
Van Nest Polglase 
Set Decoration by
Darrell Silvera (set decorations)
Costume Design by
Edward Stevenson (uncredited)
Makeup Department
Mel Berns .... makeup artist (uncredited)
Production Management
Pandro S. Berman .... in charge of production
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Argyle Nelson .... assistant director
Art Department
Perry Ferguson .... associate art director
Sound Department
Richard Van Hessen .... recordist
Special Effects by
Vernon L. Walker .... special effects
Camera and Electrical Department
John Miehle .... still photographer (uncredited)
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Irene Castle .... designer: costumes worn by Miss Ginger Rogers
Walter Plunkett .... wardrobe and ensembles
Eugene Joseff .... costume jeweller (uncredited)
Editorial Department
Douglas Travers .... montage
Robert Wise .... assistant editor (uncredited)
Music Department
Victor Baravalle .... musical director
Robert Russell Bennett .... orchestrator (uncredited)
Hugo Friedhofer .... music arranger (uncredited)
Edward B. Powell .... music arranger (uncredited)
Leonid Raab .... music arranger (uncredited)
David Raksin .... music arranger (uncredited)
Roy Webb .... music arranger (uncredited)
Other crew
Irene Castle .... technical advisor
Hermes Pan .... dance director
Lawrence Grant .... flight technical advisor (uncredited)
Leigh Jason .... director: additional scenes (uncredited)
Crew verified as complete

Production CompaniesDistributors

Additional Details

Also Known As:
93 min
Aspect Ratio:
1.37 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Mono (RCA Victor System)
Finland:S | Spain:7 | UK:U (passed with cuts) | USA:Approved (PCA #4853)

Did You Know?

Final film of Roy D'Arcy.See more »
Factual errors: Walter, the Foote's and later the Castle's servant/ factotum, was in reality a black man.See more »
Movie Connections:
Missouri WaltzSee more »


This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.
8 out of 9 people found the following review useful.
A Musical with a Plot, 7 June 2001
Author: consortpinguin from NH -- the First primary State

"The Story of Vernon and Irene Castle" was the last of the major Fred Astaire - Ginger Rogers musicals of the 1930s. And it was different in many ways from the others, namely that the story was more important than the songs and dances.

Really, is "Top Hat" with its emphasis on production numbers linked by a thin plot of mistaken identity really a lot different than today's action movies with endless car chases and pyrotechnic special effects linked by a very thin story about a hit man or the earth getting hit by a comet? Sorry about that analogy, I'll take the great musicals over the "actions" any day! "Yo" is not great dialog.

My parents tell me that at the time, this film was panned by the critics and did not make it as big at the box office. Could it be that everyone wanted another "Top Hat" or Swing Time?" I enjoyed those lovely musicals with their big production numbers. Could it be the emphasis on Vernon's patriotic service with the RAF in World War I might have offended many people's "isolationism" in 1939 about the growing World War II?

Fred and Ginger wanted to do a movie with more substance, and they pulled it off in grand style. The songs and dances were nice, with only one very brief "production number." But they did a great job of showing how two young entertainers met, fell in love, became famous, and made a sacrifice in the war. In 1911, young Irene Castle "discovers" Vernon, a second-rate vaudeville comic when she sees him dancing at an evening outing. She shows Vernon her not ready for prime time dance number "The Yama Yama Men." The two fall in love and marry, and with a lot of self-taught dance technique, suddenly hit the big time in France by dancing their famous "Castle Walk." The Castles' fame grew and grew and they toured Europe and America, and made a lot of money through merchandising things like Irene Castle hats. Long before Michael Jordan's basketball shoes. In fact, you will see entries for both Vernon and Irene here in the Movie Database. Irene went on to star in a few silent films, but never made a "talkie." You'll be glad to know that Irene served as an advisor for the Rogers -Astaire film, enhancing its accuracy.

As always, they had some great character actors. I never knew Walter Brennan was ever that young. Fred and Ginger really showed a depth to their acting. From there, of course, Ginger moved into dramatic movies, including her Oscar-winning "Kitty Foyle." I think Fred's later movies matured too.

In short, I think you will like this movie, but don't expect to see a clone of "Swing Time."

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