Lady Alyce Marshmorton must marry soon, and the staff of Tottney Castle have laid bets on who she'll choose, with young Albert wagering on "Mr. X". After Alyce goes to London to meet a beau... See full summary »
Johnny Brett and King Shaw are an unsuccessful dance team in New York. A producer discovers Brett as the new partner for Clare Bennett, but Brett, who thinks he is one of the people they lent money to gives him the name of his partner.
Aviator and band leader Roger Bond is forever getting his group fired for flirting with the lady guests. When he falls for Brazilian beauty Belinha de Rezende it appears to be for real, even though she is already engaged. His Yankee Clippers band is hired to open the new Hotel Atlântico in Rio and Roger offers to fly Belinha part way home. After a mechanical breakdown and forced landing, Roger is confident and makes his move, but Belinha plays hard to get. She can't seem to decide between Roger and her fiance Júlio. When performing the airborne production number to mark the Hotel's opening, Júlio gets some intriguing ideas...Written by
Gary Jackson <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Standing outside a bakery shop in Rio, Ginger Rogers asks, "Oh, Freddie, how do you ask for little tarts in Portuguese?" Fred Astaire replies, "Don't heckle me, try the Culbertson System." This pre-Code, double entendre joke would have been funny to Depression-era audiences, for whom bridge was a common pastime. Ely Culbertson was a champion bridge player and worldwide celebrity who had won several international tournaments by developing a rather aggressive bidding system for contract bridge. He was also notorious for his sexual exploits. His 1940 autobiography would be banned in many countries In the 1930's, the word "tart" was equivalent to "slut" or "whore." Also, in the opening inspection of hotel staff, the boss sees a maid whose shoe heels are oddly beveled and says he will not tolerate that sort of thing. A "round-heeled woman" was 1930s slang for a prostitute, a woman who could tilt from standing to on her back with ease. See more »
Although it's supposed to be in flight, one of the planes in the big wing-walker sequence has a bad matte effect at the bottom of its wheels and visible tie down wires attached to its tail. The same mistake can be seen on the plane in at least three shots. See more »
A run of the mill musical except for the obvious addition.
By the time Flying Down to Rio was released in 1933, It was Warner Brothers who had been having the success as far as musicals were concerned.
Ruby Keeler and Dick Powell were the uncrowned King and Queen of song and dance land and in films like 42nd Street, Footlight Parade and Gold Diggers and the later movies Dames and Flirtation Walk they were paving the way for a motion picture genre that would continue in much the same vein for the next twenty years.
With kaleidescope routines expertly directed by Busby Berkeley via overhead cameras, the movie musical was finally taking shape bearing little or no resemblance to earlier dismal efforts like MGM'S Broadway Melody of 1929 or their equally unimpressive Hollywood Review from the same year.
RKO was at the time a struggling studio with huge debts and was on the verge of going bankrupt. However they decided to capitalize on this medium in an effort to pull themselves back into the black.
Flying Down to Rio was in all respects no different to any other of the films they produced at the time and I'm sure this film would have sank into obscurity and be long forgotten had it not been for the movie milestone it boasts.
Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers were cast as only 3rd and 4th billed performers, to all intents and purposes, the token dance act, a novelty. Neither of them had done much before. Ginger of course was beginning to make a name for herself. She had featured in both the fore-mentioned 42nd Street and Gold Diggers and was slowly working her way out of chorus lines into bit parts and the occasional solo number.
Fred had done less still. Already a well known stage star in America and Britain, he had just one previous film under his belt. A natural dancer of extraordinary talent, Fred was signed on as RKO's secret weapon in their efforts to make the best musicals.
However, no matter how dull the storyline to "Rio" is (and it is believe me) it is soon forgotten when Fred and Ginger perform their first ever screen dance, The Carioca, a musical number with Latin- American tempo complete with stunning costumes, guest singers and the very kaleidoscopic shots of which Busby Berkeley himself would have been proud. It is their only dance together in the film and their actual dancing is given very limited screen-time, but it was enough to cause Astaire/Rogers mania.
Forgive the cliche but the rest is history as they say.
So successful were they that they went on to appear in a further nine films together making them one of the most beloved and cherished screen partnerships ever.
Alone the Astaire/Rogers musicals of the thirties saved the studio from closure and they helped push Warner's, Keeler and Powell into second place, at least as far as musicals were concerned.
Astaire is given further opportunity to shine in two stunning solos which will leave the viewer in no doubt whatsoever why he was the very best at his chosen craft.
Complete with the now famous 'girls-strapped-onto-aeroplane-wings' scene and with the added talents of Delores Del Rio and Gene Raymond adding the romance, It all helps to make an otherwise dull film into a legendary silver screen gem.
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