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Shall We Dance (1937)

Approved | | Comedy, Musical, Romance | 7 May 1937 (USA)
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2:58 | Clip

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A budding romance between a ballet master and a tap dancer becomes complicated when rumors surface that they're already married.

Director:

Mark Sandrich

Writers:

Allan Scott (screen play), Ernest Pagano (screen play) | 3 more credits »
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Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 3 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Fred Astaire ... Peter P. Peters aka Petrov
Ginger Rogers ... Linda Keene
Edward Everett Horton ... Jeffrey Baird
Eric Blore ... Cecil Flintridge
Jerome Cowan ... Arthur Miller
Ketti Gallian ... Lady Tarrington
William Brisbane ... Jim Montgomery
Ann Shoemaker ... Shipboard Gossip Matron
Harriet Hoctor ... Harriet Hoctor - Dancer
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Storyline

Ballet star Pete "Petrov" Peters arranges to cross the Atlantic aboard the same ship as the dancer he's fallen for but barely knows, musical star Linda Keene. By the time the ocean liner reaches New York, a little white lie has churned through the rumor mill and turned into a hot gossip item: that the two celebrities are secretly married. Written by Diana Hamilton <hamilton@gl.umbc.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Liquid lyrics by Ira Gershwin! See more »


Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English | French

Release Date:

7 May 1937 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Stepping Toes See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$991,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

RKO Radio Pictures See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Victor System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The scene where Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers dance on roller skates took about 150 takes, according to one of the VHS versions of the film. See more »

Goofs

At the launch of the air mail plane from the ship, we hear the plane engine idling. The engine would be at full power. See more »

Quotes

Jeffrey Baird: [picks up phone] Hello?
Cecil Flintridge: Oh, hello, Jeffrey. Yes, are you there?
Jeffrey Baird: Of course I'm here.
Cecil Flintridge: Now don't shout at me - I'm in jail.
Jeffrey Baird: Well, that's all right; we don't need you.
Cecil Flintridge: I'm in jail for battery, and I want you to get me out. I'm at the Susquehannah Street Jail . . . Susquehannah! Susquehannah - S-U-S-Q-U-Q! Q! You know, the thing you play billiards with . . . Billiards! B-I-L-L-
Policeman at Jail: What is this, a spelling bee?
Cecil Flintridge: Ahem. No, "L" for larynx. L-A-R-Y . . . N-No, not "M", N! . . . "N" as in neighbor! Neighbor, ...
[...]
See more »

Crazy Credits

When George Gershwin's name appears in the credits, a bit of "Rhapsody in Blue" plays on the soundtrack. See more »


Soundtracks

Slap That Bass
(1937) (uncredited)
Words by Ira Gershwin
Music by George Gershwin
Sung and danced by Fred Astaire and Ensemble in engine room
Sung also by Dudley Dickerson
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Oh, no, they can't take that away from me
24 September 2006 | by blanche-2See all my reviews

"Shall We Dance" is for this viewer one of the great Astaire-Rogers films, even if some of the comments don't agree. I love it because of the glorious Astaire dancing. One of my all-time favorite numbers of his is "Slap that Bass" in which Astaire dances to the rhythm of machines. Oh, those pirouettes! Amazing. I rewound and watched it twice more.

Astaire plays a ballet dancer named Petrov. In real life, Astaire was loathe to do ballet because he was self-conscious about his large hands. Who's looking at his hands? Petrov falls hard for singer Linda Keene (Rogers, who else) and arranges to follow her on the same ship to New York.

Everyone has a great time, including the comic relief, Eric Blore, Edward Everett Horton, and Jerome Cowan. One of the best scenes occurs as Horton and Cowan smuggle a dummy of Linda (from a number she never did) into Astaire's stateroom to photograph the two together and prove they're married (they're not. And Blore getting arrested and telephoning to get bailed out of the Susquehana jail is wonderful.

But "Shall We Dance," like the previous Astaire-Rogers pairings, isn't about the plot, it's about the music and dance. What music, what dance. George and Ira Gershwin's score includes "I've Got Beginner's Luck," and "They All Laughed," both sung by Astaire, "Let's Call the Whole Thing Off" (sung and danced by the pair on roller skates), "They Can't Take That Away From Me" (sung by Astaire), and the music later becomes a ballet sequence with Astaire and Harriet Hoctor. Astaire and Rogers dance to "Shall We Dance" after Astaire sings the number and the two reprise "Let's Call the Whole Thing Off."

You can't beat "Shall We Dance" for pure escapism, breathtaking dance, and great songs.


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