7.1/10
2,859
45 user 18 critic

Carefree (1938)

A psychiatrist agrees to hypnotize his friend's girlfriend in order to convince her to accept his proposals of marriage, but she ends up falling for the psychiatrist instead.

Director:

Mark Sandrich

Writers:

Allan Scott (screen play), Ernest Pagano (screen play) | 4 more credits »
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Nominated for 3 Oscars. Another 1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Fred Astaire ... Tony Flagg
Ginger Rogers ... Amanda Cooper
Ralph Bellamy ... Stephen Arden
Luella Gear Luella Gear ... Aunt Cora
Jack Carson ... Connors
Clarence Kolb ... Judge Travers
Franklin Pangborn ... Roland Hunter
Walter Kingsford ... Dr. Powers
Kay Sutton ... Miss Adams
The Robert Mitchell Boy Choir The Robert Mitchell Boy Choir ... (as Robert B. Mitchell and his St. Brendan's Boys)
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Storyline

Dr. Tony Flagg's friend, Steven, has problems in the relationship with his fiancee, Amanda, so he persuades her to visit Dr. Flagg. After some minor misunderstandings, she falls in love with Dr. Flagg. When he tries to use hypnosis to strengthen her feelings for Steven, things get complicated. Written by <lora5588@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

So you think Fred and Ginger are good, eh? ... WELL, YOU AIN'T SEEN NOTHIN' YET! ... You haven't seen dancing until you see the greatest dancers in the world in the greatest picture they've ever made! ... Never before such romantic flair, such abandoned fun, such excitement and interest and delightful plot in an Astaire-Rogers offering! ... Never before such richness of production! ... And the four Berlin songs are said to be the best he ever wrote! ... See more »


Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

2 September 1938 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Amanda See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$1,253,000 (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

This was the first Fred Astaire-Ginger Rogers film to lose money on its initial release. It lost $68,000 (over $1.1M in 2016) for RKO according to studio records. See more »

Goofs

As Amanda (Ginger Rogers) exits the taxi cab and starts to cross the street for the theatre, you can see the reflection of the roof line behind her in the large piece of plate glass on the truck. On the roof line you can see the rigging pipes for lights and other equipment showing it's a back lot set. See more »

Quotes

Judge Travers: [rises from chair at dance] Cora...
Aunt Cora: Joe, you know I don't dance at your age.
See more »

Crazy Credits

During opening credits, a pair of hands writes the names, pauses, wipes them out, and writes the next set of names several times. See more »

Connections

Featured in Hooray for Hollywood (1982) See more »

Soundtracks

Carefree
(1938) (uncredited)
Music by Irving Berlin
Danced by Fred Astaire
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Go Into Your Trance
25 October 2002 | by lugonianSee all my reviews

CAREFREE (RKO Radio, 1938), directed by Mark Sandrich, a screwball comedy set to music, reunites the song and dance team of Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers for the eighth time in a sort of welcome change from their previous efforts: Astaire plays a doctor, psychiatrist by profession, rather than his usual lovesick American dancer, although the doctor in question DOES have a talent for dancing. Rogers, breaking away from sophisticated humor, makes her mark in broader comedy. She's been funny before, usually sassy with nifty comebacks, but this time in the dizzy-dame mode, but fortunately, not to the extreme.

The plot focuses on Stephen Arden (Ralph Bellamy), a witless attorney. He becomes drunk after his engagement to popular radio star, Amanda Cooper (Ginger Rogers), has been broken for the third time and stumbles to the Medical Foundation building to ask his good friend, Dr. Tony Flagg (Fred Astaire), a psychiatrist assisted by his white coated Connors (Jack Carson), to have Amanda "what's 'er name" analyzed. While waiting in his office, Amanda, accidentally stumbles upon Flagg's phonograph record, listening to a diagnosis about his last patient, closing with his comment about his next patient, Miss Cooper, being a "maladjusted woman." Upset, Amanda turns the tables around by sitting behind his desk and the doctor uncomfortably on the other end in a question and answer session. While bicycling in the park with Steven and her Aunt Cora (Luella Gaer), Amanda and Tony meet again, coming come to friendly terms. Agreeing to Tony's treatments, Amanda goes through a dinner special diet (lobster with mayonnaise and buttermilk) so to have her dreams analyzed, and hypnotism that turns to disaster when roaming the streets in a trance.

With plenty of comedy written into the screenplay, it's a wonder how dance numbers could fit into an overall "screwball" comedy, especially with a score by Irving Berlin. This is where CAREFREE stands apart from the other Astaire and Rogers films. The first number, "Since They Turned 'Loch Lamond' Into Swing" finds Astaire at a golf course accomplishing several things at the same time by playing the harmonica and tap dancing to a Scottish underscoring while teeing off several golf balls in rhythm, all to perfection without once missing his mark. There is no vocal to this number. "I Used to Be Color Blind" is very interesting mainly because it takes part as Rogers' dream dance, with Astaire, singing and dancing in slow motion. While "The Yam" sung by Ginger Rogers at the country club, is an upbeat number, followed by dancing with Astaire on wooden floors rather than the traditional glossy ones. It didn't become a memorable duet as "The Carioca," "The Continental" or "The Piccolino," but unlike these earlier dance numbers, which Fred and Ginger are the main focus, they invite dinner guests to join in with them. The final number, "Change Partners," a more appropriate title than "Carefree," is a beautiful love dance, or trance dance, where the hypnotized Rogers dances in a motionless manner with Astaire. While "Change Partners" is in slower tempo, it's one of the film's most memorable tune, it not, their most sentimental dance sequences. "Change Partners" earned an Academy Award nomination as Best Song.

Luella Gear, as Rogers' matron aunt, Cora, comes across as a middle-aged Kay Francis but speaking like Helen Broderick. Gear, in her movie debut, had very few films to her credit. She's reportedly best known for her role as Aunt Hortence in the stage version of THE GAY DIVORCE (1932) that starred Astaire. Ralph Bellamy, who by this time was usually type-cast as stuffy suitors, happens to be the most masculine of Rogers' rejected beaus thus far. His character, however, becomes very unlikable towards the second half, bogging down the story.

Rounding out the cast in smaller roles are Franklin Pangborn (Roland Hunter); and Hattie McDaniel (Hattie, the maid); and Kay Sutton (Miss Adams). Clarence Kolb takes support as the no-nonsense Judge Joe Travers, Stephen's friend who pleasure himself by telling corny jokes. Although credited, the Robert B. Mitchell and the St. Brendan's Boy Choir seem to have become victims of the editing process consider how they're nowhere to be seen, only heard on the soundtrack singing "Change Partners" near the film's close.

In spite of numerous pros and cons, CAREFREE ranks the team's most underrated film as shortest (83 minutes). It's occasionally funny in spots with imaginable, if not too successful, dance numbers. Other than CAREFREE being available on video cassette and DVD, and formerly found on American Movie Classics prior to 2001, it turns up occasionally (with close casting credits restored) on Turner Classic Movies. Next in the Astaire and Rogers series, THE STORY OF VERNON AND IRENE CASTLE (1939). (***)


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