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The Story of Vernon and Irene Castle (1939)

Approved | | Biography, Drama, Musical | 29 March 1939 (USA)
The story of married couple Irene Castle and Vernon Castle, sensational ballroom dancers prior to World War I.

Director:

H.C. Potter

Writers:

Richard Sherman (screen play), Oscar Hammerstein II (adaptation) | 2 more credits »
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1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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 Rolfe Sedan ... Emile Aubel
Leonid Kinskey ... Artist
Robert Strange ... Dr. Foote
Douglas Walton ... Student Pilot
Clarence Derwent Clarence Derwent ... Papa Louis
Sonny Lamont ... Charlie
Frances Mercer ... Claire Ford
Victor Varconi ... Grand Duke
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Storyline

In 1911, Vernon Castle, minor comic in a stage revue, pursues the leading lady to a New Jersey beach...where, instead, he meets stage-struck Irene Foote. A few misadventures later, they're married; at Irene's insistence, they abandon comedy to attempt a dancing career, which attempt only lands them in Paris without a sou. Fortunately, agent Maggie Sutton hears them rehearse and starts them on their brilliant career as the world's foremost ballroom dancers. But at the height of their fame, World War I begins... Written by Rod Crawford <puffinus@u.washington.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

29 March 1939 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

La grande farandole See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$1,196,000 (estimated)

Gross USA:

$1,120,000

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$705,000
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 character of Maggie Sutton (played by Edna May Oliver) was based upon the Castles' openly lesbian manager, Elisabeth Marbury. She was the longtime companion and lover of gay socialite Lady Mendl. Due to the post-1934 Hays Code's rigid ban regarding on-screen homosexuality, the film omits Marbury's strident lesbianism and transforms her into an asexual matron. See more »

Goofs

In a French night club, Irene would have been introduced as Mademoiselle Vernon Castle. Not Mrs. Vernon Castle. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Edgemont: Moving Day (2005) See more »

Soundtracks

Way Down Yonder in New Orleans
(uncredited)
Written by Turner Layton (1922)
Lyrics by Henry Creamer
Sung briefly by chorus
Danced in medley by Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers
See more »

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User Reviews

 
The last of Fred and Ginger together at RKO
25 June 2015 | by AlsExGalSee all my reviews

The great irony here is that today, if the professional dancing team of Vernon and Irene Castle is remembered at all, it is because Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers played them in a movie. Plus,many people don't like "The Story of Vernon and Irene Castle", and just find it lacking something. This is probably because there is virtually no romantic conflict between the two in this film. Astaire & Rogers spend practically the entire film either allied or happily married. Because the two are happily married in the film, you're missing all of the fun of the misunderstandings, squabbling, and sexual tension of their other RKO starring vehicles. The conflict is first economic and professional as the pair struggled to get recognized as great dancers, and then there is World War I in which Vernon Castle, as an English native, feels compelled to enlist. The film is quite good, but it is very sentimental and atypical of Astaire & Rogers' other films. This was intended to be the pair's last film together, and was their last film together at RKO. It was just a series of accidental recasting decisions that led them to reunite in "The Barkleys of Broadway" at MGM ten years later, which was a big splash musical in the big splashy MGM tradition, quite different from their earlier films together.


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