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The Story of Vernon and Irene Castle (1939)

Approved | | Biography, Drama, Musical | 29 March 1939 (USA)
The story of the dancing team who taught the world to two-step.


H.C. Potter


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




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 ... 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


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


Approved | See all certifications »

Did You Know?


Opening credits: In a fabulous and beloved era, near enough to be warmly remembered, two bright and shining stars, VERNON and IRENE CASTLE, whirled across the horizon with the hearts of all who loved to dance. This is their story. See more »


Walter, the Footes' and later the Castles' servant / factotum was, in reality, a black man. See more »


Vernon Castle: We've got our health, we're young, we're in Paris, we're on our honeymoon, what more do we want?
See more »


Featured in 1939: Hollywood's Greatest Year (2009) See more »


Missouri Waltz
Written by John Valentine Eppel (1914)
Arranged by Frederick Knight Logan
Waltz medley: Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers
See more »

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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Release Date:

29 March 1939 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Story of Vernon and Irene Castle See more »


Box Office


$1,196,000 (estimated)
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Company Credits

Production Co:

RKO Radio Pictures See more »
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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Victor System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »

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