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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

Blonde-haired Ginger Rogers was cast to portray brunette Irene Castle, a fashion trendsetter who became world famous for her short boyish bob. However, upon being cast in the role, Rogers adamantly refused to either bob or dye her hair. She also insisted upon wearing a contemporary 1939 hairstyle. Irene Castle's actual hairstyle and unique fashions can be seen in the earlier film, The Whirl of Life (1915). See more »

Goofs

When Vernon first meets Irene, the song By The Beautiful Sea is playing. This song was written in 1914. The Castles were married in 1911, which makes it impossible for this to be the song playing when they first met, as reiterated by Irene after learning of her husband's death. See more »


Soundtracks

Only When You're in My Arms
(1939)
by Con Conrad - Herman Ruby Bert Kalmar
Sung by Fred Astaire (uncredited)
End dance: Fred Astaire (uncredited) and Ginger Rogers (uncredited)
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Vernon and Irene
21 August 2005 | by jotix100See all my reviews

From all the films that Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers worked as a team, "The Vernon and Irene Castle Story" is perhaps the only one with a credible story line because it's based on real people. The film is basically Irene Castle's memoirs and it shows us the couple that got people to dance during the first part of the last century. The film, directed by H.C. Potter has some good moments in which the screen play by Dorothy West and Oscar Hammerstein, show us the couple in its heyday.

The Castles were an institution in the America of those years. We follow them throughout their years together and the people around them and we watch them performing some of the songs that were associated with them.

Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers do wonders with their characters. Edna May Oliver and the wonderful Walter Brennan shine in their roles. We get a small appearance by Lew Fields, the man responsible for the Castle's career in show business.

While most fans of Fred and Ginger will probably be looking to their usual big production numbers, the ones performed in this movie aren't up to par with whatever we have seen them do in previous films, but these actors make a delightful couple, as always.


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