By JASON BEAM
This is what fans consider the best Fred Astaire/Ginger Rogers movie, and it’s easy to agree as I sit here watching them dance through the Irving Berlin songbook. As in all of their films, the two are a joy to watch. They’re everything you love about a 30′s era musical: romantic, funny, flawless. Even alone, Fred can’t keep from dancing and you don’t want him to stop; his footwork is just fast as his witticism. He’s a cocky show off, and I wouldn’t want him any other way. Ginger is the same way by looking absolutely glamorous while being just as snobbish. But no matter how mean their remarks may get, they still make us laugh with their charm.
As for the plot, I won’t go into it because it is just a loose thread to connect dance scenes, but who watches a musical for the plot anyway? If you’re even watching this movie, you’re just waiting for the two to cut a rug. You don’t watch a John Wayne movie for the plot, you watch it for the Duke (Richard Lester understood this when he made A Hard Day’s Night).
The best scene is a long and beautiful one in which Fred and Ginger are climatically dancing to the sweet number “Cheek to Cheek”. It’s worth waiting for and when it comes, it takes your breath away.
Directed by: Mark Sandritch
Starring: Fred Astaire, Ginger Rogers, Erik Rhodes, Eric Blare, Helen Broderick.
1935. Black and White.
Run-time: 101 minutes