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Directed by: George Stevens


Fred Astaire

John ''Lucky'' Garnett

Ginger Rogers

Penelope ''Penny'' Carroll

Victor Moore

Pop Everett

Helen Broderick

Mabel Anderson

Eric Blore


Betty Furness

Margaret Watson

George Metexa

Ricardo Romero

Produced by: Pandro S. Berman

Written by: Erwin S. Gelsey, Howard Lindsay, Allan Scott

Choreographed by: Hermes Pan

Cinematography: David Abel

Words and Music by: Dorothy Fields, Jerome Kern

Production Company: RKO

Premiere: New York, August 27, 1936

Synopsis (from VideoHound's Golden Movie Retriever 2001): Astaire, a dancer who can't resist gambling, is engaged to marry another woman, until he meets Ginger. One of the team's best efforts. Laserdisc version includes production photographs and stills, commentary on Fred Astaire and musical films, and excerpts from "Hooray For Love" featuring Bill "Bojangles" Robinson and Fats Waller. (3 out of 4)

P.J. Says:

I'm going to give away the ending in this review, so if you really don't want to know what happens, skip to the final word at the bottom. But then, you already know who's going to get the girl, don't you?

So, here goes.

If there's one thing I truly hate, its a movie that is resolved by a sudden change of heart by the bad guy, where he suddenly turns noble without motivation. Everyone is happy, the couple fade into the sunset with the erstwhile bad guy waving them off, and the screen fades to black.

Swing Time, unfortunately, is one of these movies. A pity, because until the final two minutes, it runs way ahead of Top Hat. The plot is cohesive, the direction is good, the acting is fine. George Metaxa make a more menacing villain than the buffoonish Erik Rhodes. The dances stand out, even in comparison to the rest of the series or even to all the movies. The soundtrack is inspired.

The movie even has Fred's first bit of camera trickery, as he dances with his shadows, faster and faster until even his shadows can't keep up.

If you can forgive the silly ending, you will find an incredible movie, infinitely rewatchable and tremendously enjoyable.

The final word:

Dancing value: 10/10
Acting value: 8/10
Entertainment value: 9/10

Overall Ranking: 8/31

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Last Updated on Thursday, 05 November 2009 11:44