Review: Swing Time (1936)

Every Thursday night I host a classic film series where I play Robert Osbourne for the evening and talk about the greatest movies ever made. This week’s film was Swing Time.

Swing Time is perhaps the finest of all the Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers collaborations. It is the story of Lucky,a vaudeville performer, played by Astaire, who is tricked into missing his wedding and in order to marry his fiancee he must make $25, 000. To earn the money, he ventures off to New York. Here he meets, Penny, a dance instuctor, played by Ginger Rogers. Lucky and Penny end up as dance partners and love interests. But of course their happiness together never really begins because both of their fiances come back to haunt them.

Swing Time is a fun dance musical (much more dance than musical) that really shares the talents of Astaire and Rogers. It combines witty humor and lovely songs to create a wonderful movie. (The song, “The Way You Look Tonight” won an Oscar in 1937 for Best Song and is ranked #43 on AFI’s Greatest Songs List.)

Take it from someone who never truly enjoys musicals, any opportunity to watch the two of them dance is worth it. Sometimes, I’ll even fastfoward through the dialogue just to watch them dance. It is as though you are swept out onto the dance floor with them.

Updated October 6, 2010

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