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Swing Time

Fred Astaire , Ginger Rogers , Friz Freleng , George Stevens    NR (Not Rated)   DVD
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (25 customer reviews)
List Price: CDN$ 24.95
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Swing Time + Shall We Dance
Price For Both: CDN$ 39.34

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If you only had one Fred Astaire-Ginger Rogers film to watch, this classic musical from 1936 would be your best bet. It was the dance duo's sixth film together, and director George Stevens handled the material with as much flair behind the camera as Fred and Ginger displayed in front of it. This time out, Fred plays a gambling hoofer who's engaged to marry a young socialite (Betty Furness), but when he's late for the wedding his prospective father-in-law sends him away, demanding that he earn $25,000 before he can earn his daughter's hand in marriage. When Fred meets Ginger in a local dance studio (where he pretends to be a klutz so she can be his instructor), he's instantly smitten and the $25,000 deal becomes a moot point. Featuring six songs by Jerome Kern and Dorothy Fields (including a splendid rendition of "The Way You Look Tonight") and some of the most elegant dance sequences ever filmed, this lightweight fluff epitomizes the jazz-age style of 1930s musicals, virtually defining the genre with graceful joie de vivre. --Jeff Shannon

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Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
4.8 out of 5 stars
Most helpful customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars The Best of Fred and Ginger! May 28 2004
Format:VHS Tape
"Swing Time" is my very favourite out of all of the ten movies that Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers made together through 1933-1949. It was their sixth film together, released in 1936, and directed by the great George Stevens.
The songs in this movie were by Jerome Kern and Dorothy Field's. The songs included here are "Pick Yourself Up", "The Way You Look Tonight", "Bojangles of Harlem", "Never Gonna Dance", "A Fine Romance" and the instrumental "Waltz in Swing Time". Maybe the finest songs out of all the Fred and Ginger movies.
The movie is full of great dance numbers, which is what a Fred and Ginger movie is all about. The first dance scene in this movie, is to "Pick Yourself Up", with the two dancing together. Its easily one of the best tap-dances they ever did. Another dance, is to the "Waltz in Swing Time". Its a great piece of music, and its a great dance that the two do together. Although, the bandleader doesnt like seeing Ginger dance with another man, so he refuses to play. But Fred, as always, finds a way around these things. Then for the next dance, "Bojangles of Harlem". It opens with a whole load of girls dancing, where a minute or two into it, Fred comes along, in black-face, immitating Bill 'Bojangles' Robinson, and does most of the dance solo. Well, solo in a way. He is dancing with three shadows of himself in parts of it. A very long number, lasting approximately seven minutes. Then for the last dance in the movie, and maybe the best, "Never Gonna Dance". There are a number of stories behind the scene, which I wont go into, but lets just say they did this dance to perfection.
So just now a quick bit about the actual story of the movie.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Those Trousers! Jan. 8 2004
By JunQue
Format:VHS Tape
Since I first saw the last ten minutes of this movie on AMC, I've always wanted to own it. Now that I have it and have seen the entire thing, I can write a review about Swingtime, the pinnacle of the Astaire/Rogers movies.
What I absolutely loved about this film is, of course, the dancing and the singing. Ginger's witty remarks and Fred's good-natured boyish charm stands out in this wonderful film.
Fred Astaire is John 'Lucky' Garnett, a performer about to be married. Through a dilemma with his trousers and a rousing game of dice, he shows up late for his marriage. His future father-in-law cuts him a deal: he will let Lucky marry his daughter for $25,000. Lucky sets off for New York with his pal Pop, a lucky quarter, a toothbrush, and the clothes on his back. On the street he meets Penny (Rogers), who ends up getting in trouble with a policeman and almost fired from her boss at the dancing academy because of Lucky. Lucky comes to the rescue however, and soon they are paired together as a dancing couple. They end up falling in love, but before they can waltz their way up to the altar, a few loose ends need to be taken care of, mainly Lucky's fiance and Penny's fiance. It ends superbly. This movie includes one of my favorite songs, 'Never Gonna Dance', sung by a yearning Lucky to a troubled Penny.
The dancing is to die for, the singing to be heard over and over again. Fred and Ginger were one of the few magnificent couples to spring out of the Hollywood scene and rarely is that seen now. I guarantee, this movie won't disappoint. Your daily musical intake will be remedied by Swingtime.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Fred & Ginger--Always Gonna Dance! Aug. 7 2002
Format:VHS Tape
SWING TIME tells the story of John 'Lucky' Garnett (Fred Astaire), a brilliant dancer by profession, a truly fortunate gambler by instinct. When his marriage plans to Margaret Watson (Betty Furness) are temporarily foiled, he hops a train to New York with his sidekick Pop Everett (Victor Moore), hoping to earn enough money to satisfy his future father-in-law. What he finds there, however, is inevitably true love with Penny Carroll (Ginger Rogers), a sweetheart of a dance instructress who falls quickly for Lucky's charm and fast feet. Although Lucky feels guilty about his fiancee back home, he finds it difficult to deny his growing attraction to Penny.
It isn't really difficult to figure out how the story ends--it wouldn't be a Astaire/Rogers romantic-comedy-slash-musical if Lucky and Penny didn't end up together. But what makes this stand apart from TOP HAT, and in fact stand *proud* while doing so, is how that inevitable love story is told simply and effectively, and most importantly, in a credible fashion. While watching TOP HAT, I was too busy holding my breath at the sheer technical finesse involved in the dance sequences to really care that neither the characters nor their relationship with each other was very well-developed. Plot? What plot? It just really did not seem to matter with that film; what mattered was that we were treated to a gorgeously-choreographed song/dance sequence practically every other minute. (Which still does not make it a bad film, just a slightly uneven one that relies on the charm of its leads to succeed.
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Most recent customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Into the Primum Mobile!
The dancing in this film is of the highest order...and the pairing of Rogers and Astaire has never reached the heights of energy, complexity, creativity, and beauty. Read more
Published on Jan. 6 2008 by R. Bono
5.0 out of 5 stars Fred & Ginger...Classiest Hollywood Pair Ever
They really are. Arguably the most successful male/female non- romantic-Hollywood-coupling-in-real-life. They accomplished the impossible. Read more
Published on June 1 2004 by J
5.0 out of 5 stars what a film
Wow! what a terrific film. This deffinately among their best. Look at Ginger's face when she finds out that Fred can dance in the PICK YOURSELF UP number. what a look. Read more
Published on May 26 2004 by Steven L. Katz
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the Best Fred & Ginger Movies
Fred & Ginger makes dancing look so easy. This is one of their best films that they have made together. Read more
Published on March 12 2004 by CEF
5.0 out of 5 stars musical masterpiece
I had seen this movie on television before but I was able yesterday to see this movie in a theater run by the AFI and I'm glad I took advantage of the opportunity. Read more
Published on July 27 2003 by M. McLaughlin
4.0 out of 5 stars More great Rogers-Astaire entertainment
A perfectly charming Fred Astaire/Ginger Rogers comedy, with Fred as a ne'er-do-well bandleader who needs to raise a big bundle of dough to make himself an acceptable candidate to... Read more
Published on May 9 2003 by DJ Joe Sixpack
4.0 out of 5 stars Musical Heaven!
"Swing Time" was the first Astaire & Rogers movie I ever saw and I personally thought it was very good. The plot is quite homorous and cute, however, it is reather weak. Read more
Published on April 23 2003
5.0 out of 5 stars Tap Your Heels and Dance!
The dancing in this film is absolutely superb. Fred and Ginger make it look so effortlessly!
If you've never seen an Astaire-Rogers film, I suggest that you start out with... Read more
Published on March 9 2003 by a viewer
5.0 out of 5 stars One of Fred and Ginger's Three Essential Films
I can't quite agree with the editorial review, which indicated that this might be the one Astaire-Rogers musical to watch, if you could watch only one. Read more
Published on May 30 2002 by Robert Moore
5.0 out of 5 stars Dancing head-to-toe, as it was meant to be seen.
Know what I like about this one? It doesn't involve one frame of mistaken identity or a simple misunderstanding which takes an hour-and-a-half to resolve. Read more
Published on March 15 2002 by Chris Aldridge
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