HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
Newest Reviews
If Beale Street Could Talk
Raining in the Mountain
Day Shall Come, The
Scandal
Buzzard
Race for Your Life, Charlie Brown
Shaun the Sheep Movie: Farmageddon, A
Sons of Denmark
Light of My Life
Umbrellas of Cherbourg, The
Jerky Boys, The
Chambre en Ville, Une
Joker
Relaxer
Mustang, The
Baie des Anges, La
Ready or Not
Seven Days in May
Bliss
Hollywood Shuffle
Uncut Gems
Wilt
Daniel Isn't Real
Presidio, The
Curvature
Puzzle
Farewell, The
Challenge of the Tiger
Ad Astra
Winslow Boy, The
Pain and Glory
Judgment at Nuremberg
Rambo: Last Blood
Sansho the Bailiff
Iron Fury
Ride in the Whirlwind
Deathstalker II
Cloak and Dagger
Honeyland
Love Ban, The
   
 
Newest Articles
Demy-Wave: The Essential Jacques Demy on Blu-ray
The Makings of a Winner: Play It Cool! on Blu-ray
Sony Channel's Before They Were Famous: A Galaxy of Stars
Start Worrying and Hate the Bomb: Fail-Safe on Blu-ray
Completely Different: Monty Python's Flying Circus Series 2 on Blu-ray
Bash Street Kid: Cosh Boy on Blu-ray
Seeing is Believing: Being There on Blu-ray
Top Thirty Best (and Ten Worst) Films of the 2010s by Andrew Pragasam
Top of the Tens: The Best Films of the Decade by Graeme Clark
Terrorvision: A Ghost Story for Christmas in the 1970s
Memories Are Made of This: La Jetee and Sans Soleil on Blu-ray
Step Back in Time: The Amazing Mr. Blunden on Blu-ray
Crazy Cats and Kittens: What's New Pussycat on Blu-ray
No Place Like Home Guard: Dad's Army - The Lost Episodes on Blu-ray
A Real-Life Pixie: A Tribute to Michael J. Pollard in Four Roles
We're All In This Together: The Halfway House on Blu-ray
Please Yourselves: Frankie Howerd and The House in Nightmare Park on Blu-ray
Cleesed Off: Clockwise on Blu-ray
Sorry I Missed You: Les Demoiselles de Rochefort on Blu-ray
Silliest of the Silly: Monty Python's Flying Circus Series 1 on Blu-ray
Protest Songs: Hair on Blu-ray
Peak 80s Schwarzenegger: The Running Man and Red Heat
Rock On: That'll Be the Day and Stardust on Blu-ray
Growing Up in Public: 7-63 Up on Blu-ray
Learn Your Craft: Legend of the Witches and Secret Rites on Blu-ray
   
 
  Swing Time Taking A GambleBuy this film here.
Year: 1936
Director: George Stevens
Stars: Fred Astaire, Ginger Rogers, Victor Moore, Helen Broderick, Eric Blore, Betty Furness, Georges Metaxa, Frank Jenks, Landers Stevens
Genre: Musical, Comedy, Romance
Rating:  9 (from 1 vote)
Review: Professional dancer Lucky Garnett (Fred Astaire) is getting married today, and because he has had to perform this afternoon he is already late for the big occasion. However, his colleagues, including magician Pop (Victor Moore), don't want him to leave them and showbusiness just for the sake of love and do their best to delay him. They come up with an idea as Lucky gets changed: drawing cuffs onto the trousers of a picture of what the stylish man about town is wearing, they persuade him to wait until Pop returns from the tailor with his clothes. All the while his fiancée Margaret (Betty Furness) is growing impatient - soon the wedding will be called off and Lucky will have some explaining to do...

Perhaps the sweetest of all the Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers musicals, which is probably the reason Rogers named it as her favourite of their collaborations, Swing Time was notable for not having the couple at the beck and call of the usual misunderstandings in the script (here by Howard Lindsay and Allan Scott). They are at cross purposes to some extent, but largely this is down to Lucky trying not to fall in love with Rogers' Penny, a dance instructor he meets in New York. What is he doing there? Well, they don't call him Lucky for nothing and he's there to win his fortune gambling so the wedding can go ahead after all.

In just one of many breezy touches to the story, Lucky is left with only the clothes he stands up in (top hat and tails, naturally) when Pop, accompanying him, loses his suitcase. With but one lucky quarter to his name, our hero buys a pack of cigarettes for Pop, but ends up winning the jackpot when the cigarette machine dispenses cash like a one armed bandit, and so he can now get the quarter back from the woman he got change from. And she, of course, is Penny, leading to a mixup which sees her humiliated in the street by a policeman when Lucky tries to sort it out.

Ah, you may say, we know how this goes, he'll spend the rest of the film trying to win her around but actually it takes one dance so Penny can get her job back from boss Eric Blore to make her see that Lucky is the man for her. He sees their partnership turning professional so he can rustle up some cash, but she wants something more emotionally lasting, unaware that he has been promised to another. For the first half hour the film concentrates on the comedy - the original opening number was cut for reasons of time - but once Astaire and Rogers have finally performed together then a light and unexpectedly poignant romance develops.

That's not to say the laughs dry up, because they don't: Swing Time is a stylishly witty film though not above silliness (Astaire getting Rogers' lipstick on his face when he kisses her, for example). And the music is some of the greatest the duo ever were to sing, written by Jerome Kern with lyrics by Dorothy Fields, songs that are still well known today and receiving unbeatable interpretations: A Fine Romance, Pick Yourself Up and Astaire's sublime rendering of The Way You Look Tonight. The dancing, too, is unimpeachably terrific; watch especially for Astaire's solo Bojangles of Harlem, which may be unpalatable today for being enacted in blackface, yet look at the skill on display in what was a sincere tribute to Bill Robinson (this is where he dances with the three silhouettes of himself looming behind him). But really, both he and Rogers were rarely better and their screen relationship here is one of the most touching of any musical of any era.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

This review has been viewed 3743 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 
Review Comments (0)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which star is the best at shouting?
Arnold Schwarzenegger
Brian Blessed
Tiffany Haddish
Steve Carell
Olivia Colman
Captain Caveman
Sylvester Stallone
Gerard Butler
Samuel L. Jackson
Bipasha Basu
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
  Butch Elliot
Andrew Pragasam
Darren Jones
  Rachel Franke
Enoch Sneed
Paul Smith
Paul Shrimpton
   

 

Last Updated: