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Carefree [DVD]

4.8 out of 5 stars 38 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Actors: Fred Astaire, Ginger Rogers, Ralph Bellamy, Luella Gear, Jack Carson
  • Directors: Mark Sandrich
  • Writers: Allan Scott, Dudley Nichols, Ernest Pagano, Guy Endore, Hagar Wilde
  • Producers: Pandro S. Berman
  • Format: PAL
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Classification: Unrated (US MPAA rating. See details.)
  • Run Time: 83 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (38 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00005JOCO

Product Description

From Amazon.co.uk

Perhaps because it was Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers's penultimate picture together for RKO, or perhaps because it is more romantic comedy than musical, Carefree tends to be a neglected entry in the series. This is unfortunate, because it retains many of the elements that made the duo so popular while also breaking new ground. Fred plays Tony Flagg, a psychoanalyst who is asked by his friend Steve (Ralph Bellamy) to try to figure out why his fiancée, Amanda Cooper (Ginger), keeps breaking off their engagement. During the course of treatment, and in a reversal of the usual pattern, Ginger falls for Fred and begins to pursue him. The emotionally repressed doctor resists, leading to a number of comic encounters, as well as a moment of genuine heartbreak. Other innovations include Fred's dance on a driving range, a slow-motion dream sequence (which was going to be shot in color until budget concerns won out), Fred and Ginger's first screen kiss, and some of Ginger's best turns as a comic actress. More familiar elements include Ginger fronting the band at the start of a large company dance number ("The Yam," which failed to catch on as a dance craze), an expert if skimpy Irving Berlin score including the lovely ballad "Change Partners," and of course fabulous, high-flying dancing. Fred and Ginger fans can't afford to miss Carefree. --David Horiuchi --This text refers to an alternate DVD edition.

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

By MFL VINE VOICE on 4 Jun. 2003
Format: VHS Tape
With the diminishment in the popularity of the Astaire-Rogers musicals in the late 1930s, RKO had to reinvent the formula. Fred made 'A Damsel in Distress' and Ginger made two straight scting films between 'Carefree' and its precedent, and the Rogers films were the more popular. Therefore, Ginger was given a stronger acting role in their next film together, with Astaire playing the smaller role of a psychiatrist. The result is splendid. It's a shame that the number 'I used to be Colour Blind' was not filmed in colour as originally intended, but it is nonetheless breathtaking. 'The Yam' is typically spirited, but the real joy of this film is the melancholically romantic 'Change Partners', one of Irving Berlin's best songs. Romance, comedy worthy of Katherine Hepburn, and dancing are combined to make the last great teaming of Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers.
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Format: VHS Tape
CAREFREE differs from the style of the famous dancing duo's (Astaire and Rogers) previous films in many ways. Firstly, it is more of a screwball comedy than a musical with only 4 musical numbers. It has a very straight forward story line than they're other films and also Ginger becomes the lead in the film instead of Fred. What the film lacks in musical numbers is replaced by comedy and is probably the funniest of the duo's films. However, the two superb numbers "I used to be colour blind" and "The Yam" really make this another dazzling Astaire-Rogers film.
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Format: VHS Tape
Look at Amazon's description of the whole movie, I'm going to write about my favourite scenes!

My favourite scene in this movie is the 'golf ball dancing sequence!'

The track is called 'Loch Lomond Swing' - Chapter 5.

I've got this movie as part of The Fred And Ginger collection - volume 1.

About a year ago, my dad told me about this golf ball dancing sequence he'd seen several years ago, probably in 1987 when Fred Astaire died.

My dad really wanted to see this one sequence again, and I was interested to see it too!

I remember believing I'd found it when I first purchase 'Holiday Inn' which had the sequence called 'Puttin on the Ritz' in the special features section, it's on the film called 'Blue Skies' which is a region 1 film, my dvd player is multi-region so I'm able to play it!

This sequence has Fred using a walking stick as a golf club and hitting imaginary golf balls! I was disappointed when I'd gotten dad and mum to sit down and watch this finding out it wasn't the sequence dad was looking for but he enjoyed the 'Puttin on the Ritz' sequence anyway!

One evening I was trying to find out on the internet which film had this golf ball dancing sequence. Eventually I went onto Google and typed in something like 'Fred Astaire - golf ball dancing' and found it was on the film 'Carefree!' Which I was sure I'd already got!

And found this film on my Fred and Ginger collection!

I found the sequence, I was practically crying because I knew this must be what my dad was looking for!

This time I told dad I've found the sequence, last time I didn't tell him, I just got dad and mum to sit down to surprise them thinking Puttin on the Ritz was the right one!
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By A Customer on 13 Jan. 2003
Format: VHS Tape
This is my favorite Fred and Ginger entry and is actually quite different than their standard if entertaining musical/dance films that preceded it. Those great elements are still here but are fewer and interspersed between some nice screwball comedy that finally got to showcase Ginger's comedic talents. Fred is great to, but this one is really Ginger's film, and she shines.
Tony (Fred) is a psychiatrist trying to do his pal Stephen (Ralph Bellamy) a favor by seeing his fiance Amanda (Rogers, who is a radio singer) so he can figure out why she's called off their wedding three times! She blows Fred off as a quack when she overhears a transcription he's done which is less than flattering but finally gives in and agrees to let Fred disect her dreams so he can see what's wrong with her.
A meal of lobster and mayonaise and a lot of other things make her dream alright! In her dream she's dancing and in love, but it's not Stephen but Tony in her dream! Amanda can't tell Tony of course, and when he threatens to stop seeing her she makes up a dream that would keep ten psychiatrists busy and the fun begins.
Rogers was wonderful in this film and it was the impetus for her very successful solo career. This light screwball comedy has some terrific moments. It's hilarious as Ginger walks out while being hypnotized thinking she does love Bellamy and going after Fred with a shotgun, thinking he deserves to die like a dog! Like Fred tells Bellamy as they run after her, "She's in a trance, she may even act, a little odd!"
During the dream sequence they get to dance to "I Used to be Color-Blind" and later on at a party they do "The Yam" in a very fun scene. But Ginger and the screwball comedy take top billing in this one, making it one of their best.
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Astaire and Rogers' last RKO picture aspired to be something of a cross between their established 'rom-dance' format and a screwball comedy. As a hybrid it's a little uneven; some of this is down to the rather flat direction by Mark Sandrich, but Irving Berlin's score fails to lift the proceedings with its usual aplomb, even though it contains two of his most famous songs, 'I Used to be Colour Blind' and 'Change Partners'. Both stars get a solo spot, and both spots flag in comparison to their joint sequences: Ginger's number is 'The Yam', a silly attempt to introduce a silly new dance named after the sweet potato of the same name. Fred's 'golf routine' lacks sparkle, even though esteemed choreographer Hermes Pan may have had a hand in it. That all said, 'Carefree' provides 90minutes of very enjoyable viewing.
However, mention should be made of the fact that this Region 2 PAL format version `Carefree' does not seem sourced directly from an original print or negative of the film, but looks like it's been transferred from a 525-lines NTSC (US) -standard intermediate video master, which means that picture and sound quality are noticeably downgraded; the same fate seems to have befallen my Universal Region 2 issue of Fred and Ginger's previous RKO outing 'Follow the Fleet'. Universal DVD ought to be ashamed of itself for presenting such classic cinema in such an inferior form. For this reason alone I deduct one star from my Amazon rating.
There's no technical reason to issue old movies in this way, except to save the expense of re-scanning the film for the 625-line PAL standard, and then applying the standard restorative processes. Ironically, the DVD's production team accords itself onscreen credits at the end of the film, including namechecks for the two companies that provided restoration and audio processing services.
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