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Swing Time [DVD] [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC]

Fred Astaire , Ginger Rogers , Friz Freleng , George Stevens    DVD
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (46 customer reviews)
Price: £9.22
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Region 1 encoding (requires a North American or multi-region DVD player and NTSC compatible TV. More about DVD formats.)

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Frequently Bought Together

Swing Time [DVD] [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC] + Shall We Dance [DVD] [1937] + Top Hat [DVD] [1935]
Price For All Three: £19.06

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Product details

  • Actors: Fred Astaire, Ginger Rogers, Victor Moore, Helen Broderick, Eric Blore
  • Directors: Friz Freleng, George Stevens
  • Writers: Allan Scott, Anthony Veiller, Ben Holmes, Dorothy Yost, Erwin S. Gelsey
  • Format: Black & White, Closed-captioned, DVD-Video, Original recording remastered, Subtitled, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish, French
  • Region: Region 1 (US and Canada DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 4:3 - 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: Unrated (US MPAA rating. See details.)
  • Studio: Turner Home Ent
  • DVD Release Date: 16 Aug 2005
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (46 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0009NSCQM
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 236,311 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)



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 epitomises the jazz-age style of 1930s musicals, virtually defining the genre with graceful joie de vivre. --Jeff Shannon


The fifth sublime teaming of Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers, Swing Time is regarded by many as their finest film. The tenuous plot, which mainly serves to connect the brilliant dance numbers, concerns John Lucky Garnett (Astaire), a gambler and professional dancer. When Garnett arrives late to his wedding, his prospective father-in-law implements a punishment, insisting that Garnett raise twenty five thousand dollars before he can marry Margaret Watson (Betty Furness). Still in tails, he hops a freight for New York, where he gets involved in a scrape with dance instructor Penny Carrol (Rogers). After following her to the dance studio, Lucky poses as a neophyte in need of training. Penny's boss Gordon (Eric Blore), happens to witness Lucky's incompetence, in the 'Pick Yourself Up' number and is about to fire the young woman for nonperformance when Lucky launches into a dazzling display of terpsichorean skill. Impressed, the studio owner offers to get them an audition at the famed Silver Sandal nightclub. Arguably the peak of the Astaire-Rogers partnership, the dancers' nearly perfect blending of song, dance, wit, and decor only improves with time. Especially memorable are the subtly erotic tempo shifts of 'Never Gonna Dance' and the coruscating technical command of 'Bojangles Of Harlem', a tribute to the great African-American tap dancer.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
53 of 53 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Pure entertainment 7 Mar 2007
By Mykool
One of my favourites - the quintessential Astaire-Rodgers movie. If you don't "get" what is so great about Fred and Ginger, watch this. Astaire plays a professional dancer who turns up late for his wedding. The bride's father declares he can't marry his daughter until he earns $[...] Astaire heads for the city where he encounters Ginger Rodgers, they team up and become a successful dance partnership. Astaire inevitably falls in love with her and has to try to keep his earnings down to prevent his other marriage as well as keep his distance from Ginger! You can imagine the plot situations this creates. Songs premiered include such standards as "The way you look tonight" (given an ironic twist- watch and see) and "A fine romance" set in snowy wonderland, Ginger wondering why Fred is so cold. Their set piece at the end, "Never gonna dance" is so full of yearning and unfulfilled desire it's breathtaking. Ginger Rodgers is absolutely radiant throughout - there's no doubt she would be a star today as well. And Astaire just oozes charm. The film is very funny, with a very witty script and great comic support from Victor Moore and Helen Broderick who have their own off-beat romance. Top Comedy, top songs, top dance, top romance - top class!
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20 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Sprinkled with Stardust 4 Dec 2007
My favourite Astaire-Rogers outing. The dance sequences are just stupendous, through the sparkle of 'Pick Yourself Up', the stunning virtuosity of Astaire's solo Bojangles to the emotive 'Never Gonna Dance'. While Astaire has been recognised as one of the greatest dancers of the 20th century, what makes the partnership so potent is that Ginger won't play second fiddle to anyone, and it's this equality between the two that's so seductive. Add in some superb Art Deco sets, musical numbers like 'The Way You Look Tonight' and a supporting cast including Victor Moore, Helen Broderick and Eric Blore, and how can you give it less than 5 stars?

Complaining about the plot in A&R films is a bit like moaning about the queues at Alton Towers - you just have to put up with them if you want to experience the thrill of the rides. But the charm of the leads, and their enthusiastic supports carries you along.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A toe-tappin' feast with Astaire and Rogers 4 Jun 2003
By "zetajonesadmirer" VINE VOICE
Format:VHS Tape
The sheer brilliance and technical perfection of the Astaire-Rogers team has never been more apparent than in 'Swing Time', the peak of their achievement. The first time I saw the 'Pick Yourself Up' number was so breathtaking that I wound the film back three times and watched it again and again. It is a veritable feast of tap dancing finesse. You'll love the comical 'A Fine Romance', in which Ginger complains of the coldness of her relationship with Astaire whilst they are stranded in the snow, and the Jerome Kern classic 'The Way you Look Tonight' is given its first airing in Fred's inimitable rendition; the romance of the song is given an entertaining anti-climax when Rogers appears covered in shampoo! Also notable is Fred's only blackface number ever, 'Bojangles of Harlem', in which he dances with his silhouette. Good old-fashioned sentimental fun!
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Almost faultless 31 Oct 2007
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
The music and songs are of a quality unheard today and the dancing is matchless - they are both at their peak and Ginger Rogers never looked more stunning. Why not 5 stars? Simply the ending, which is too forced (and rather cruel?)but it doesn't detract from a film about which it can really be said that they don't, and probably couldn't, make them like that anymore - buy it and escape to a better world.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
"Listen," says exasperated dance teacher Penny Carroll to her two-left feet customer, Lucky Garnett, "No one could teach you to dance in a million years. Take my advice and save your money!"

We can't help smiling because Penny is played by Ginger Rogers, and the clumsy Lucky, who saw Penny on the street and was smitten, then finagled his way to the dance studio to meet her, is Fred Astaire. But Penny's boss overhears her comment and fires her on the spot. Lucky comes to the rescue. "Now, umm... how did you say that last step went?" he asks Penny. "Oh, yes!" And with that he swings her out to the dance floor and they launch into "Pick Yourself Up," one of the most expert and cheery fast tap polkas you'll ever hope to see.

Some say Swing Time is the best of the Astaire-Rogers movies. Other say that honor goes to Top Hat. I say, "Who cares?" Both are superb. For many, what sets Swing Time apart is the extraordinarily blending of the incomparable dancing and the rich Jerome Kern-Dorothy Fields songs. The book isn't much -- boy meets girl, boy loses girl, boy wins girl back. The usual suspects make up the comedy support, in this case Eric Blore as the dance studio owner, Helen Broderick (who was Broderick Crawford's mother) as Penny's best friend, and Victor Moore, who trails after Lucky.

For any musical to work, the leads must be special, the music must be extraordinary and the production numbers must be memorable. On any scale, in my opinion, Swing Time does it. Just look at the numbers. In addition to "Pick Yourself Up, there's...

"The Way You Look Tonight." If you can't hear the melody behind these words, you need to listen to more good music.
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