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60 of 60 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Pure entertainment
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...
Published on 7 Mar. 2007 by Mykool

versus
3.0 out of 5 stars fun time
I bought this for my son and daughter (7 & 4) to see something classic - they like music and dance - but I forgot old movies have different values - lots of smoking and the theme features a lot of gambling - so I enjoyed it - the dancing is electric - but not quite what I had in mind for my kids !
Published 13 months ago by 2swedes


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60 of 60 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Pure entertainment, 7 Mar. 2007
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This review is from: Swing Time [DVD] (DVD)
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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23 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Sprinkled with Stardust, 4 Dec. 2007
By 
Chuck E (UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Swing Time [DVD] (DVD)
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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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A toe-tappin' feast with Astaire and Rogers, 4 Jun. 2003
This review is from: Swing Time [VHS] (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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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Not to be carried away, but this is one of the best musicals Hollywood has ever produced, 9 April 2008
By 
C. O. DeRiemer (San Antonio, Texas, USA) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Swing Time [DVD] (DVD)
"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.
Someday,
When I'm awfully low
And the world is cold,
I will feel a glow just thinking of you
And the way you look tonight.

Yes, you're lovely
With your smile so warm
And your cheek so soft.
There is nothing for me but to love you
Just the way you look tonight.

With each word your tenderness grows,
Tearing my fear apart.
And that smile that wrinkles your nose,
Touches my foolish heart.

Lovely,
Never, never change.
Keep that breathless charm.
Won't you please arrange it, 'cause I love you
Just the way you look tonight...
Just the way you look tonight.
Astaire is at the piano singing this while Rogers is in the next room washing her hair, not feeling too beautiful and with suds all over her head. As a declaration of affection and love, it's tender, romantic and funny. For once the Academy Awards got things right. It won the 1936 Oscar for best song.

"Waltz in Swing Time" is a lush, romantic ballroom dream, with Astaire and Rogers showing their incomparable stuff on a nightclub dance floor. There's no song or words, just an incredible series of melodies built by Hal Borne from themes provided by Kern, Robert Russell Bennett and Borne. Even if you know nothing about dance, and I'm one, Astaire and Rogers are mesmerizing.

"A Fine Romance" is a rueful romantic comedy number sung by Rogers in the snow, while Astaire tries to discourage her affections.

"Bojangles of Harlem," danced in blackface by Astaire as a tribute to Bill Robinson, features incredible tap dancing. And it may be the only blackface number watchable today without flinching. Astaire gives it to us in three parts; a production tap number with a chorus line of dancers, a tap routine with Astaire and three of his shadows and then a single tap routine. In the last part, try to keep track of the syncopated, complicated coordination of shoe taps and hand clappers that Astaire manages without showing an iota of effort.

"Never Gonna Dance" is one of the great stories of broken romance told in dance. It's played out in bold steps and sweeps, up a dramatic stairway and across gleaming black floors. Here's that word again...extraordinary.

If I had to list the Hollywood musicals I like best they'd be Swing Time, Top Hat, Love Me Tonight, Singin' in the Rain and The Band Wagon. It's not surprising that Astaire has three of them. In a way, Swing Time and Top Hat give as good a view as anything of what Hollywood's Thirties sophistication was all about. This is a world where Fred wears a dinner jacket or tails as effortlessly as you or I might wear slacks, where Ginger has gowns that are memorably stylish (just look at the feathered number she wears dancing "Cheek to Cheek" in Top Hat), where fancy nightclubs feature brilliantined floors and apartments are all white and all Art Deco, where Ginger wisecracks and Fred charms. It's a world long gone, but at least we have Swing Time on DVD. My copy is a Region One from the Astaire & Rogers Collection, Volumes One and Two, and can be bought separately. The Region One of Swing Time looks first class on DVD and has some interesting extras. The commentary track is by John Mueller, the author of Astaire Dancing. It and Arlene Croce's The Fred Astaire & Ginger Rogers Book are essential reading for fans of Astaire. I couldn't find any mention of extras or Mueller's commentary on the Region Two Swing Time release. If there isn't anything, it might be a good reason to buy an all-region DVD player.
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Almost faultless, 31 Oct. 2007
By 
Partisan (West Yorkshire United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Swing Time [DVD] (DVD)
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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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Pure Class, 3 Mar. 2004
By A Customer
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This review is from: Swing Time [VHS] (VHS Tape)
In my opinion this is easily the best of the Astaire and Rogers films.
It follows the basic Fred and Ginger formula - boy meets girl, boy falls for girl but she doesn't return the sentiment, boy wins girl over with song and dance - but the thing that lifts it head and shoulders above the rest (yes, even Top Hat) is the perfect balance of comedy with the best song and dance routines the pair ever commited to film. There are no dud numbers, no tiresome sub-plots that make you want to reach for the FFD button, just one classic after another and some genuinely amusing moments.
I'll simply never tire of watching it.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Sheer Heaven..., 29 Sept. 2011
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This review is from: Swing Time [DVD] (DVD)
This DVD is sheer bliss for me,it's a trip to heaven personified!! Firstly,bearing in mind that the original film is pushing nearly eighty years of age,the quality and clarity of the picture beggars belief! And the sound quality is equally as good. I totally forgot the worries and upsets of everyday events that watching the television news (or listening to the radio equivalent) engenders. I put the DVD in,pressed 'play' and simply wallowed in the sheer magic of watching Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers dancing together! No bad (sorry,strong) language;no smut;no gratuitous sex,just a happy film that leaves the viewer feeling GOOD!! And the music...Jerome Kern at his very best,with evergreen tunes such as: 'The way you look tonight';'A fine Romance;'Pick yourself up' et al. My advice,for what it's worth:buy this DVD and simply enjoy...
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fine duo, fine romance, really really fine film., 14 April 2013
By 
Spike Owen "John Rouse Merriott Chard" (Birmingham, England.) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Swing Time [DVD] (DVD)
Gambler and dancer, John "Lucky" Garnett (Fred Astaire) is engaged to Margaret Watson, being of care free mind, and not a little gullible, John is hopelessly late for the wedding. Margaret's father is furious and demands that John go out into the real world and earn $25,000 to prove he has enough wits about him to do credit to the impending marriage. John and his trusty sidekick Pop Cardetti hit New York City, pretty soon John meets Penny Carroll (Ginger Rogers, after a less than favourable earlier meeting) at a dance school, after the initial hostilities from Penny subside, it's apparent that both John & Penny are a dynamite dance act, it's also obvious that both of them are starting to fall for each other, just what will their respective partners think of that then?

I sat down to watch Swing Time and within five minutes I had a big smile on my face, that smile was to stay there right to the second the picture had finished, rest assured that Swing Time is most definitely a film to cherish. Of all the ten musicals that Fred Astaire & Ginger Rogers made together, Swing Time leads the way as being the most magical. Sure the likes of Top Hat may have more vitality to it, but Swing Time just comes together so well, from the wonderful numbers and routines, to the feeling that this couple were hatched from the same egg, it really is a marvellous piece of uplifting cinema to witness a pair of performers so in tune with each other.

The plot set up is straight forward, and we of course lurch from one amiable plot turn to another, but we know that it's all coming together to entertain us via the presentation of its musical numbers. Music and lyrics come courtesy of Jerome Kern and Dorothy Fields, and they are corkers, Pick Yourself Up, The Way You Look Tonight, Waltz In Swing Time, Never Gonna Dance and the brilliant A Fine Romance. But the crowning glory, and a sequence that should rank high in any list of great cinematic moments, is Astaire doing Bojangles Of Harlem, with black face makeup on (no offensive caricature here), the sequence builds to a pinnacle that sees Astaire dancing in triplicate with rear projection versions of himself, fabulous.

Wonderfully directed by George Stevens, whose real father appears in the film as Margaret's enraged father, and containing two great support performances from Victor Moore as Everett 'Pop' Cardetti & Helen Broderick as Mabel Anderson, Swing Time doesn't so much swing, it actually flows along like a perfectly formed ripple on a sea of joy. I feel sorry for those who have an aversion to musicals because they are sure to miss out, not only the wonderful artistry on show here, but also a film that can pick you up out of your doldrums. 9/10
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5.0 out of 5 stars Silly to Sublime -- Or Swinging -- In Seconds, 27 Aug. 2013
By 
Stephanie De Pue (Wilmington, NC USA) - See all my reviews
(TOP 1000 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Swing Time [DVD] (DVD)
SWING TIME. Okay, let's make one thing clear: the ten movies Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers made, for RKO Radio Pictures, as it was then called, all have silly plots, and SWING TIME is no exception. But they are what they are, and all there is.

SWING TIME's plot, if you can call it that, as cobbled together by Astaire's frequent writer/collaborators, Howard Lindsay and Allan Scott, revolves around cuffs on striped pants. But, as produced by Pandro S. Berman, who threw enough money at the screen for Astaire pictures -- the sets are lovely, cool, black and white, shadowed art nouveau creations; and as directed by Oscar-winning George Stevens, the plot keeps perking along for a swift 104 minutes. Music, by Jerome Kern, with lyrics by Dorothy Fields, ranges from the happy "Pick Yourself Up," to the sublime, Oscar-winning "The Way You Look Tonight," and the moving "Never Gonna Dance." And then there's the dancing, never matched, never bettered.

Astaire and Rogers were still relatively new together at this point: Katherine Hepburn memorably quipped that he brought her class; she brought him sex appeal. But, having lost his first partner, his sister Adele, in a marriage to English nobility -- see ROYAL WEDDING -- Astaire was reluctant to be assigned a steady partner again. The leads are backed by regulars from Astaire's Broadway, and vaudeville past. Victor Moore,(The Heat's On), reprises his many comic roles, as do Eric Blore, (Sullivan's Travels), and Helen Broderick,( Born Yesterday ): and why was her character always called Madge or Mabel? A young Betty Furness,(Magnificent Obsession), makes one of her few big screen appearances, before getting chummy with Frigidaire. Georges Metaxa,(Hi Diddle Diddle ), plays the usual Erik Rhodes part, as the swarthy suitor who loses Rogers to Astaire.

It's said that, great composer that he was, Kern didn't swing, and that's what Astaire always wanted from him. But Kern and Astaire surely swing in the great "Bojangles" number, with those dancing shadows on the curtains behind the hoofer. But beware, the politically correct: Astaire, not really that long out of vaudeville at this point, dons blackface for this. I think you can manage it.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Good, 1 Nov. 2009
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This review is from: Swing Time [DVD] (DVD)
It is the day of Lucky Garnett's (Fred Astaire) marriage to Margaret (Betty Furness). He misses it as his pals connive to delay him and when he arrives at Margaret's house to explain, he leaves vowing to return when he has made $25,000. He goes to New York to make his fortune gambling where he meets a dance teacher Penny (Ginger Rogers). From this moment, he does his best to ensure that he doesn't make the required amount of money so that he doesn't have to return to his fiancee. He spends all his time with Penny............however, Margaret pays him an unexpected visit...........

The songs and dances are very good in this film. They include 3 dance numbers together, 2 with the songs "Pick Yourself Up" sung by Ginger Rogers and "Never Gonna Dance" sung by Fred Astaire, and the other is the "Waltz In Swing Time". The other songs included are "The Way You Look Tonight" sung by Fred and "A Fine Romance" sung by Ginger and Fred. There is also a solo Fred song-and-dance routine with chorus-girls called "Bojangles Of Harlem" which is done in black-face - politically incorrect but marvellously innovative.

The film is only let down by a few of the support players - Victor Moore who plays "Pop" is very irritating (horrible whiny voice) as is Abe Reynolds who has a small part as a tailor (very unconvincing and not at all funny even though he plays for humour). If you can get past these idiots, the film is entertaining and will draw you in to a world of black-and-white romance and make-believe with some great songs and dancing by Astaire and Rogers.
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