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The Story of Vernon and Irene Castle [DVD]
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The great Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers star in this fascinating biopic as the greatest ballroom dance team of the first half of the 20th Century: Vernon and Irene Castle. In the years from 1913 to 1917 this phenomenal dancing pair swept the world with their mastery of dancing and quickly became celebrities of high society. When Vernon, who was only hired to be a comic actor, gets stuck in Paris, he meets Irene and they become a dancing pair. Their agent Maggie Sutton (Edna Mae Oliver) gets them the breaks that make Vernon and Irene figures of social change with ballroom dancing regaining popularity and their creation of `the Castle Walk` dance step. This all-star cast featuring Walter Brennan also has Oscar Hammerstein composing the music.
a good movie with enough enjoyable moments for any Astaire-Rogers fan --filmsgraded.com
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Top Customer Reviews
Astaire and Rogers tell the story of Vernon and Irene Castle, who set dance and fashion trends all across Europe and America during a more innocent time in the world. Their's was a story of love, humor and dance. But when what they had always dreamed of was within their reach, the world intruded in a way which could not have been anticipated. Astaire and Rogers have never been so real as in this nostalgic and gentle ode to love and innocence.
Based on Irene Castle's stories, "My Husband" and "My Memories of Vernon Castle," the adaptation by Oscar Hammerstein II and Dorothy Yost was turned into a screenplay by Richard Sherman. Ginger's costumes were created by the real Irene Castle, and the Castle's love hangs over this film like a soft velvet fog. H. C. Potter's direction is minimal, allowing Fred and Ginger to say so long through the story of Vernon and Irene.
It begins in 1911, when Vernon, a second comic for Lewis Fields, is chasing after another actress. She ditches him at the beach, and a drowning little dog will bring Irene Foot and Vernon Castle together for the first time. Walter Brennen is wonderful as the crusty and protective Walter.Read more ›
Based on Irene's biographical book "My Husband and My Memories of Vernon Castle" ,directed by H. C. Potter, and written by Oscar Hammerstein II, Dorothy Yost and Richard Sherman, this film is a fine tribute to this amazing couple and with its bitter-sweet ending is the best Astaire and Rogers film.
`Castle' is a wonderfully emotional film that lifts you up during the romance and rise of the Castle couple, only to leave you crying towards the end. As a melodrama it works perfectly, Astaire and Rogers were famed for their onscreen chemistry and `Castle' represents one of the best examples of this. I always found it a little strange that the odd looking Astaire always used to get the beautiful and funny Rogers, but for some reason they just click and you let it go. Both actors are great in the film as dramatists and dancers. There is genuine humour in their relationship and the dancing is based on the real life couples work so is also brilliant.
The problems with the film are few, but surround the ending. As this is a slice of American propaganda it does have the noble sacrifice ending that is in keeping with the film, but is laid on a little to thickly for my liking. Despite this small drop into smaltz the overall film is a lovely watch - all singing and dancing.
Unusual for musicals of the time, the story is very believable. Perhaps, because it was written by Irene Castle and not a Broadway/Hollywood team of writers.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Having read the Castle's Biography I enjoyed Ginger & Fred's portrayal of them.Published 17 months ago by Mrs Rachael Felstead