Also featuring: Eric Blore
Produced by: Lou Brock, Merian C. Cooper (Executive)
Choreographed by: Dave Gould, Hermes Pan (Assistant)
Words and Music by: Edward Eliscu, Gus Kahn, Vincent Youmans
Cinematographer: J. Roy Hunt
Production Company: RKO
Premiere: New York, December 21, 1933
Synopsis (from VideoHound's Golden Movie Retriever 2001): The first Astaire-Rogers musical, although they are relegated to supporting status behind Del Rio and Raymond. Still, it was enough to make them stars and a team that epitomises the height of American musical films. The slim story revolves around singer Del Rio's two suitors and receives a splendid, art deco production. Showgirls dancing on plane wings in flight provides another memorable moments. (2½ out of 4)
This movie is incredibly dated. Unlike The Gay Divorcee, for example, which has a timeless appeal, this movie includes all the cinematic tricks that moviegoers of the day found appealing and novel, thus firmly stamping the date and time of a certain era upon it.
To watch this movie is to realise the huge impact Fred had on musicals. Present are numerous jarring cuts in the musical numbers, ridiculously placed gimmick shots, pointless reaction shots, and they don't even let Fred and Ginger stay onscreen long enough to finish dancing. Fred firmly reined in all the excesses once he had control of his pictures.
However, the patient watcher will find two and a half numbers worth watching- "Music Makes Me" and "Carioca", plus the bit of "Flying Down To Rio" with Fred in it- plus the raciest of Fred's musicals, this having been made before the Hayes Office was confident enough to throw its weight around (Observe Ginger's dress in her rendition of "Music Makes Me". Ooh la la.) Whether that is good or bad is up to you!