Produced by: Pandro S. Berman
Written by: Marian Ainslee, Guy Endore, Dudley Nichols, Ernest Pagano, Allan Scott, Hagar Wilde
Choreographed by: Hermes Pan
Cinematography: Robert De Grasse
Words and Music by: Irving Berlin
Production Company: RKO
Premiere: New York, September 22, 1938
Synopsis (from VideoHound's Golden Movie Retriever 2001): Dizzy radio singer Rogers can't make up her mind about beau Bellamy, so he sends her to analyst Astaire. Seems she can't even dream a little dream until shrink Astaire prescribes that she ingest some funny food, which causes her to dream she's in love with the Fredman. Au contraire, says he, it's a Freudian thing, and he hypnotically suggests that she really loves Bellamy. The two line up to march down the aisle together, and Fred stops dancing long enough to realise he's in love with Ginger. A screwball comedy with music. (3 out of 4)
After Shall We Dance, the Fred and Ginger formula was radically changed to stop the box office decline of the team (I'm guessing). Both this movie and the next weren't successful domestically. Still, they offer us a good look at new ways in which Fred and Ginger could interact.
I think Carefree is an extremely fun movie, and one in which we Ginger's tremendous comedic abilities exploited fully for the first time. The dancing is good, too. "The Yam" travels more than any other dance they did, going through the entire country club. The ending, with Ginger leaping over Fred's propped leg, is a highlight. Fred's golf solo is inventive and he displays considerable golf skill- Tiger Woods, eat your heart out! The "Change Partners" dance shows off Fred's amazing hands and his telepathic partnership with Ginger. And "I Used To Be Colorblind" is a wonderfully dreamy dance .
That being said, the ending confused me. Wouldn't Dr. Flagg get disbarred for marrying his patient? In fact, the whole psychology angle is silly, typical of Hollywood and the public's perception in those days of the whole profession as hypnotists and mind-readers.
I think this movie is actually Ginger's movie, given how she has so much comedic latitude. Also this movie is representative of Fred's inital failure on his own. The failure of Damsel in Distress led to the decision to film in black and white instead of colour (undermining "Colourblind") and also the change in formula was an effort to move Fred away from the old formula. Still, a good movie.