“We’re about the only two people in the world who don’t think we’re married.”
A ballet dancer (Fred Astaire) smitten with a popular musical comedy star (Ginger Rogers) pursues her onboard an ocean liner, where the pair are mistakenly identified as married.
Genres, Themes, Actors, and Directors:
- Fred Astaire Films
- Ginger Rogers Films
- Mistaken or Hidden Identities
Response to Peary’s Review:
Peary accurately notes that this seventh on-screen pairing of Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers — featuring a “silly plot” about dancers “mistaken for marrieds” — is “not great, but… enjoyable”. Edward Everett Horton’s performance (as Astaire’s manager) almost satirically epitomizes the type of flustered character he became known for in the series, while Eric Blore has fun in a bit role as a moralistic hotel manager valiantly attempting to determine whether Astaire and Rogers really are married or not. The film’s highlights, naturally, are when Astaire and Rogers dance and/or sing “to the songs of George and Ira Gershwin”, including “‘They All Laughed’, ‘They Can’t Take That Away From Me’…, ‘Let’s Call the Whole Thing Off’ — during which Astaire and Rogers are on roller skates — and ‘Shall We Dance’.” Indeed, the score itself almost makes it must-see from a cultural perspective (though I suppose one could simply watch clips of each song or dance separately on YouTube). While it’s hard to choose, I’d say my all-time favorite of the bunch is Astaire’s solo dance to “Slap That Bass”, taking place in a boiler room; watching just a few seconds of rehearsal footage from this number made me appreciate all over again exactly how much of a joyfully limber-footed genius Astaire really was.
Redeeming Qualities and Moments:
- Creative opening titles
- Astaire’s solo dance to “Slap That Bass”
- Astaire and Rogers’ dance to (and duet of) “Let’s Call the Whole Thing Off”
- Astaire crooning “They Can’t Take That Away From Me” to Rogers
- Typically fine Art Deco sets by Van Nest Polglase
- George and Ira Gershwin’s incomparable score
No, though it’s definitely worth a look just for the songs and dances (naturally).