Sunday, 5 July 2009

A Fred and Ginger Poll....

While on holiday I had an intersting debate with and old lady on the beach. I was walking along humming "Change Partners" and she stopped me and asked me why I was singing that song. My reply was that I loved Ginger, I loved musicals, I especially loved Carefree, and that it is a wonderful song. It emerged she was a Fred Astaire fan, but hated that particular film.

Anyway, the point of this anecdote was to explain the poll. Carefree is critically one of their less acclaimed movies. It didnt do well at the box office etc. I love it, but I wondered if I love it because Ginger gets to be the lead for once? I think its more than that, but I wanted to see what other Ginger fans thought of this film within the context of other Fred/Ginger films.

I allowed the option of multiple answers on the grounds that Swing Time is my favourite because it has more musical content than Carefree, which is my second favourite. So if you vote, you can vote for your top 2 or 3.

I apologize if anyone likes Flying DOwn to Rio best, I didnt include it because they have such a small part, even if it is show stealing and I didnt want the poll to be too epic in length. Roberta was included because even as second leads they play a significant part and have some brilliant dance numbers. The Barkelys I excluded as its such a dfferent film and a different era.

I'd love to hear your points of view!!

Beth xx


  1. to be honest it's been quite a while since i watched any of the Astair-Rogers films so i will answer the poll according to what i felt were the best ones when i watched them last. "Top Hat", "The Gay Divorcee" and "Carefree" were my faves then. i guess i tend to favor the sillier ones!

  2. I wrote a paper about Carefree for my class "Music at RKO". I'm currently revising it, but when I finish I will post it on my blog.

  3. I think Carefree is also a bit underrated - it may be that the dance routines were not QUITE as memorable as in the earlier movies, but the 'dancing over the tables' part of 'The Yam' is arguably one of their more memorable 'moves'. Also, we get to a more 'slapstick' comedic side of Ginger, which proves to be quite enjoyable.
    Overall, Carefree probably got a bum review because it was towards the end of the 'Ginger and Fred' run, and for whatever reason, the critics decided to not be as kind.
    BTW, I am sure you know this, but Ginger's favorite was Swing Time also... it is hard to argue against it, but I also like Shall We Dance for its pure slapstick supporting cast, and the usual great music and routines. But there are no 'bad' Ginger/Fred movies, just great ones and 'more great' ones!!!

  4. Hahah in I totally agree with the great/greater point. I also like shall we dance, the songs are swell! Its so hard to choose just a couple though! You can tell Ginger enjoyed making swing time by the quality of her performance, thats one of the reasons its my favourite!

  5. Thanks! My email is
    I'll follow the rules. Promise!
    Have you seen Tales of Manhattan yet? I watched half of it last night (before falling asleep). Ginger's part is really funny and cute.

  6. just throwing in my $.02, Maggie i saw Tales of Manhatten once about 20 years ago and i swear the first thing i was thinking was WHO is that gorgeous brunette with the drop-dead beautiful eyes? i had no idea at the time that Ginger had gone brunette for a few years during the 40's. i really need to see that one again! i agree though, no bad Fred and Ginger movies. i would say my least fave is Vernon and Irene Castle, but even that is still pretty good, just not on par with the others imo. Barkley's is interesting, especially since Ginger was not the original choice for it, but it worked out better for the film for sure!

  7. Hahah at Artmans comment of Tales of Manhattan. Ive only seen the GInger section, but she's gorgeous in it. I love her as a brunette coz it makes her eyes seem even bigger and lighter. COincidentally, you can find that segment of "Takes" on YT, if you want a recap! Tbh I dont really think Ginger made many truly bad films. The only ones I dislike are "It Had to be You" and "The Tenderfoot". My least Favorite Fred/Ginger has to be Flying Down to RIo,, the Carioca is genius, but theres just not enough of them to counter the monotony of Del Rio and the two blokes!!


  8. My two favourites are definately Roberta and Swing Time. Those movies have my favourite songs, dances, and dresses!