Woefully behind on the blog between the upcoming Big Big Benefit for Laurie Gilkenson and ILHC. Which is a good hing I have a bunch of old writings stockpiled for this sort of occasion. I'll have some stuff up about Camp Jitterbug, updates on ILHC, and try to dig into my backlog of cool videos as soon as I can. The Atomic Ballroom blog put up a nice top 10 list of ballroom dance sequences in vintage films. It lists quite a few Ginger Rogers and Fred Astaire sequences including two from the film Swingtime. Although I am disappointed that they didn’t include the finale to that film, “Never Gonna Dance,” which I consider their best performance, period. Anyway, it reminded me of this post I originally put up as a note on my Facebook profile a couple of years ago.
Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers made 10 movies together, and Swingtime, their sixth together, is considered by many as their best film, and my favorite.
Like most of their films, logical plot development wasn't a very high priority. Not that it mattered, because the dancing was the main attraction.
Despite that, or maybe because, the Astaire/Rogers films were pioneers in the concept of the integrated musical which made the musical numbers important to moving along the story. In fact, if you took out the musical stuff from Swingtime, the movie would make no sense at all compared to the jumbled mess it is with them.
However, I noticed that if you just watch those same scenes without the rest of the movie, they form a fully realized story arc on their own. Now thanks to the magic of YouTube, you can enjoy that story without hurting your brain trying to figure out why Ginger Rogers would fall for a pompous douchebag like Fred Astaire. (In the movie that is)