Swing Time


Swing Time Review

Fred Astaire's "Lucky" really is anything but. In the opening scene he's tricked into missing his wedding due to an argument over the cuffs on his pants -- all part of a bet... you see, Lucky's got a bit of a gambling problem, and this doesn't really get any better over the course of the movie.

Maybe it's for the best, though. Missing the wedding winds him up with Penny (Ginger Rogers), who we're sure is going to be a better match for Lucky, because, you know, she can dance. (Here, in a bit of comic kitsch, she's a dance instructor and he's never danced before... though he proves to be an exceedingly fast learner.)

Swing Time is, of course, a platform for some amazing set pieces and big musical numbers, most notably including the numbers "Pick Yourself Up" and wedding staple "The Way You Look Tonight." There's also a number with Astaire in black face, but that's another story.

Swing Time also has some unexpected and quite chuckle-worthy moments of humor. My personal favorite is when, after Penny catches Lucky in a sort of strip poker game (on account of him needing to win some clothes to wear on a date), Penny shuts him out. In response, Lucky pickets outside her apartment protesting "unfair" treatment, with a mortarboard around his neck. Not outside the building, but in the hallway outside her door.

Funny stuff.

Now available on DVD for the first time (also as part of an Astaire and Rogers box set), the disc includes commentary from an Astaire biographer, a featurette about the film, and a couple of comedy and musical shorts.

Swing Time

Facts and Figures

Run time: 103 mins

In Theaters: Monday 12th October 1936

Box Office Worldwide: $2.6M

Budget: $886 thousand

Distributed by: RKO Radio Pictures Inc.

Production compaines: Radio Pictures


Contactmusic.com: 3.5 / 5

Rotten Tomatoes: 100%
Fresh: 20

IMDB: 7.7 / 10

Cast & Crew


Producer: Pandro S. Berman

Starring: as John "Lucky" Garnett, as Penelope "Penny" Carrol, as Pop Cardetti, as Mabel Anderson, as Gordon, as Margaret Watson, as Ricky Romero, Dennis O'Keefe as Dance Extra in 'The Way You Look Tonight' Number (uncredited)

Also starring: ,