1 Year, 100 Movies: #90 Swing Time (1936)


For 1 Year, 100 Movies, I will watch all of AFI’s 100 Years, 100 Movies list (compiled in 2007) in one year- and will complete a goal on my 2013 Manifesto. Come along on the ride with me- oh, and please pass the popcorn!

This was a fun movie. The dancing and singing is, of course, incredible. Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers have amazing on-screen chemistry. While the plot has been critized by many, the dance numbers and dialogue are just as good as any other Fred and Astaire movie. And then there are the songs! “The Way you Look Tonight” – one of my favorite ‘love songs’ was original to this movie! It became Astaire’s most successful hit record. Another song I enjoyed was “A Fine Romance” which is sung alternativly by Astaire and Rogers and includes a hilarious scene in the snow to boot.

Unfortunately this movie marked the decline of Astaire and Roger’s public popularity- no movie they did together did as well as this movie or the ones before. However this one still was a hit, grossing over two million dollars.

John “Lucky” Garnett (Fred Astaire) is a gambler and dancer who is engaged to a girl back home, but because of her father, to marry her he has to go to New York to earn $25, 000 as a sign of good faith. Once in the city, he meets Penny (Ginger Rogers), and he asks her for change for a quarter. It turns out it was his lucky quarter and so he and his friend Pop get it back by causing a minor scene. To apologize for Pop stealing back the quarter, he follows her to where she works- a dance instructional studio. In order to talk to her he takes lessons from her even though he is very good already. My favorite scene is when Penny is fired because her boss overhears her say that she can’t teach him to dance and he should save his money- and he saves her job by pulling out all the stops with her on the dance floor.

The two end up dancing together throughout the movie. John wins enough money to go back to Margaret (his girl back home), but calls it off at the last second, proving he loves Penny. The two dance around the subject (literally and figuratively) until of course, we get our happy ending. While the plot is not the best ever, it is simple and relaxing to follow.

In my humble, non-professional, average movie-goer opinion this movie earns:



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