7.6/10
11,253
90 user 73 critic

Swing Time (1936)

Not Rated | | Comedy, Musical, Romance | 12 October 1936 (Brazil)
A performer and gambler travels to New York City to raise the $25,000 he needs to marry his fiancée, only to become entangled with a beautiful aspiring dancer.

Director:

George Stevens

Writers:

Howard Lindsay (screen play), Allan Scott (screen play) | 1 more credit »
Reviews

Watch Now

From $2.99 on Prime Video

ON DISC
Won 1 Oscar. Another 1 win & 3 nominations. See more awards »

Photos

Learn more

More Like This 

Top Hat (1935)
Comedy | Musical | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

An American dancer comes to Britain and falls for a model whom he initially annoyed, but she mistakes him for his goofy producer.

Director: Mark Sandrich
Stars: Fred Astaire, Ginger Rogers, Edward Everett Horton
Comedy | Musical | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

An American woman travels to England to seek a divorce from her absentee husband, where she meets - and falls for - a dashing performer.

Director: Mark Sandrich
Stars: Fred Astaire, Ginger Rogers, Alice Brady
Comedy | Musical | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

A budding romance between a ballet master and a tap dancer becomes complicated when rumors surface that they're already married.

Director: Mark Sandrich
Stars: Fred Astaire, Ginger Rogers, Edward Everett Horton
Comedy | Musical | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

A Navy sailor tries to rekindle a romance with the woman he loves while on liberty in San Francisco.

Director: Mark Sandrich
Stars: Fred Astaire, Ginger Rogers, Randolph Scott
Carefree (1938)
Certificate: Passed Comedy | Musical | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

A psychiatrist agrees to hypnotize his friend's girlfriend in order to convince her to accept his proposals of marriage, but she ends up falling for the psychiatrist instead.

Director: Mark Sandrich
Stars: Fred Astaire, Ginger Rogers, Ralph Bellamy
Roberta (1935)
Certificate: Passed Comedy | Musical | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

In Paris, a man clueless about fashion suddenly inherits his aunt's dress shop, while his bandleader friend reunites with his old flame.

Director: William A. Seiter
Stars: Irene Dunne, Fred Astaire, Ginger Rogers
Biography | Drama | Musical
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

The story of married couple Irene Castle and Vernon Castle, sensational ballroom dancers prior to World War I.

Director: H.C. Potter
Stars: Fred Astaire, Ginger Rogers, Edna May Oliver
Certificate: Passed Comedy | Musical
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

A successful but constantly-feuding husband and wife musical comedy team threatens to break up when the wife entertains an offer to become a serious actress.

Director: Charles Walters
Stars: Fred Astaire, Ginger Rogers, Oscar Levant
Certificate: Passed Comedy | Musical | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

An aviator and band leader who is always getting his group fired for his flirtatious behavior with the female guests soon finds himself falling for an engaged woman.

Director: Thornton Freeland
Stars: Dolores del Rio, Gene Raymond, Raul Roulien
Certificate: Passed Comedy | Musical | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

A pretentiously artistic director is hired for a new Broadway musical and changes it beyond recognition.

Director: Vincente Minnelli
Stars: Fred Astaire, Cyd Charisse, Oscar Levant
Easter Parade (1948)
Musical | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

A nightclub performer hires a naive chorus girl to become his new dance partner to make his former partner jealous and to prove he can make any partner a star.

Director: Charles Walters
Stars: Judy Garland, Fred Astaire, Peter Lawford
Adventure | Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

A director of escapist films goes on the road as a hobo to learn about life, which gives him a rude awakening.

Director: Preston Sturges
Stars: Joel McCrea, Veronica Lake, Robert Warwick
Edit

Cast

Complete credited cast:
Fred Astaire ... Lucky Garnett
Ginger Rogers ... Penny Carroll
Victor Moore ... Pop Cardetti
Helen Broderick ... Mabel Anderson
Eric Blore ... Gordon
Betty Furness ... Margaret Watson
Georges Metaxa Georges Metaxa ... Ricky Romero
Edit

Storyline

Lucky is tricked into missing his wedding to Margaret by the other members of Pop's magic and dance act, and has to make $25000 to be allowed to marry her. He and Pop go to New York where they run into Penny, a dancing instructor. She and Lucky form a successful dance partnership, but romance is blighted (till the end of the film at least!) by his old attachment to Margaret and hers for Ricardo, the band leader who won't play for them to dance together. Written by Sebastian Gibbs <sjg94@aber.ac.uk>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

dance | wedding | love | dancer | performer | See All (66) »

Taglines:

America's dazzling dancing stars explode in a glorious songburst of gayety and gladness! See more »


Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
Edit

Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English | French

Release Date:

12 October 1936 (Brazil) See more »

Also Known As:

I Won't Dance See more »

Edit

Box Office

Budget:

$886,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

RKO Radio Pictures See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Victor System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

The "Never Gonna Dance" number took forty takes. See more »

Goofs

Position of Lucky and Gordon changes several times when figuring out which dance Miss Carol will teach. See more »

Quotes

Mabel Anderson: Beautiful, isn't it?
Everett 'Pop' Cardetti: What is?
Mabel Anderson: The music.
Everett 'Pop' Cardetti: What music?
Mabel Anderson: The music they're playing.
Everett 'Pop' Cardetti: Oh, yeah.
[pause]
Everett 'Pop' Cardetti: What made you think of it?
Mabel Anderson: Think of what?
Everett 'Pop' Cardetti: The music.
[...]
See more »

Connections

Featured in George Stevens: A Filmmaker's Journey (1984) See more »

Soundtracks

Never Gonna Dance
(1936) (uncredited)
Lyrics by Dorothy Fields
Music by Jerome Kern
Sung by Fred Astaire who danced with Ginger Rogers
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »

User Reviews

 
"No one could teach you to dance in a million years"
23 March 2008 | by ackstasisSee all my reviews

'Swing Time (1936)' is typically held as one of the finest Fred Astaire and Gingers Rogers musicals, of which nine were made between 1933 and 1939 {' The Barkleys of Broadway (1949)' would follow a decade later}. Directed by George Stevens, the film abandons the often-silly mistaken identity subplots of previous films, and presents a more credible love story, supplemented by some of the most remarkable dance numbers I've yet had of enjoyment of seeing. Replete with the usual stock of enjoyable comedic actors, 'Swing Time' is a professionally-produced film, and Astaire and Rogers, as always, bounce off one another exceedingly well. Though the storyline isn't quite as entertaining as in 'Top Hat (1935)' or 'Shall We Dance (1937),' the picture relies purely on its terrific dance routines to elevate it to such a high status. Jerome Kern provided the film's music, and Dorothy Fields wrote the lyrics, including the Oscar-winning song, "The Way You Look Tonight."

John "Lucky" Garnett (Astaire) loves home-town sweetheart, Margaret (Betty Furness), and wants to marry her… or, at least, he thought he did. After the master-gambler moves to New York City to acquire a $25,000 dowry for the wedding, he comes upon beautiful dance instructor Penny Carroll (Rogers), immediately recognising that she is the woman for him. Wasting no time to consider the logic of his actions, Lucky signs up for dancing lessons, and his incredible "progress" leads the pair towards considerable success. A promising romance begins to bloom, but Lucky cannot bear to tell Penny that he's already engaged to marry another woman; at the same time, he deliberately resists achieving success in his gambling activities, lest he win enough money to return home to Margaret. Pop Cardetti (Victor Moore) and Mabel Anderson (Helen Broderick), knowing members of an older generation, stand around to witness the pair's irregular romance, and form a close friendship of their own, though everything is thrown into turmoil when sleazy musician Ricky Romero (Georges Metaxa) attempts to coax Penny from Lucky's grasp.

The absence of Edward Everett Horton unfortunately detracts from the effectiveness of the film's comedy, though Victor Moore provides an amusing substitute; his tone and mannerisms are so ridiculously adorable that he could accurately be described as a real-life Elmer Fudd. Jerome Kern's musical numbers vary from lighthearted tap dance numbers ("Pick Yourself Up") to sarcastic quicksteps ("A Fine Romance") to a virtuoso, emotion-filled ballroom routine ("Never Gonna Dance"), perhaps the most stirring performance that Astaire and Rogers ever did. There's a certain indescribable desperation to the way in which the two dancers leap and twirl across the dance floor, their movements escalating almost imperceptibly from an idle walk, and Rogers' long dress twists and turns in the air behind her. In Astaire's continual search for creative perfection, his routines were filmed, wherever possible, in a single take, and this particular number was attempted no less than forty-seven times. Also notable is Astaire's frenetic tribute to Bill "Bojangles" Robinson, performing in black-face against three tall synchronised shadows on the wall behind him.


7 of 7 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 90 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

Free Movies and TV Shows You Can Watch Now

On IMDb TV, you can catch Hollywood hits and popular TV series at no cost. Select any poster below to play the movie, totally free!

Browse free movies and TV series

Stream Trending TV Series With Prime Video

Explore popular and recently added TV series available to stream now with Prime Video.

Start your free trial



Recently Viewed