The fifth sublime teaming of Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers, SWING TIME is regarded by many as their finest film. The tenuous plot, which mainly serves to connect the brilliant dance numbers, concerns John "Lucky" Garnett (Astaire), a gambler and professional dancer. When Garnett arrives late to his wedding, his prospective father-in-law implements a punishment, insisting that Garnett raise $25,000 before he can marry Margaret Watson (Betty Furness). Still in tails, he hops a freight for New York, where he gets involved in a scrape with dance instructor Penny Carrol (Rogers). After following her to the dance studio, Lucky poses as a neophyte in need of training. Penny's boss Gordon (Eric Blore), happens to witness Lucky's incompetence, in the "Pick Yourself Up" number and is about to fire the young woman for nonperformance when Lucky launches into a dazzling display of terpsichorean skill. Impressed, the studio owner offers to get them an audition at the famed Silver Sandal nightclub. Arguably the peak of the Astaire-Rogers partnership, the dancers' nearly perfect blending of song, dance, wit, and decor only improves with time. Especially memorable are the subtly erotic tempo shifts of "Never Gonna Dance" and the coruscating technical command of "Bojangles of Harlem," a tribute to the great African-American tap dancer.
Academy Awards Best Original Song 1936 Jerome Kern Legendary Composer of Musicals
Academy Awards Best Original Song 1936 Dorothy Fields