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Astaire & Rogers Collection, Vol. 2 (Flying Down to Rio / The Gay Divorcee / Roberta / Carefree / The Story of Vernon and Irene Castle)


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Product Description

Flying Down to Rio:Aviator and band leader Roger Bond is forever getting his group fired for flirting with the lady guests. When he falls for Brazilian beauty Belinha de Rezende it appears to be for real even though she is already engaged. His Yankee Clippers band is hired to open the new Hotel Atlantico in Rio and Roger offers to fly Belinha part way home. After a mechanical breakdown and forced landing Roger is confident and makes his move but Belinha plays hard to get. She can't seem to decide between Roger and her fiance Julio. When performing the airborne production number to mark the Hotel's opening Julio gets some intriguing ideas...The Gay Divorcee:Mimi Glossop wants a divorce so her Aunt Hortense hires a professional to play the correspondent in apparent infidelity. American dancer Guy Holden meets Mimi while visiting Brightbourne (Brighton) and she thinks he is the correspondent. The plot is really an excuse for song and dance. The movie won three Academy nominations and the first Oscar for Best Song: "The Continental" a twenty-two minute production number.DVD Features:Available Subtitles: English Spanish FrenchAvailable Audio Tracks: English (Dolby Digital 1.0)Includes:Flying Down to Rio (1933)The Gay Divorcee (1934)Roberta (1935)Carefree (1938)The Story of Vernon and Irene Castle (1939)Format: DVD MOVIE Genre: TELEVISION/CLASSIC Rating: UNRATED UPC: 012569764385 Manufacturer No: 76438

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2006 marks the arrival of five Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers films (Flying Down to Rio, The Gay Divorcee, Roberta, Carefree, and The Story of Vernon and Irene Castle) on DVD after the first five were released in 2005. If you only want the five new films, pick up this Astaire & Rogers Collection, Vol. 2 as a bookend to your Astaire & Rogers Collection, Vol. 1. Or you can get the big package, Astaire & Rogers Ultimate Collector's Edition, which contains all 10 films plus a CD, a bonus DVD with the documentary Astaire and Rogers: Partners in Rhythm, press-book replicas, and some other material. If you want the big package with the extra stuff but already bought the five films in 2005, you can get the Astaire & Rogers Partial Ultimate Collector's Edition, which includes everything listed above except the actual discs of those first five films.

Flying Down to Rio (1933) headlined Dolores Del Rio and Gene Raymond, but it was the fourth- and fifth-billed stars who would rewrite cinematic history. Astaire and Rogers had limited screen time, but were still able to establish many of the trademarks of their later films. The heart of the film is "The Carioca," a company dance extravaganza in which they take the floor together for the first time; their eyes meet and their foreheads touch. Their dance lasts only a few minutes, but it was the highlight of the film and audiences wanted more. The Gay Divorcee (1934) is their best early picture, a loose adaptation of Astaire's stage show, The Gay Divorce. The only song retained for the movie is Cole Porter's smash hit "Night and Day," which is the setting for a sublime pas de deux between Fred and Ginger. The closer is the sprawling 17-minute ensemble number "The Continental." Roberta (1935) was a step backward, with too much time spent on 1930s Parisian fashion and the romance between top-billed Irene Dunne (who gets the best Jerome Kern ballads, "Yesterdays" and "Smoke Gets in Your Eyes") and Randolph Scott. But as the second-banana couple Astaire and Rogers still get a tap battle, a romantic duet, and plenty of comic banter.

The eighth and ninth entries in the series tried some different approaches, with the underrated Carefree (1938) more of a comedy vehicle for Ginger (yet still including some fine dances and Irving Berlin songs as well as their first onscreen kiss) and The Story of Vernon and Irene Castle (1939) portraying the pair as historical dancing stars and using a score of turn-of-the-century standards. --David Horiuchi


Special Features

  • Includes:
  • Flying Down to Rio (1933)
  • Vintage comedy short: "Beer and Pretzels" with Ted Healy and His Stooges
  • Classic cartoon: "I Like Mountain Music"
  • Theatrical trailer
  • The Gay Divorcee (1934)
  • Two vintage musical shorts: "Show Kids" and "Star Night at the Cocoanut Grove"
  • Classic cartoon: "Shake Your Powder Puff"
  • Audio-only bonus: "Hollywood on the Air" radio promo
  • Roberta (1935)
  • Vintage musical short: "Starlit Days at the Lido"
  • Classic cartoon: "The Calico Dragon"
  • Carefree (1938)
  • Vintage musical short: "Public Jitterbug No. 1"
  • Classic cartoon: "September in the Rain"
  • The Story of Vernon and Irene Castle (1939)
  • Vintage musical short: "Happily Buried"
  • Classic cartoon: "Puss Gets the Boot"

Product Details

  • Actors: Fred Astaire, Ginger Rogers
  • Format: Full Screen, Black & White, Closed-captioned, Original recording remastered, Subtitled, NTSC
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 1.0)
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish, French
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 5
  • Rated: Unrated
  • Studio: Warner Home Video
  • DVD Release Date: October 24, 2006
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (30 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000H6SXM4
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #111,414 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Astaire & Rogers Collection, Vol. 2 (Flying Down to Rio / The Gay Divorcee / Roberta / Carefree / The Story of Vernon and Irene Castle)" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

This light screwball comedy has some terrific moments.
Bobby Underwood
The movies are great, the extra features in each movie are interesting.
Amazon Customer
Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers made ten musical films together.
NYC Kern Lover

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

Format: DVD
First, there are several versions of the Astaire-Rogers DVDs going around. Get this version ONLY if you own volume one and you want a second set that looks exactly like it. It will not feature the upgrades found on the Ultimate edition, which will comprise 11-DVDs and will be packaged in thinpak editions. There is an alternative edition of Volume Two that will come with empty thinpaks of TOP HAT, FOLLOW THE FLEET, etc., that you can move your old DVDs into. I've ordered the upgrade, not this edition. But some will not miss the extra features disc and might actually prefer the thicker plastic case to the thinpak.

Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers are not merely the greatest dance team in the history of film but one of the greatest pairings as well, regardless of genre. Although both of them achieved considerable success apart from the other, there was just something incredibly magical about the times they would perform together. For anyone who loves film, this set is going to be about as essential as any that exists.

There can be only one possible complaint with this second volume in the release of all of the Astaire-Rogers films: it is not chronological. The reason for this is obvious; if they had released the sets with the films in chronological order, the first volume would have been vastly superior to the second. While Volume Two would have contained SWINGTIME, one of their greatest films, Volume One would have contained TOP HAT, THE GAY DIVORCEE, and FOLLOW THE FLEET. As it is, they have tried to balance the films somewhat by putting the utterly essential THE GAY DIVORCEE in Volume 2. Even so, this is a weaker set of movies than the first volume.
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29 of 29 people found the following review helpful By Bobby Underwood VINE VOICE on August 3, 2006
Format: DVD
It was the touch of finger tips, a hand on the waist, a longing look and a smile, and a graceful spin; it was Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers, making love while they danced into our hearts and stayed there. It was elegance and charm, a romantic screen teaming like no other. Fred and Ginger gave the country a boost and a bit of hope in dire times, and made a collection of funny and romantically elegant dance musicals that have never been surpassed as film entertainment. There was magic when they danced, and charm when the talked to each other.

Here, in this wonderful boxed set, are some of their finest films. It is a bit of heaven you can slide into your player any time you need a lift, and never be let down. Even the wonderful "Carefree" is included, a film less like the others in that the emphasis was on the screwball humor rather than the routines, which were less in abundance but still as enchanting.

Also included in this set is the fabulous "The Gay Divorcee" and their bittersweet farewell picture, "The Story of Vernon and Irene Castle." While "Roberta" and "Flying Down to Rio" only offer Fred and Ginger in small doses, as the second leads, they are still entertaining. "Flying Down to Rio" is, in fact, a much better film than it is made out to be.

Here is an overview of the "A" films in this lovely collection of fun and romantic films we all took to our hearts long ago------

THE GAY DIVORCEE -- "Night and Day"

Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers gave everyone something to smile about for a couple of hours during the depression with a special blend of magic that can never be repeated. Their films were sophisticated and charming, elegant and romantic, and most of all, funny. "The Gay Divorcee" is a gorgeous production from Pandro S. Berman.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Stephen H. Wood on January 14, 2007
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
A younger generation not familiar with the 1930's musical romances of Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers should rent or buy Volume One. Volume Two is for devoted fans and film scholars. We have one genuine masterpiece, THE GAY DIVORCEE (1934), which is famous for the Oscar-winning 16 minute "The Continental" finale, the incomparable "Night and Day", and an unusually witty screenplay.

The other four titles in ASTAIRE-ROGERS: VOLUME TWO are *** must-sees, if you love the duo in anything. They are not masterpieces, but they all have sparkling 1930's art deco sets, witty scripts, and incomparable dance numbers, without being as great as TOP HAT, FOLLOW THE FLEET, SWING TIME, and SHALL WE DANCE (1935-1937) in Volume One.

FLYING DOWN TO RIO (1933) introduced Astaire and Rogers as a dance team to the world. They take fourth and fifth billing behind Dolores Del Rio, Gene Raymond, and someone named Raul Roulien, but own the movie as they dance "The Carioca" in the middle of the movie. This is also the movie with chorus girls dancing on airplane wings in the climax. It is a lot of fun.

ROBERTA (1935) is a great Irene Dunne vehicle; she gets top billing and the chance to sing Jerome Kern's "Smoke Gets in Your Eyes" and "Lovely to Look At". It is a lesser Astaire-Rogers vehicle because Randolph Scott is unendurable, seeing how many times he can say "swell" in 106 minutes; and because Astaire and Rogers barely seem to dance. It is a plot-heavy movie about a dress shop in Paris. Still, Dunne has a lovely singing voice for some immortal songs.

CAREFREE (1938), only 83 minutes, is a neglected comedy delight spoofing psychiatry. Ginger gravitates between Astaire and Ralph Bellamy. You want her to end up with Astaire at the end, but it is close.
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