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Swing Time (2005)

Fred Astaire , Ginger Rogers  |  NR |  DVD
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (85 customer reviews)

List Price: $19.97
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Swing Time + Top Hat + Shall We Dance
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Product Details

  • Actors: Fred Astaire, Ginger Rogers
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Black & White, Closed-captioned, NTSC, Original recording remastered, Subtitled
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono)
  • 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: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Turner Home Ent
  • DVD Release Date: August 16, 2005
  • Run Time: 103 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (85 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0009NSCQM
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #35,552 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Swing Time" on IMDb

Special Features

  • New featurette: The Swing of Things
  • Musical short: Hotel a la Swing
  • Classic cartoon: Bingo Crosbyana
  • Theatrical trailer

Editorial Reviews

It's Swing Time anytime Fred and Ginger slip on their dancing shoes. Here, Fred's a gambler with a fiancee back home...but one look at Ginger and all bets are off! He pursues, she resists, and it's all tied together by a series of breathtaking dances. "Bojangles of Harlem," a tribute to hoofer Bill Robinson, has Astaire tapping with three giant Astaire shadows. The sly "Pick Yourself Up" features Ginger teaching the supposedly flub-footed Fred how to dance. Other highlights from the splendid Jerome Kern-Dorothy Fields score include "A Fine Romance," "Waltz in Swing Time," and the Academy Award(R) winning "The Way You Look Tonight." George Stevens directs. Year: 1936 Director: George Stevens Starring: Fred Astaire, Ginger Rogers, Victor Moore, Helen Broderick

DVD Features:
Audio Commentary:Commentary by John Mueller, Author of Astaire Dancing
Featurette:The Swing of Things: Swing Time Step by Step
Other:Musical Short Hotel a la Swing and Classic Cartoon Bingo Crosbyana

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
50 of 58 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of Fred and Ginger's Three Essential Films May 30, 2002
Format:VHS Tape
I can't quite agree with the editorial review, which indicated that this might be the one Astaire-Rogers musical to watch, if you could watch only one. This lags very, very slightly behind TOP HAT and THE GAY DIVORCEE, in my book, though I nevertheless consider it one of the very greatest musicals ever made. Another film, FOLLOW THE FLEET, features dance numbers that match any of these three, but suffers from a very weak script and lags when Fred and Ginger aren't dancing. SWING TIME is also is hurt by the presence of George Metaxa as Ricardo Romero, and by his implausibly quick reconciliation to his being jilted at the end of the film.
My reason for rating it very slightly behind the other two films is the slightly weaker supporting cast and the fact that the humor is a tad less humorous. The dance numbers, however, are extraordinary, with at least two of them belonging in the Fred and Ginger Hall of Fame for their finest moments dancing together. These two numbers are the marvelously funny "Pick Yourself Up" and the marvelously dramatic "Never Gonna Dance." Luckily, this isn't the extent of the musical's treasures. There are two other great dance numbers and two marvelous songs that do not feature any dancing. The latter includes Fred's marvelous homage to Bill "Bojangles" Robinson, "Bojangles of Harlem," which Fred does in blackface and which just might be the only non-demeaning use of blackface in a 1930s film. Not only is it not demeaning, it is a powerful homage to the man regarded by his peers as the finest tap dancer of the early 20th century. Fred and Ginger also perform the "Waltz in Swing Time." The two songs are among the greatest pure songs appearing in any of Fred and Ginger's films.
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
Format:VHS Tape
Nobody can make you feel the way Astaire and Rogers make you feel just by singing and dancing. They could sing and dance better than anybody, but they have such a natural charm that we get lost in the moment and chemistry that sends sparks around like no other movie duo. This is arguably their best film, 'Top Hat' is their other masterpiece, but this is funnier, wittier and was directed by George Stevens, who also directed classics like 'Shane' and 'Giant'. The dance numbers are nothing short of brilliant and Astaire's 'Bojangles of Harlem' routine is pure cinematic gold, a priceless piece of screen entertainment. But this one also features a great story with romantic undertones and witty dialogue. Victor Moore is priceless in a comic performance that giggles and delights, Helen Broderick also manages to get some laughs. Great songs featuring 'A Fine Romance', 'Pick Yourself Up', 'The Way You Look Tonight' and the sexy 'Never Gonna Dance'. From a scale of 1-10 I give this film a 10!
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Masterpiece of American musical theatre October 25, 1999
Format:VHS Tape
WHY HASN'T THIS BEEN ISSUED ON DVD? 'Swing Time' is a film which defines the poetry and grace of the screen's greatest dancing combination, Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers. Forget that this is mono sound, and the images are black and white. The dancing is as modern as today; the spirit of the film as youthful still as its stars were an extraordinary 63 years ago. The casual insouciance of Astaire and Rogers in a scene such as the farcical dancing lesson which turns into a dancing tour-de-force, 'Pick Yourself Up', fills one with exuberant joy on the 50th viewing. Fred Astaire is grace itself, with his apparent ease concealing the regime of practice and preparation which lay behind every step. As for Ginger Rogers -- her lithe, sensual body, her strong shoulders and willowy frame, make her a delight to watch in this and all the staire/Rogers films. Pure sex appeal in dance! Buy it -- or better still, wait for its release on DVD when the Turner Organisation finally realises what it's got in its catalog!!!!
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A lovely film March 6, 2005
Format:VHS Tape
Swing time did quite badly at the box office in it's time, I don't quite understand that, Top Hat is always the more favoured film and yet, for me, the couple do what they do best at it's best in this film. The plot is just a touch more believable too and the trademark humourous support cast don't have quite so much to do. There is more emotive acting work to do here, to make the plot work, Ginger seems to particualrly honing her craft in this feild (little wonder she won an Oscar four years later!)

The dance numbers are staggering and more daring, "Pick Yourself Up" is so athletic and skilled it is a joy to watch, "The Walse in Swing Time" is half their trademark ballroom number and half a stunningly fresh approach. "Never gonna Dance" is quite simply sublime, elegant, emotive, powerful and beautiful. It really demonstrates the power of dance in motion picture form. I saw an interview with one of the writers many years ago who told the story of how the end sequence of this dance, when Fred and Ginger reach the top of the stairs, took at least 40 something takes to get right because a range of problems, lights blowing out, mistimed spins and even Fred's toupee flying off! He talked of how he saw Ginger changing her pink satin pumps after the 36th take and only then realised the pumps were white, stained pink because her feet were bleeding so much! A classic film and a must see if just for this last dance number, I defy you not feel moved by that number!
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
Wonderful music and dancing richly offset a somewhat lame story line. Great fun to watch.
Published 1 month ago by William H Howard
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Great family movie from way back when...
Published 1 month ago by Joseph Person
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the best
One of best of the string of box office hits the famous duo of Astaire and Rogers did for RKO in the 30's. Read more
Published 3 months ago by Calicokid
5.0 out of 5 stars Priceless.
Probably the best movie Fred and Ginger ever made. Just a feel-good flic with great music and dancing. Read more
Published 4 months ago by Josh Griffin
5.0 out of 5 stars SUPER DANCING
although the storyline is not the greatest and the acting is not the greatest, the dancing scenes make the purchase more than worthwhile... Astaire and Rogers are the Greatest !! Read more
Published 6 months ago by Spencer
4.0 out of 5 stars Classic Fred and Ginger
I had always heard of the famous films featuring the dancing of Astaire and Rogers, but had never seen one. They are very good, but I felt didn't live up to the hype. Read more
Published 7 months ago by DaveW
5.0 out of 5 stars Never Gonna Dance......
We all know better. This number is probably the high point on the Astaire-Rogers collaboration and the film is probably the best the two did..
Published 8 months ago by z
5.0 out of 5 stars 'Pick yourself up' and don't miss this one
Both this title and Top Hat feature Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers at the height of their talent. In all, the duo danced, sang and romanced in 10 movies together, but these are by... Read more
Published 9 months ago by Phil Berardelli
5.0 out of 5 stars swing Time
This film is going to be one of my favorite Fred Astaire movies. He sings and dances and the clothes that Ginger Rogers wears are simply fabulous. Read more
Published 10 months ago by gennydan
3.0 out of 5 stars Song and dance sublime...plot and script pathetic
Fred & Ginger are faultless, as always, but everything else in Swing Time is well below par even for this kind of musical. Liberal use of the fast/forward button is advised! Read more
Published 11 months ago by Ken Taylor (Manchester, England)
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