For no particular reason at all (and why else do we have blogs if not to indulge the whims of our wanton subconscious) today I remembered this scene from RKO’s 1935 film Roberta. The film was based on a smash Broadway musical with music and lyrics by the eternal Jerome Kern and although Fred Astaire & Ginger Rogers are key players, Roberta isn’t a Fred & Ginger vehicle. The story focuses on the story of Irene Dunne and Randolph Scott, but it is Fred & Ginger who own each and every frame. Their on screen relationship is surprisingly earnest, which makes it even harder to understand why the film isn’t readily mentioned in the same breath as Top Hat and Swing Time and the other titles in the Astaire/Rogers canon.
In this scene, the two have rarely been better–or more organic. They are terrifically young (Ginger was only 22), spry, athletic, Astaire’s choreography is electric and they just look like they are having an absolute ball together.
Talk about infectious! These were the days when movies truly did make magic.