Monday, November 14, 2011

96. Swing Time

Swing Time

This film is basically the same as Top Hat only there were better songs and sets.  Like any sane person, I love the song "Way You Look Tonight" and had actually watched the clip from this movie many times just to see different versions.  The song "A Fine Romance" is also phenomenal.

The plot to this movie and the plot to Top Hat are completely blurred in my mind at this point.  However, I think that this film is superior for the reasons mentioned above.  These movies aren't deep or thoughtful, but they are fun!

I realize that the black face number is really racist.  At this point in American history, you have to look at intentions and it certainly wasn't meant to be offensive.

RATING: ****-

Interesting Facts:

Ranked #90 in AFI's top 100.

Barrack Obama made a reference to this movie in his inauguration speech.

Cutest montage ever:


  1. On my list of good musicals. I prefer Top Hat though.

  2. I've just written a long piece on the M*A*S*H page about being non-judgemental on morals, but here I think I'm going to contradict myself just a little bit.

    I didn't like this one so much. The magic of the film is largely based upon the charm of the two lead characters and what surrounds them. Here, Fred is essentially two-timing the girl back home which leaves me feeling a little uneasy about the way he goes after Ginger. Had he been railroaded into the engagement against his will we would feel sympathy. Or if we knew from the start that neither of them really wanted to get married but only went along with it for fear of letting the other one down, then we would be wishing that they could only break free and find their true love(s). But instead of being an audience member who wished that they could leap into the screen and explain the misunderstandings to bring them together, I just wanted to tell Fred to stop being such a louse and behave himself.

    Similarly, the sidekick was actually just a bit of a worm at times. And when he cheats the casino owner out of the contract and we're all supposed to laugh I'm thinking "Surely he's going to be taken outside now and have all the bones in his body broken . . . if he's lucky".

    Thus, the dance numbers suffered. Technically perfect but cold and aloof. All except the final number where he wins her heart but ends with her running out on him. Like the finest ballet or opera in its feeling. There was a blackface number which always sits a little uncomfortably but here flirted with some worse undertones. Admittedly the second half of this one where it all got a bit psychedelic was a triumph.

    Anyway, not trying to suggest banning it, just saying that it sucked away at the sympathy for the characters which undermined the charm at the heart of the film.

  3. Yeah musical characters have to be charming! Otherwise it's Cabaret