Greetings from VKMfanHuey!!!

Welcome to the Gingerology blog for the 1936 RKO film, Swing Time!!!

Ginger is Penny Carroll, a dance instructor who concludes that Lucky Garrett (Fred Astaire) can't be taught to dance... for just a bit, anyway... when things get to normal G&F mode, the team parlays their talent (along with some REAL parlaying at the craps table) into ownership of a nightclub, so they can dance whenever they want... well, until cruel fate shows up and kicks lady luck to the curb...

Please note the 'menu' above, which has various information regarding the film; to the right (just below the Gingerology link) there are additional links regarding the film.

Please feel free to leave a comment with any general info, links, pics, or just to say hi!

...And be sure to check out our 'main' site, Gingerology - just click on the Ginger pic to the right. There you'll find a list of ALL of Ginger Rogers' films; click on any one, and you will be directed to a 'dedicated' blog about that film (not unlike this blog).

Keep It Gingery, y'all!



Tuesday, July 12, 2016

GingerBinge Summer 2016... Swing Time!!!

...well... just finished up viewing perhaps Ginger and Fred's best effort, Swing Time!
...the GingerBinge Summer 2016 was initiated to allow Hu another opportunity to watch the (nearly) complete catalog of Gingerfilms, check out 'subtleties' of the films I know well, learn more about the ones I don't, and to 'bolster' the Gingerfilm blogs such as the one you are perusing at the present...

Of course, most Gingerologists have seen Swing Time quite a few times, and are very familiar with it... but it is truly one of those films you can never tire of... you know each scene, the dialog, the 'endgame'... yet it still is great to watch...

So, here are some of the moments I 'caught' upon this viewing...

...this one's pretty awesome... would make a great 'blog header pic'... yupyupyup... shore would, y'all...

Of course, there are incedible dance routines throughout this one, but for me to try to dissect each one would be purt near impossible, given the time constraints we have here at Gingerology (heck, I could write up a post for each single routine...although I am, at last count, 456th from LAST on Planet Earth when it comes to knowledge of dancing... suffice it to say, EVERYthing I know about hoofing I have learned from watching our heroine and hero here...), maybe a few pics here and there in this post, but... the final word is... if you've never watched this film, it's worth it just for the dance 'routines'... some of the best ever caught on film...'s a subtle thing, really... but I always notice how Ginger, as well as Fred, are generally all smiles for most of their 'routines' (excluding the 'epic' ones, which call for the 'serious' demeanor)... but the smiles generally indicate they are HAPPY doing what they are doing, although we KNOW whichever routine we are watching at the time was practiced dozens of times until they were slap wore out... makes you appreciate the final product even more... and want to applaud these folks that much more.

I always thought that the 'hair washing' scene (The Way You Look Tonight) was always cute / cool, but after freezing the Ginger frames... dangdangDANG, y'all...

...not sure what the deal is, but Ginger is just... a bit MORE perfect to me when she is in some state of 'getting ready'...  can't explain it, but... just... IS. rumpled GingerHair is SOOOOO incredible... and yeah, I know Ginger has full makeup on and all, but... STILL...

...during this scene Ginger stands in the 'first doorway' and looks up and over, which is SUCH a patented GingerMove... Gingerologists will spot it right away... THAT would be a GIF for the ages... I'll try to figure out that stuff and post it sometime... ...ok, Hu is perhaps a bit more dangerous as of this moment...

...and if Hu was given THIS look by Ginger... he would most likely spontaneously combust and disintegrate...
...maybe stretching it a bit, but as we know the 'backstory' between Ginger and director George Stevens, dontchathink the 'hit and miss in the snow' scene hit pretty close to home for Mr. Stevens? Just sayin'...

...and just in case anyone ever questions whether Ginger can twirl, Exhibit 'A':
...our girl HAD to have perfect inner ear equilibrium as well, right? (and I'm diggin' this GIF-making thing, y'all... look out... props to HoneyCam... so easy, even the Huster can work it!!!)

Well, this film is truly one of my favorites... the 'Never Gonna Dance' routine is hard to top in terms of G&F dance 'routine' nirvana... and the story line overall is just a bit more involved and interesting then their previous films (although the ending sorta falls apart... of course, HAPPY... but... just a bit disjointed... and Ginger has too much extraneous stuff coiled around her neck in the final scene costume, IMHO... and the veil thingy covers her face too much, which should be a Federal Crime at the highest level...)

Anyway, of course this one is MANDATORY Gingerologist viewing (duh), so I suggest... you WATCH it!!!

Until the Next GingerBinge film,

KIG, y'all!!!


  1. Ah! The movie that is the apex of the Rogers-Astaire partnership!! Yes, we dedicated Gingerologists know this film like the backs of our hands. So in this viewing, I tried to focus on the things less noticed than in previous viewings. After all, 98% of our attention is nearly always on Ginger, yes? So used this opportunity for some other study.

    While we ballyhoo the wonderful score by Jerome Kern and Dorothy Fields, the art and importance of the orchestrator is frequently completely overlooked. Here we have the incomparable Robert Russell Bennett as our orchestrator. Over the years, he worked with nearly all the greats - Kern, Berlin, Gershwin, Rodgers and Hart, and Rodgers and Hammerstein. Quite the craftsman, he is largely forgotten today, but Must Not Be!!! This time around, I noticed his work in the "Pick Yourself Up" sequence. He began the scenes using muted trumpets. He goes along this way, but about the time of the first dramatic tap salvo in the dance routine, he ordered the mutes removed for the rest of the dance. Very affective!! Also in "A Fine Romance," one can hear arranging tricks, techniques, and affects that Bennett also used in such works as "Oklahoma!". Very cool!!

    By not being riveted on Ginger, more attention was given to set architecture. Think I FINALLY figured out the lay-out of Ginger's apartment for "The Way You Look Tonight" sequence. Lucky one, she had both a dressing area PLUS an area with the shower and sink, etc. Glad she could hear through those two sets of walls!! ;-) Also paid some attention to the "Silver Sandal" night club floor plan while drooling over "The Waltz in Swing Time." We see the dance floor with the band behind our dancers. Then behind the band, people are congregating to see what's going on down there on the dance floor, which is surrounded by the dining tables common in night clubs. Have always been so focused on Ginger and Fred, I never paid any attention to those folks in the back. I would have done their job for free!!!!

    So much has been written on all of the dances! But it is so significant that whenever "class in the movies" is discussed, the example most commonly used is the "Never Gonna Dance" performance. If one needs to ask why, he must be blind.

    By the by, "The Waltz in Swing Time" is special for so many reasons. Suppose someone would ask you to pick out the one single instant, like one second or less, or still shot, of time in all of Ginger's films that would be your favorite moment? What would you select? For me, that moment is the climax of this waltz, when Fred has his back to the camera, but we see an exultant Ginger, throwing her left arm into the air and radiating supreme joy!! For me, this is the essence of the entire Ginger Rogers experience. Joy!!! And I need a dose every day! Thanks, Ginger!! Now enough for this chapter of "Swing Time" and on to the next adventure. But all can be assured that this film will be revisited - Joyfully! - time and time again.

    1. ...allright, that's it... I hereby decree Lady B as the Supreme Musical Guru at Gingerology!!! The soundtrack to this one is impeccable... of course won the '36 Academy Award for best tune of 'Way...', which is truly an achingly beautiful song... the fact that Ginger is whom it is directed to in its 'initial release' makes it all the more perfect...
      I try to watch the 'peripherals' in some of these films, although tough not to focus on Ginger... but this film was VERY well done in most all respects... the music is just perfect... camera angles and techniques were very well thought out...