Lady Alyce Marshmorton must marry soon, and the staff of Tottney Castle have laid bets on who she'll choose, with young Albert wagering on "Mr. X". After Alyce goes to London to meet a beau... See full summary »
Flying Tiger Fred Atwell sneaks away from his famous squadron's personal appearance tour and goes incognito for several days of leave. He quickly falls for photographer Joan Manion, ... See full summary »
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 Atlântico 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 Júlio. When performing the airborne production number to mark the Hotel's opening, Júlio gets some intriguing ideas...Written by
Gary Jackson <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Standing outside a bakery shop in Rio, Ginger Rogers asks, "Oh, Freddie, how do you ask for little tarts in Portuguese?" Fred Astaire replies, "Don't heckle me, try the Culbertson System." This pre-Code, double entendre joke would have been funny to Depression-era audiences, for whom bridge was a common pastime. Ely Culbertson was a champion bridge player and worldwide celebrity who had won several international tournaments by developing a rather aggressive bidding system for contract bridge. He was also notorious for his sexual exploits. His 1940 autobiography would be banned in many countries In the 1930's, the word "tart" was equivalent to "slut" or "whore." Also, in the opening inspection of hotel staff, the boss sees a maid whose shoe heels are oddly beveled and says he will not tolerate that sort of thing. A "round-heeled woman" was 1930s slang for a prostitute, a woman who could tilt from standing to on her back with ease. See more »
The Haitian at the golf club has a British accent, but Haiti was never British. He should have a Haitian accent. See more »
If you watch "Flying Down to Rio" expecting it to be a Rogers and Astaire film, forget it - but it was their debut as a team, dancing the Carioca. This is a 1933 movie short on plot and, as is often the case with the early talkies, a little slow in parts due to the pace of the dialogue. It is nevertheless a fun movie, with Astaire doing some wonderful solo dancing and of course, his dance with Ginger, which sent them on their way to movie history.
The stars of the film are Dolores Del Rio and Gene Raymond. After bandleader Raymond meets del Rio in the U.S., he ends up in Rio where he competes for her attentions with her fiancé Julio (Raul Roulien), his best friend. The plot concerns the opening of a hotel in Rio and its planned takeover by another group. When the opening date is changed, the owner cannot get another performing license, so all seems to be lost. Thus the number "Flying Down to Rio" with chorus girls doing maneuvers on the wings of flying planes. It's a spectacular part of the film, though in spots you can really seek how fake it was. It doesn't really matter - it was early film-making where, without the use of computers, artistry and imagination were needed instead, and much was accomplished.
There are some interesting editing experiments noticeable as well, particularly during a big nightclub scene. It was precode, so some of the numbers are pretty darn steamy.
Dolores del Rio was surely one of the most stunningly beautiful women ever to appear on screen. Growing up, I remember seeing Sunday supplements with articles and photos about her current life - it was a good 30 years after this film - and her beauty remained awesome without the plastic surgery techniques available today. She was a true, fantastic beauty, and this film really showcases it.
This isn't the most wonderful musical you'll ever see but it's important nonetheless: It launched Rogers & Astairs, it's an interesting example of early editing, and it's precode. And if you watch it with the wonder that the depression audiences must have had, you'll enjoy it even more.
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