Friday, February 03, 2006

Flying Down to Rio

Ginger Rogers writes about her first movie with Fred Astaire in her autobiography, Ginger: My Story (HarperCollins Publishers, New York, 1991, page 126):
In Flying Down to Rio, Fred and I had secondary roles, and provided the comic relief. I played a band vocalist and sang "Music Makes Me"; our big moment together came during the full-scale production number, "The Carioca." Dave Gould was the film's dance director and his assistant was my old pal from Top Speed, Hermes Pan. Hermes and Fred actually met on the set when Fred had a problem with a solo and Hermes came up with a step. That, as they say, was the beginning of a beautiful relationship. Hermes also came up with a brilliant idea for "The Carioca." The lyrics talked about dancing head to head, and Hermes thought we should follow the words literally and suggested that Fred and I press our foreheads together as we went through the steps.
Ask me today if I had any notion of what would spring from "The Carioca" and I'd have to say no. Even looking at Flying Down to Rio now, it is hard to believe that our brief assay onto the dance floor led to a string of musical films.
Not to mention the string of Astaire/Rogers movies!
And how many people can remember who played the romantic leads?!
(They're Delores del Rio and Gene Raymond)
Maven votes for the sexy dancers any day of the week!
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