The Story of Vernon and Irene Castle

  • U
  • H C Potter (1939)
  • US
  • 89 min
The Story of Vernon and Irene Castle
Film Review
Reviewed By
4 out of 5

This was the last RKO teaming of its incomparable dance duo of Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers. They are cleverly cast here as their great predecessors the Castles, the foremost dance partners of the early 20th century, in a tale that took on new resonances at the outbreak of the Second World War. The period songs are spot on, though the ever-sophisticated Astaire and Rogers look nothing like the bunny-hugging Castles (Irene was critical of Ginger's impersonation), while the excellent Walter Brennan does his best playing a character who was actually black in real life. The scripting sometimes leaves a lot to be desired: did no one pick up the double entendres in the "Dutch cap" scene, or was it a deliberate wheeze? However, despite this minor criticism, Ginger looks swell and Fred dances divinely.

Plot Summary

Musical biopic starring Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers. The early years of the 20th century: when Vernon Castle, a performer in a vaudeville show, falls in love with Irene Foote, a dancing legend is born as they proceed to become the most famous ballroom dancers in the world. But tragedy is waiting in the wings.

Cast and crew


Vernon Castle
Fred Astaire
Irene Castle
Ginger Rogers
Maggie Sutton
Edna May Oliver
Walter Brennan
Lew Fields
Lew Fields
Papa Aubel
Etienne Girardot
Mrs Foote
Janet Beecher
Emile Aubel
Rolfe Sedan
Leonid Kinskey


H C Potter

Other Information

Black and White
Theatrical distributor: 
Radio Pictures Ltd
Available on video and DVD
Certificate U