The Story of Vernon and Irene Castle

The Story of Vernon and Irene Castle

H C Potter (1939)

89min
U Certificate
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Review

Our Score
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.

Summary

A vaudeville comedian marries an aspiring dancer, and together they forge a new and successful career as a ballroom dancing team. However, the outbreak of the First World War separates them when he is called up by the army, with tragic consequences. Fact-based drama, starring Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers.

Cast & Crew

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

Language: EnglishBlack and whiteTheatrical distributor: Radio Pictures LtdAvailable on: video and DVD
Drama