USA Today - 09/01/1989
"...The Castles were ballroom pros with a distinct style their players had to adapt....As enjoyable as the team's CAREFREE..."
Entertainment Weekly - 11/10/2006
"Fred and Ginger were filmed in long takes so we knew they weren't faking it..." -- Grade: B+
Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers star in this musical tribute to a famous real life dance team. 20 years before Astaire and Rogers, there were the elegant Castles, so it was no surprise that the most famous dance pair of the silver screen ultimately played their illustrious predecessors. In the 1910s, Irene and Vernon Castle took the dances of the Americas, the tango of Argentina, the maxixe of Brazil, and the foxtrot of the United States to France and became the talk of Paris. With the Castles' success, the formal waltzes of the past gave way to the looser, ragtime-influenced choreography of the future. The plot follows the pair from their first audition as a team for a café in Paris through Vernon's enlistment as a flight instructor in the war. Director H. C. Potter stays true to the team, keeping all the song and the dance numbers typical of the early 20th Century. This is top-notch cinematic entertainment which includes over 40 pop songs from the past. Irene Castle herself diligently over saw the entire production.
Description by Warner Home Video:
Story of Vernon & Irene Castle, The
Who else but the fabulous Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers, the greatest dancing team of all time, could portray Vernon & Irene Castle, the renowned ballroom dancers of the years preceding World War I' Fred and Ginger dance up a storm as they dramatize the careers of the Castles. The pair first unite when Irene persuades Vernon to give up his corny vaudeville clowning to cultivate his obvious dancing abilities. After some lean years, a sharp agent sponsors the team and their rise to fame is phenomenal. Soon they are setting Paris aglow with their stunning routines. Then the first World War intervenes and brings a shocking tragedy. Vernon is killed in a crash on a training field in Texas abruptly ending the Castles' reign on the dance floor. Astaire and Rogers are at their most appealing.
Theatrical Release : March 29, 1939
Irene Castle was a technical advisor on the film. She had approval of the script, the cast, the direction and the costumes.
This film ended the Astaire-Rogers series at RKO. They wouldn't work together for another 10 years, when they collaborated on THE BARKLAYS OF BROADWAY in 1949; MGM produced that film.