FLYING DOWN TO RIO (1933)

Dir. Thornton Freeland

A new print highlights the visual splendors of the film that introduced Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers as a dancing team, but don't expect one of their typical vehicles. They were almost an afterthought when RKO put together this picture as a vehicle for Mexican-born star Dolores Del Rio. The plot hinges on a romantic triangle involving screen fiancé Raul Roulien and bandleader Gene Raymond. But when Ginger, after watching the dancers in a Brazilian nightclub, turns to Fred and says, "We'll show 'em a thing or three," most audiences forget the plot to revel in the number that follows. With its sensuous Latin rhythms, Rogers's swinging hips and the pair's comic head-bumping routine, "The Carioca" became the picture's highlight, leading audiences to demand more films featuring the talented twosome. RKO responded with a string of eight starring vehicles. It's not the film's only point of interest. There's also a great finale with chorus girls dancing on the wings of airplanes and a supporting turn by Eric Blore, who would appear in four other Astaire-Rogers films.

In attendance: Cybill Shepherd, Kimberly Truhler.

FLYING DOWN TO RIO
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