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Plot:

Ballet star Pete “Petrov” Peters arranges to cross the Atlantic aboard the same ship as the dancer he’s fallen for but barely knows, musical star Linda Keene. By the time the ocean liner reaches New York, a little white lie has churned through the rumor mill and turned into a hot gossip item: that the two celebrities are secretly married.

Also Known As: Al compás del amor, Watch Your Step, Pies de seda, Geef me 'n kans, Voglio danzare con te, Давайте потанцуем Soviet, Skal vi danse?, Stepping Toes, Shall We Dance, Darf ich bitten, Ritme boig, As horepsoume, Saanko luvan, Skal vi danse, Tanz mit mir, Får jag lov?, L'entreprenant Mr Petroff, Vamos Dançar?, Ritmo loco, Ще танцуваме ли?, Táncolj velem, L'entreprenant Mr Petrov, De dans naar het geluk, Zatanczymy?, Invitatie la vals

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  • bernadette-huet
    bernadette huet

    Peter P Peters is an American ballet dancer who’s known as Petrov.He wants to blend classical ballet with modern jazz, and then when he sees the picture of tap dancer Linda Keene, he immediately falls in love with her.Before they know it, they’re married.Or at least the press thinks so.Shall We Dance from 1937 is directed by Mark Sandrich.Its producer is Pandro S. Berman.Behind the music are the brothers George and Ira Gershwin.This is the seventh of the ten Astaire-Rogers movies.The chemistry between the leading couple works, as always.Edward Everett Horton plays Jeffrey Baird.Eric Blore is Cecil Flintridge.James Cowan plays Arthur Miller.Ketti Gallian is Lady Denise Tarrington.The movie has some great comedy and musical bits.It’s quite amusing when Fred pretends to be the Russian guy to Ginger, doing the accent and all.It’s amazing to watch Fred doing the tap dance routine in a ship’s engine room to the song “Slap That Bass”.The song “Let’s Call the Whole Thing Off” works and doing the tap dance on an ice-rink wearing roller blades.In one memorable scene Fred dances with many Gingers, only one being real.This movie is very entertaining, like any Fred and Ginger movie is.

  • alan-sugier
    alan sugier

    While in Paris, the famous dancer Pete “Petrov” Peters (Fred Astaire) meets the also famous tap dancer Linda Keene (Ginger Rogers) and he makes fun with her pretending that he is a Russian ballet master. He immediately falls in love with her and when he learns that she will travel to New York in an ocean liner, her arranges with his producer Jeffrey Baird (Edward Everett Horton) to travel in the same ship as Linda.In the departure, the annoying dancer and former affair of Petrov, Lady Denise Tarrington (Ketti Gallian), comes to the harbor and Petrov lies to her, telling that he has secretly married Linda, to get rid off Denise. However, Denise sends a telegram to the ship congratulating the couple and the lie turns into a gossip to the press. Now the lives of Petrov and Linda get very complicated with the situation.”Shall We Dance” is another naive film of the couple Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers, with delightful confusion and musical numbers. The gags are dated but funny and the film is a pleasant entertaining for cinema and dance lovers. My vote is six.Title (Brazil): “Vamos Dançar?” (“Shall We Dance?”)

  • teresa-neal
    teresa neal

    Critics and fans frequently cite this one as a falling-off of the A-R series. I once thought that too, but I bought the video and gave it a second look. Plotwise, it’s an improvement on that mistaken identity nonsense that usually permeates these films– though you could make an argument that this plot (which has the central characters presumed married, only to actually get married so they can get divorced) isn’t much better. But the nonsensical fun is still there- from Astaire’s tap-happy ballet dancer (whose exaggerated Russian accent is hysterical), to the Gershwin score of songs, to the tasty dance numbers: “Slap That Bass” (part tap exhibition and part engine room jam session); “They All Laughed” (the duo’s incredibly late first duet); “Let’s Call the Whole Thing Off” (eether/eyether- need we say more?); to the glorious “They Can’t Take That Away From Me;” the film’s only misfire (but it was a big one) being that this beautiful ballad by Astaire was not danced by him and Rogers. (Reprising it later with ballet contortionist Harriet Hoctor might have been consistent with the plot, but watching her back-kick herself in the head is one of the unintentionally funniest things I’ve ever seen in a film.) The Gershwin score- more than anything else- takes this one up a few notches.

  • lucie-buisson
    lucie buisson

    Surely one of the silliest and most improbable plots in all the Astaire-Rogers series –-and that’s saying a lot! — this 1937 film still features many delights: foremost among them of course are the dances of Fred solo and with Ginger, and the now classic songs of the Gershwin brothers. Amazingly, some of the best of these, the immortal “They Can’t Take That Away from Me” for example, take up only a minute or two of screen time, as if the producers at RKO couldn’t wait to get them over with so they could get back to the story. More time in the film is given over to the confused and outraged antics of floor manager Eric Blore than to some greatest songs in the great American Song Book. The film ends, however, with a breath-taking bit of pure exuberance, American dancing at its very, very best. The quarreling lovers are reunited singing and dancing to the title song. “Shall we dance or keep on moping?” As then and now a very good question. Absurd plot line and bad jokes aside, a film classic well worth watching again and again.

  • ergul-tulin-demirel-ergul
    ergul tulin demirel ergul

    What a wonderful time I had watching this film. One of the better Rogers and Astaire teamings. A great score by the Gershwin’s. Edward Everett Horton and Eric Blore offer hilarious supporting work.I’d write more, but I’m going to go back and watch it again.9 out of 10

  • isabela-ferreira
    isabela ferreira

    The plot is a silly one that has Astaire as Petrov, ballet dancer, chasing a musical comedy star, Ginger Rogers, across the ocean with the usual amount of misunderstandings that keep them apart until the finale. But, as with all FRED ASTAIRE and GINGER ROGERS films, it’s the music that counts–and the dance numbers.Fred has an amazing “Slap That Bass” number aboard ship, one of his best solo jobs, but there are only a few other gems in the Gershwin score, like “They Can’t Take That Away From Me”, “They All Laughed at Christopher Columbus” and “Let’s Call The Whole Thing Off.” Somehow, they don’t get the treatment they deserve but all have become popular standards.Although the songs are pleasant enough, they’re not among Gershwin’s best–and the plot is so flimsy it’s almost non-existent, something about Astaire and Rogers being mistaken for a married couple.Fans of the dancing stars will love it and others may find it just slightly less entertaining than some of the other Astaire/Rogers films.The supporting roles are in the capable hands of ERIC BLORE, EDWARD EVERETT HORTON and JEROME COWAN, but they’ve all been seen to better advantage in other screwball comedies. Mark Sandrich directed in his usual fast paced style, but I couldn’t help noticing that Ginger seemed a little bored with her character.

  • liam-uit-de-willigen
    liam uit de willigen

    delightful! Simply divine viewing has to be my favourite Fred and ginger movie, right up there with swing time. The dance sequences are fabulous and the music is fantastic.Ginger is at her dazzling best. She lights up the screen. Fred is very likable too. i’m only 18 years old and i am an avid Fred and ginger fan. I think there movies are golden.they should be shown more to the younger generation. It’s time people got to see the golden age of Hollywood. love it, simply love it

  • siim-raamat
    siim raamat

    Considered a lesser Astaire-Rogers starring vehicle this slim-plotted musical is still a delight thanks to 3 great Gershwin songs: They Can’t Take That Away from Me, Let’s Call the Whole Thing Off, and They All Laughed. Slap That Brass isn’t bad either.Astaire plays a ballet star (!) who wants to dance jazz; Rogers plays a brassy revue star who is bored by men. They have two terrific dance numbers together: They All Laughed and a roller skating dance to Let’s Call the Whole Thing Off.Throw into the mix the always fun Edward Everett Horton and Eric Blore and you have a smooth and easy musical with great comedy support. Unfortunately the film also has the blah Ketti Gallian who has NO appeal whatsoever and the overblown Harriet Hoctor who was as mediocre as they come. Her ballet number is boring. Jerome Cowan, William Brisbane, and Ann Shoemaker add nothing. Indeed the film looks badly edited as Shoemaker, who gets good billing, has one brief scene aboard ship. Also Cowan has a confederate about halfway thru the film who is never even identified.Still worth seeing for the great Gershwin songs and the matchless Ginger Rogers and Fred Astaire.

  • johnny-munoz
    johnny munoz

    So much has already been written about the famous Astaire / Rogers movie couplings that I’ll be brief and limit this review to notes which I can edit later to a more rounded overview at a later time. However, having just re-watched the picture after a gap of around ten years does help to make certain features stand out quite clearly, so here goes.This is a formula picture; an unashamed vehicle for Astaire and Rogers. It is fluffy, lighthearted and short on characterisation. In-between the dance numbers, the pacing is slow and the storyline is trivial, with many of the gags coming across as bad high school pranks to modern audiences. But that is only half the story, because the film celebrates its 70th birthday this year, so we can forgive an awful lot — indeed, while there is still a massive audience for mindless TV soaps around the world, we can forgive this RKO hit for literally everything, because its strengths far outweigh any of its weaknesses. Besides, along with the other eight Astaire/Rogers 1930s formula musicals, this is a vitally important film for the study of the musical film genre.What is interesting is the use of cross cutting to single (or at least minimal) shot scenes that advance the story for each character – this is most evident on the sequences in the middle of the picture when they are all on board the ship crossing from Paris to New York. This pre-curses the style that soaps are shot in today, and is worth showing to film and drama students as an early development of the soap genre.It has to be said that Ginger Rogers really does look bored during this picture, (legend has it that she really WAS bored by this time) except when she’s dancing – and it has always been said that Ginger was a far lesser dancer than Fred. The difference in ability is very clear to see in this picture, and interestingly, Fred does a whole lot more hoofing than Ginger on this picture.On the dance angle, there’s an interesting mix of ballet and jazz – and this is the feature that perhaps makes this movie stand out from the other Astaire Rogers combos. It is also a feature that makes this film interesting for students of media history.This is a backstage musical, and the “show within a show” theme here is strong, even if we do see more action on board the liner than behind the flats. The plot structure is very well crafted – structure being a very different issue from both pacing and story-line. So when we get the “Shall We Dance” show, (where all those Ginger look-a-likes appear), we do actually get to see some ballet. This pre-dates Powell and Pressburger’s British post war picture, “The Red Shoes”, (photographed in Technicolor by Jack Cardiff) by over ten years. This is more important than it may at first appear:”The Red Shoes” was a surprise hit, in that the conventional wisdom of the time (aka the Moguls of Hollywood) said that a filmed 22 minute ballet sequence on film sans dialogue would send audiences to sleep and kill the box office. But the audiences loved it! So MGM responded with Gene Kelly dancing his way through “Singin’ in the Rain” in 1952. And without THAT motion picture, we would be missing one of the Top Ten Movies of all time.Ginger really comes to life toward the end of the movie, with a tantalisingly-short, yet superb, dance sequence, where she literally throws herself at Fred. Of special note here is the remarkable dolly-in shot that pre-shaddows “Singin’ in the Rain” by around 15 years. Which again shows that motion picture making, like any activity in life, builds upon prior experience – it is not just down to genius. It is for that very reason that I encourage students to take history seriously.Right then; we’ve not mentioned the George Gershwin score, which is right up there, as you would expect on an Astaire/Rogers vehicle. These, remember are the two BIG musical stars of the period. which brings us to wardrobe — Ginger’s wardrobe, since that was the only one that remotely mattered — to Ginger and her mother, at any rate! Ginger is ALWAYS the star, and “Shall We Dance” reveals at least two of Ginger’s best ever costumes — two bold black and white florals — watch her dress, not her feet in the roller-skate sequence — and that black dress for “Shall We Dance” is just, well, a way-out classic!Modern audiences might be a bit confused over the “shocking” bedroom talk – just remember the Hayes Code was in full force, and hard as it may be to believe, the film flies right on the edge of the Code right as it is! One of the rules was the 5-second limit on screen snoggs. Astaire and Rogers didn’t have anything to worry about there, however: despite the audiences of the ’30s desperately waiting for that magic moment, it never was to come: in all their movies together, Fred and Ginger never did kiss on screen!

  • marco-costa
    marco costa

    In watching “Shall We Dance” one can imagine George and Ira Gershwin sitting behind the director, Mark Sandrich, watching their old friend Fred Astaire going through his paces with Ginger with a group of inspired numbers and now classics. Although the movies were lucrative to the Gershwins, not having a show play every night on Broadway added to their downtime (not to mention more parties). Actually, “Shall We Dance” is regarded as ‘light weight’ Astaire/Rogers as compared to “Swing Time”, but the songs are as memorable, even though the story line is weaker. This is a fun show with Fred and Ginger at the top of their form. Fred was to make another Gershwin musical that year (Damsel in Distress) but without Rogers, so this is the Gershwin musical to see first.

  • catherine-lloyd
    catherine lloyd

    Why did I have to watch this 5 times in the last 2 weeks?Well, I can’t explain. I guess because this is one of those rare cases where a movie becomes a masterpiece in spite of a (intentionally!) loose storyline; the strength of the choreography, melodies, and the pure delight of dance sequences gives it all. There’s Fred Astaire, there’s Ginger Rogers, and there’s the Fred-Ginger duo – 3 (sic.) distinct personalities! I have watched scores of musicals – but never have I been so bewitched by duet dance sequences unaccompanied by any of the garish excesses characteristic of the Hollywood musical.Just think of the number ” Let’s call the whole Thing Off”; what grace, what poise of the couple tap-dancing on roller skates! And oh, what wondrous blend of lyrics and melody. And closely follows another number that, in all it’s apparent lightness, provides a counterpoint that makes one misty eyed.About the solo dance sequences of Fred – the one in the ship’s boiler room, the brilliant choreography of his tapdancing with the “pistons” moving in phase, well – it’s superhuman!I shouldn’t miss mentioning Edward Everett Horton (“Jeffrey”, “Petrov”‘s impresserio) – for his misadventures hold the struggling storyline of movie on, just as it was probably meant to be. Eric Blore (“Cecil”, the floor manager of the hotel) does his inimitable role as in many other Fred-Ginger musicals; rarely have I seen anything more hilarious than the telephone conversation between Cecil (from jail!!) and Jeffrey.It’s unalloyed and delightful entertainment for those who love musicals. Just forget the world and enter into a dreamland for 108 minutes!

  • sigrid-myhre
    sigrid myhre

    In recent years, the title of this film has become overshadowed by two modern movies of the same name: a superb Japanese movie and its American remake, respectively entitled Shall We Dansu? and Shall We Dance. Yet this 1937 classic is worth revisiting not only for its famous Gershwin numbers, but as the last of a series of classic-format films between Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers. Deeply flawed, yet the tremendous effort poured into its production is evident. And, when viewed as part of a series, touchingly beautiful.Utilising talent from their earlier films, Shall We Dance pushes the established formula of light romantic farce coupled with stunning dance routines. But here are many innovations and subtle references to delight fans. At the end of their previous film together (Swing Time), Fred serenaded Ginger with the song Never Gonna Dance, so Shall We Dance? suggests a delightful comeback through association. Their respective characters have grown through successive films, as has their on screen relationship. Now, for the first time, both play fully fledged divas in their own right. Fred is Petrov, a Russian ballet star, and Ginger is Linda, a celebrated jazz dancer. Many of the gags involve rumours about the characters being secretly married or having children. By way of a complex plot, half conducted on a transatlantic liner, the couple do actually get married for the first time in their films together. Copy pictureThe star personas of both Astaire and Rogers have been carefully managed by the studios since their debut together in Flying Down to Rio (1933). Fred woos her with increasing conviction or intensity in each successive movie. To suspend disbelief effectively, the audience has to be thoroughly confused for a while about the nature of their relationship (in real life, both Astaire and Rogers are married to other people at this time). The on screen characters are not married at the start of the story – Fred is pursuing Ginger, as usual. But an offhand comment by Petrov to an over-persistent admirer (to the effect that he and Linda are secretly married) is blown up by the newspapers in the story. The only way they can dispel rumours is to get a divorce – which means they first have to get married.In terms of dance routines, most things had been done already, so Shall We Dance has to come up with something new. One idea is a duet on roller skates. Depending on which account we read, it took filming up to fifty takes to complete (unusually, as Fred would mostly insist on a single one). It’s filmed in Central Park, and the idea is to make it look like something people would naturally be doing. It’s also the longest dance Fred and Ginger have together in the film, and is made even more enjoyable by their singing Let’s Call the Whole Thing Off.Another innovation is the way the story line is tied up. (Note – a light spoiler follows, but I think it’s worth knowing what is coming in this case, so as not to miss the full effect). Petrov, now distraught that Linda won’t dance with him, has a choreographed scene where he serenades with numerous showgirls who wear Linda masks. This in itself recalls earlier scenes involving a dummy positioned next to a sleeping Petrov, to ‘prove’ in the tabloids that they are married; and also in a flick-book he has that creates moving images of Linda. Unbeknown to Petrov, Linda yearns for them to be together. She insists on being taken backstage. Petrov’s dance involves unmasking the lookalikes only to find that none are the real Linda. When he touches the real Linda’s chin, he finds it is not a mask but really her. She extends her hand and, whoever the ‘real’ Petrov and Linda have been (they both have several identities even within the film), the audience is satisfied that the real living couple finally have a dance of love. Almost all the emotion of the film has been saved for this moment.Shall We Dance not only reprises two established stars; it examines the real life pressures and glare of publicity facing them. They were both under pressure: during filming, Ginger Rogers received a real-life extortion notice and a death threat to her mother. The movie’s final dance scene maybe hints at something that is beyond words, beyond the glare of the limelight, and something eternally personal – as the song implies: “They Can’t Take That Away from Me.”The film’s weaknesses include living up to expectations when a formula has peaked. In earlier pairings, Fred’s character woos Ginger through dance rather than words. Here, they enjoy some comedy together but there are maybe one too many dance solos. The plot and characterisation has weaknesses too – Astaire is a very accomplished dancer performing balletic moves, but he was the first to admit he is no ballet star. Dance fans may feel unconvinced (similarly, the songs have been covered by much more competent singers). One of the main dance routines sees Harriet Hoctor, not Ginger, imported to dance with Fred – largely on account of her ability to tap through remarkable back-bends. Shall We Dance lacks much of the natural dance chemistry between Fred and Ginger displayed in earlier films, but it is an outstanding piece of their film history that should not be missed.

  • mgr-riyaa
    mgr riyaa

    The story is rather thin and silly and Ketti Gallian’s performance came across as vapid; the rest however is sheer pleasure. The film is beautifully shot with extravagant, if not quite as sophisticated as Top Hat and particularly Swing Time, production values, particularly apparent in Let’s Call the Whole Thing Off. George and Ira Gershwin’s score and songs don’t disappoint either, really quite wonderful actually. Standing out were the catchy Let’s Call the Whole Thing Off and the touchingly melancholic They Can’t Take That Away From Me. The choreography dazzles and shows great energy and poise, just seeing Fred and Ginger in roller skates for Let’s Call the Whole Thing Off makes one envious of how they were able to do that and make it seem so easy. The dialogue has a real warmth and wit, the dialogue during the jail scene is just hilarious and that scene came across as the best from a comedic point of view, and the gags and such are good-natured and enjoyably daft. Shall We Dance is not without heart either, it is very difficult not to be moved by You Can’t Take That Away From Me. Fred Astaire is immensely charming and likable and dances a dream as always, it more than makes up for that he’s not all that convincing as a Russian. Ginger Rogers looks gorgeous and interacts and dances with Astaire wonderfully, you are not quite as emotionally invested in Linda Keene as you are with some of her other characters but Rogers still gives everything she’s got. In supporting roles, Eric Blore was a joy and provided some of the film’s funniest moments(the aforementioned jail scene), though Edward Everett Horton and Jerome Cowan are very enjoyable as well. To conclude, a great piece of escapism. 9/10 Bethany Cox

  • marija-batrnek
    marija batrnek

    Astaire plays ballet star Pete “Petrov” Peters who falls for Rogers (Linda Keene).He arranges to cross the Atlantic aboard the same ship as Rogers and along the way he sings and dances and they dance together. Edward Everett Horton plays his manager and provides the comic relief. But who cares about the plot. We watch these movies for the songs and dancing and they are good. A highlight is Astaire’s solo number in the steam room of the ship as he dances in time to the ship’s pistons. There are some classic George Gershwin songs in this one: “Let’s Call The Whole Thing Off” and “They Can’t Take That Away From Me”. This is the 7th pairing of Astaire and Rogers. You can also see Astaire and Rogers in these films: Shall We Dance (1937) Swing Time (1936) Follow the Fleet (1936) Top Hat (1935) Roberta (1935) The Gay Divorcée (1934) Flying Down to Rio (1933)

  • kovacs-balazs-miklos
    kovacs balazs miklos

    Absolutely one of the best original film musicals of all time.The cast — you can’t really beat Astaire and Rodgers for a dance team. Their chemistry is perfect in both a romantic and a comedic sense. Their dancing in this film is inspired, as usual. Astaire’s character is slightly more aggressive and assertive than some of his more nebbish personifications. Edward Everet Horton gets the most laughs of the supporting cast as Fred’s stressed-out producer, who amusingly disapproves of Fred’s new career in “wild” jazz music and wants him to stick to ballet. Thankfully we’re spared the torture of any prolonged attempts by Fred Astaire to depict himself realistically as a ballet artist.The story — a pretty standard issue thing, which might seem flimsy to some modern audiences but provides all the necessary stimulus in terms of absurd and uncomfortable comic situations for our stars. Fred plays Russian dancer Petrov while Rodgers portrays cabaret star Linda Keene. He tries to woo her with an elaborate act as a pretentious nobleman, and she doesn’t seem to warm up to him upon learning she was put upon. Petrov manipulates events so that they end up on the same ocean liner (amazing how many musical comedies after Anita Loos’ play ended up set on ocean liners), but word gets out that the pair are secretly married. A situation very similar to “Gay Divorcée” ensues in which they must be married in order to be divorced and do away with the rumor.The film — excellent sets and photography, far above the average for RKO but about normal for the A/R series. This one like some of the others has a heavy emphasis on deco stylings, particularly in the segments set at sea.The music — saving the best for last, this is really George and Ira’s film as much as it is Fred and Ginger’s, for me anyway. Some of their most enduring hits came out of this one. “They Can’t Take That Away From Me”, “They All Laughed” and “Let’s Call the Whole Thing Off” are popular for good reasons — they have excellent lyrics and catchy themes. The lyrics emphasize the attitude Fred’s character has in the films — no matter how ridiculous he makes himself appear to other characters (and the audience), his absolute conviction in his love and his dignity carry him through life. This film also has a slew of somewhat lesser known but high quality Gershwin tunes, most notably “Slap that Bass” which receives full treatment with a synchronized introduction that ties the song’s rhythm to the mechanical movements of the ship. With its extreme deco stylings, it’s the closest thing to a musical version of “Metropolis” that you’d ever want to see. “Walking the Dog” is an interesting little musical interlude written for the film by Gershwin and arranged by RR Bennett which has sometimes been performed in symphonic settings since the 1980s.All in all, probably one of the top musicals of all time, and certainly one of the best of the 1930s with many exemplary qualities it shares with the best 1930s Broadway product.

  • andromeda-kaskaoute
    andromeda kaskaoute

    This is undoubtedly one of the best that Fred and Giner made at RKO in glorious black and white and it’s singular inasmuch that one is able to wallow in the melodic melodies and literate lyrics whilst simultaneously marvelling at what Depression audiences would sit still for in terms of credibility. All three writers – Lee Loeb, Harold Buchman ‘story’ and Ernest Pagano ‘screenplay’ – racked up dozens of other credits – Pagano worked on four other Astaire movies, Carefree, again with Ginger, A Damsel In Distress, You Were Never Lovlier and You’ll Never Get Rich – and presumably wrote all five screenplays in the same colander. Consider: The story opens in Paris; Astaire, dancing star of a Russian ballet troupe, is happy to stay there where he hopes to meet Linda Keene (Rogers) an American entertainer with whom he has fallen in love. Impresario Jeffrey Baird (Edward Everett Horton) wants Petrov (Astaire)to return to New York and dance at the Met but Petrov is adamant. Then, he meets Keene and learns she is sailing the very next day (from Paris, mind you, on a Liner, yet) on the Queen Ann so without further ado he informs Baird that he (Petrov) will sail to NY the next day. Just like that. No advance booking necessary, just turn up with your troupe of Russian dancers and yes, of course, you can have a couple of dozen staterooms at a couple of hours notice. More? Halfway across the Atlantic, Ginger, teed off with Fred, persuades the captain to allow her to leave on the plane that comes to collect air mail for New York. Yes, you heard. A plane lands on a liner in the middle of the Atlantic as a matter of course to collect mail. More? Gee, you’re tough to please, but okay. The first real song and dance number occurs in the engine room of the ship and this is an engine room where you could eat off the highly POLISHED floor even as you marvel at the pristine art-deco pistons and other paraphernalia. Forget Gene O’Neill and the realistic engine rooms he was putting on stage a decade earlier in such plays as The Long Voyage Home, The Hairy Ape, etc, THIS is an engine room where grease, oil and dirt are strictly forbidden. More? Listen, there IS more, lots more but enough already. I only mention these little things so I can now say they don’t MATTER. This is escapism, pure and simple. A great, great score boasting, in addition to the title song, Slap That Bass, Let’s Call The Whole Thing Off, They All Laughed, I’ve Got Beginner’s Luck and the immortal They Can’t Take That Away From Me. Eric ‘Slow Burn’ Blore divvies up the laughs with Horton and a wonderful (but, alas, now lost) time is had by all.

  • olimpian-diaconescu
    olimpian diaconescu

    Mark Sandrich’s Shall We Dance (1937) is a tad heavy in the schmaltz department, particularly as it casts Astaire as the most unlikely of ballet stars, Pete Petrov Peters. Smitten with lovely musical star, Linda Keene (Rogers), Pete makes passage on the same luxury liner as his par amour. Theirs is a quiet – if glib – little shipboard nothing that results in a few choice dances but precious little else; that is, until a hint of gossip gets overblown for the tabloids so that by the time the ship docks in Manhattan harbor everyone believes Petrov and Linda are husband and wife. This was the sort of reluctant romantic dribble that the Astaire/Rogers franchise was beginning to develop into by the end of their tenure at RKO. It is one of the examples chiefly responsible for both stars eventually choosing NOT to renew their contracts and go their separate ways; he to even greater acclaim with a string of lush and lovely Technicolor musicals at MGM (The Band Wagon, Silk Stockings, Three Little Words); she on the road to a dramatic career (Kitty Foyle) and choice turns as a dead pan comedian (Stage Door, Roxy Hart).This is the worst looking DVD in the box set; having said that, it’s still pretty good by most standards. Age related artifacts are at their most prevalent here as is film grain. But the real culprit which prevents one from thoroughly enjoying the film is the lower than average contrast levels that render the image darker than it ought to be and with considerable loss of tonal gray variations and fine detail throughout. The audio is Mono but nicely presented. Extras include an audio commentary, short subject, a featurette on ‘the music’ of the film and a theatrical trailer.

  • pamela-alexander
    pamela alexander

    “Shall We Dance” is for this viewer one of the great Astaire-Rogers films, even if some of the comments don’t agree. I love it because of the glorious Astaire dancing. One of my all-time favorite numbers of his is “Slap that Bass” in which Astaire dances to the rhythm of machines. Oh, those pirouettes! Amazing. I rewound and watched it twice more.Astaire plays a ballet dancer named Petrov. In real life, Astaire was loathe to do ballet because he was self-conscious about his large hands. Who’s looking at his hands? Petrov falls hard for singer Linda Keene (Rogers, who else) and arranges to follow her on the same ship to New York.Everyone has a great time, including the comic relief, Eric Blore, Edward Everett Horton, and Jerome Cowan. One of the best scenes occurs as Horton and Cowan smuggle a dummy of Linda (from a number she never did) into Astaire’s stateroom to photograph the two together and prove they’re married (they’re not. And Blore getting arrested and telephoning to get bailed out of the Susquehana jail is wonderful.But “Shall We Dance,” like the previous Astaire-Rogers pairings, isn’t about the plot, it’s about the music and dance. What music, what dance. George and Ira Gershwin’s score includes “I’ve Got Beginner’s Luck,” and “They All Laughed,” both sung by Astaire, “Let’s Call the Whole Thing Off” (sung and danced by the pair on roller skates), “They Can’t Take That Away From Me” (sung by Astaire), and the music later becomes a ballet sequence with Astaire and Harriet Hoctor. Astaire and Rogers dance to “Shall We Dance” after Astaire sings the number and the two reprise “Let’s Call the Whole Thing Off.” You can’t beat “Shall We Dance” for pure escapism, breathtaking dance, and great songs.

  • rachel-blair
    rachel blair

    The big takeaway on Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers is how well they danced together. My big takeaway from “Shall We Dance” is how well they acted.It’s one thing to give a good performance in a musical like “Carousel” or “Singing In The Rain”, and quite another to deliver amid the creaky jokes, plummy patter, and contrived plot twists that make up “Shall We Dance”. But they do, and thanks to them, the show turns out not only okay but rather fine.Astaire is a faux-Russian ballet dancer, Petrov, who dreams of pairing up with celebrated tap dancer Linda Keene (Rogers) both on-stage and off. Linda just wants to retire, but Petrov’s earnestness begins to win her over – until she is led to believe he is using her. She leaves him just as word spreads that the two are married (and really spreads, in the form of front-page news stories and radio flashes), forcing them to face a surreal prospect.”We’re the only people in the world who don’t think we’re married!” Linda exclaims.People watching “Shall We Dance” for the first time need patience. Astaire and Rogers don’t dance for an hour, their one musical moment all that time involving walking a dog around a ship in time to a musical theme (provided by one George Gershwin, who did the score with his lyricist brother Ira). Matters are too often dominated by Edward Everett Horton’s over-the-top eye rolls and leaden asides as Petrov’s snooty, disapproving manager. Later on William Brisbane arrives as Linda’s rich-guy suitor, adding more overbaked ham to the menu.But Astaire keeps his end up, dancing to a skipping record or later overplaying a mock Russian accent in his first face-to-face with Linda. “You don’t want to dance with the great Petrov,” he declares, playing up a Slavic superiority trip. “Don’t be a silly horse.” The way he elongates that last “o” is positively indecent.Some reviewers here say Rogers seems bored in this film. She’s playing a withdrawn character, though, and does give off passion when called upon. A big musical moment between her and Astaire, when he declares “They Can’t Take That Away From Me”, is a remarkable duet despite the fact she doesn’t sing a note, just looks off with tear-filled eyes. Yet she gets the song’s one close-up, and rightly so. When they have their first performance in front of an audience and he dances up a storm by way of an introduction, the look on her face is priceless. “What am I supposed to do?” she deadpans.Give director Mark Sandrich credit for keeping things light. Too light at times, like when Linda’s manager somehow gets a photo of the couple in bed together by using a manikin of her he just happens to have in his closet (better I guess we don’t know why he does). Sandrich does make the good scenes better with doses of gentle humor, like the capper to a roller-skating dance that is the movie’s best moment. There are some nice dissolves from scene to scene, like a flip-book view of Linda dancing that melts into the real thing.Watching this the first time, the minutes stretched like rubber. The second time things flew much faster, because I knew what I wanted to see and could look forward to its arrival. I guess audiences of the 1930s had that expectation built in, one reason perhaps why these movies were so popular and no one cared when they were a bit inane.

  • dr-timothy-ahmed
    dr timothy ahmed

    As a classic movie buff,I can honestly say that this is one of the greatest movies Ginger Rogers and Fred Astaire ever made together. The story line is light, however, you must remember that this movie was made in the middle of the Depression, a time when people needed a light story(hence the major reason why Musicals were made in the first place). This movie is in my top 4 favorite Astaire/Rogers musicals, along with Top Hat(1935),Swing Time(1936), and Follow The Fleet(1936).I urge everyone to see those as well. The songs in this movie are wonderful,particularly “They All Laughed” and “Let’s Call The Whole Thing Off.”

  • ramon-de-la-o-villasenor
    ramon de la o villasenor

    Perhaps the best number in this is Fred and Ginger’s dance ‘n tap on roller-skates, but the terrific Gershwin score helps a lot (including ‘Let’s Call The Whole Thing Off’, ‘They Can’t Take That Away From Me’ and several others). This is one of the pair’s best, with the usual strong support from Edward Everett Horton, Eric Blore and Jerome Cowan. A silly plot, with Astaire as a Russian ballet dancer (not really Russian, his real name is Peter P Peters!) and Rogers as a musical revue star, who meet and get embroiled in a fake marriage run-around. Horton plays Astaire’s fussy manager, Blore plays a pompous hotel manager (the scene in the jail prompting the cop to ask ‘what is this, a spelling bee?’ is hilarious), and Cowan plays Rogers’ manager (a chap distractingly named Arthur Miller).’Shall We Dance’ showcases Ginger Rogers in particular and gives her chance to shine; Fred Astaire remains the usual unattractive pest until he breaks into singing and dancing; and the finale, with a bevy of masked honeys who look like Ginger, has a certain originality. A great team at their very best.

  • raluca-marin
    raluca marin

    This film (one of the better ones Astaire and Rogers did) probably doesn’t get quite the praise it merits because Top Hat and The Gay Divorcee are so widely praised (rightly so). But this movie is equally well executed and any movie that has in it’s score the songs, “Shall We Dance”, “Let’s Call the Whole Thing Off” and especially “They Can’t Take That Away” deserves to be warmly remembered. There’s a score by Gershwin, dancing by Astaire, Rogers and others and Edard Everett Horton and Eric Blore in support (they appeared in so many of the Astaire-Rogers films that their casting must have been legally required!). Well worth your time. Recommended.

  • besarion-lezhava
    besarion lezhava

    SHALL WE DANCE (RKO Radio, 1937), directed by Mark Sandrich, which reunites Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers for the seventh time on the musical screen, ventures them into a new world of dance, the art of ballet. While the opening credits focus silhouettes of ballet dancers in the backdrop, the movie itself is not necessarily devoted to ballet, but only a combination of that and modern dance.Astaire plays Petrov, an American dancer born under the name of Peter P. Peters of Philadelphia, P.A., who’s won fame as a Russian ballet star with the help of his impresario, Jeffrey Baird (Edward Everett Horton). While in Paris, where the first portion of the story takes place, Petrov has fallen in love with Linda Keene (Ginger Rogers), an American dancer whom he hasn’t met, but knows of her by profession and still photographs he keeps with him. After Petrov briefly meets Linda in her hotel room, by which he made no impression (especially with that Russian accent that sounds more like Charles Boyer than Mischa Auer!), he soon learns she’s leaving Paris setting sail on the Queen Anne bound for New York. In order on getting to know her better, Petrov agrees to an engagement dancing at the Metropolitan only if Jeffrey arranges for him to book passage on the Queen Anne. Before sailing, Petrov is reunited with Lady Denise Tarrington (Ketti Gallian), his former ballet dancing partner whom he now wants out the way. This is done through Jeffrey informing her of that Petrov is a married man with five children. When news of Petrov’s marriage reaches the media, compliments of Denise, the passengers, having read of the secret marriage in the ship newspaper, believe Linda Keene, with whom he has been seen, to be the wife. In order to prevent Linda from quitting her dancing career to marry the well-to-do but dull Jim Montgomery (William Brisbane), Arthur Miller (Jerome Cowan), Linda’s manager, joins forces with Jeffrey in keeping the marriage and scandal alive through practical jokes. After boarding in New York, Petrov and Linda decide to stop the rumors by actually getting married and then file for divorce. Situations are proved more difficult when Denise comes back to Petrov’s life once again.A casual reworking and revamping of the earlier Astaire and Rogers themes, SHALL WE DANCE (an appropriate title for them) succeeds on a higher level with a bright score and creative dancing by Astaire than on the flimsy plot. Aside from Horton making his third and final engagement with the team, Eric Blore returns for the fifth and final time playing the bewildered Cecil Flintridge, a New York City hotel floorwalker. The scene where Cecil gets arrested and telephones for Jeffrey to bail him out from the Susquhanna Street Jail, is amusing in itself, a reminder of an Abbott and Costello routine. While Rogers usually has female companions to accompany her, usually middle-aged types as Alice Brady or Helen Broderick (and later Edna May Oliver) for moral support, she has no such bonding here. Jerome Cowan as Arthur Miller steps in for them.On the musical program, with words and lyrics by George and Ira Gershwin, the songs include: “Slap That Bass” (sung by Mantan Moreland and Fred Astaire); “Walking the Dog” (instrumental); “I’ve Got Beginner’s Luck” (sung by Fred Astaire); “They All Laughed” (sung by Ginger Rogers/ danced by Rogers and Astaire); “Let’s Call the Whole Thing Off” (sung/ danced by Astaire and Rogers on roller skates); “They Can’t Take That Away From Me” (sung by Astaire); “They Can’t Take That Away From Me” (ballet dance with Astaire and Harriet Hoctor); “Shall We Dance?” (sung by Astaire/ danced by Astaire and Rogers); and “They All Laughed” (reprise by Astaire and Rogers).A notch below their previous efforts, SHALL WE DANCE takes a while getting down to business. In fact, Astaire and Rogers don’t dance together until almost a hour from the start of the story. After that, the plot moves briskly followed by one good song after another, all standards from the Gershwin songbook. Of the tunes selected for this production, “They Can’t Take That Away From Me” was nominated for an Academy Award. This is one where Astaire sings to Rogers in the foggy night on the Staten Island ferry. It’s not followed by a dance but a sentimental gesture well handled by Rogers. Other than Astaire’s dancing in the steam room surrounded by black stokers, another memorable moment occurs with “Let’s Call the Whole Thing Off” where Astaire and Rogers dance on roller skates in Central Park. One wonders what they could have done on ice skates to compete with the recent performer, Sonja Henie, of 20th Century-Fox musicals? After a lengthy ballet sequence featuring Astaire and Harriet Hoctor (who arches her head to her heals dancing like a swan), it returns to familiar territory when Rogers steps in for the “Shall We Dance?” number.One final note. Ketti Gallian, whose brief Hollywood movie career was coming to a close, usually a blonde now seen here as a brunette, playing Petrov’s former ballet partner. While her part is relatively small, with scenes occurring in the beginning and near the conclusion, it’s a wonder why Harriet Hoctor does the ballet dancing instead of Gallian, or why Hoctor didn’t assume the role of Denise so not to add to the confusion? Overlooking this and other minor flaws as to the drawn-out double-takes between Horton and Blore, SHALL WE DANCE, is true to its word in title, especially during the film’s second half. SHALL WE DANCE, distributed to home video and DVD, and formerly presented on American Movie Classics, can be found on Turner Classic Movies. (***1/2)

  • raymond-adams
    raymond adams

    It was a delight to come across the movie on DVD. ‘Shall We Dance’ was the only Fred and Ginger movie of 1937 and didn’t do as well as previous efforts, making less than half a million dollars profit at the time (ref. ‘The RKO Story’ by Jewell and Harbin). Obviously I’d never be able to pick a money-maker as I found it totally brilliant from beginning to end! A wonderful sound track and beautiful score – the only one George and Ira Gershwin ever wrote for Fred and Ginger, more’s the pity.The skimpy story involving romances, misunderstandings and a luxury liner across the Atlantic has been done numerous times but here it seems to work, thanks to the wonderful Eric Blore, Edward Everett Horton and a good supporting cast, with the exception of Ketti Gallian. This lady seems out of place, not unlike the unfortunate Randolph Scott in ‘Follow the Fleet’. The musical numbers are a knockout, especially the ship’s engine room and roller-skating sequences. Fred plays one of his most endearing parts while Ginger is spellbindingly gorgeous. Viewing a sharp transfer really does show up a lot of things missed when watching less than good prints on television. Ginger’s eyes kept me transfixed whenever she appeared :)A movie to be viewed, and enjoyed, again and again. As good as ‘Swing Time’ and not far short of my favourite Fred and Ginger movie, ‘Flying Down to Rio’.

  • kirsty-jones
    kirsty jones

    With a fluff plot that’s sillier than usual, Shall We Dance marks the one and only time the brothers Gershwin wrote a score for an Astaire/ Rogers musical. Fred was certainly no stranger to George and Ira, they had written Funny Face on Broadway for him and also had done Damsel in Distress which he co-starred with Joan Fontaine the year before.This also is the last complete score the Gershwins did for the screen. While writing the score for the Goldwyn Follies, George would suddenly die of a brain tumor. It’s a beautiful selection of songs, topped off by They Can’t Take That Away From Me, a song forever after identified with Fred Astaire. It’s also one of my favorite Gershwin songs, in fact one of my favorites period.Fred’s a hoofer at heart, but he’s pretending to be a Russian ballet star named Petrov, appropriate for a guy named Peter Peters in real life. The girl he’s infatuated with, musical comedy star Ginger Rogers is sailing to America on the same ship.Through an incredible combination of circumstances rumor gets around that the two of them are in fact married. All the doing of her producer Jerome Cowan and Fred’s manager Edward Everett Horton. They actually have to get married to keep the ruse going. Of course I needn’t say what happens after that.Two other Gershwin standards, They All Laughed and Nice Work If You Can Get It are sung and danced by the pair, the latter on roller skates. I also liked Fred’s solo number with the engine room men on the ocean liner, Slap That Bass. The brothers Gershwin obviously saw the success Astaire had with Bojangles of Harlem in Swing Time and decided to imitate shall we say. Look for a nice performance also by Eric Blore who plays the frustrated hotel manager who is getting positively flustered about how to handle the married/unmarried pair of Astaire and Rogers in his hotel.There is a touch of sadness to this musical realizing that an incredible talent in George Gershwin would be stilled very shortly. I do love that man’s music so. You’ll keep the memory of this film long after seeing it even once.