Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|Flying Down to Rio|
Actors: Dolores del Rio, Gene Raymond, Raul Roulien, Ginger Rogers, Fred Astaire
Director: Thornton Freeland
Genres: Comedy, Musicals & Performing Arts
Carefree When a marriage-shy girl falls in love with her psychoanalyst, the result is one of the wittiest, most enjoyable of all the Fred Astaire-Ginger Rogers classics! Add great dance numbers, Rogers' deft comic timing, ... more »
Similarly Requested DVDs
Thanx to Amazon for Finding this Gem!
Great Movie Addict | New York City | 02/03/2000
(4 out of 5 stars)
"It's hard to see why a musical combo like composer VincentYoumans and lyricist Gus Kahn don't get more credit for beauties likethe rhythmic "Carioca" and the classic tango "Orchids in the Moonlight," two standards people have been humming since 1933. Audiences went to see Gene Raymond and the gorgeous Dolores Del Rio, but were swept away by the relatively unknown Astaire and Rogers. And take a gander at Ginger Rogers singing "I Like Music" in a gown that barely made it through the Hayes office. This was one of the last times she would play the usual working-blonde smart alec before later films revealed her as the great artist she was. The plot is standard, dopey fluff from every 30's musical, but a cast of RKO old-pro's pull it off quite well -- right down to the silly gyrations of pudgy bathing beauties anchored to soaring biplanes over Rio. Get this while you can, it's a great piece of Hollywood history."
Accidentally a historic moment...
H. Bala | Carson - hey, we have an IKEA store! - CA USA | 06/04/2006
(4 out of 5 stars)
""Can't sing. Can't act. Balding. Can dance a little." Hollywood legend has it that that was the report on Fred Astaire's initial RKO screen test. Not a very auspicious start for a stage dancer trying to get a foot in the door of Hollywood. His movie debut was in a 1933 MGM movie titled "Dancing Lady", wherein Fred had a fleeting cameo as himself. But it was later on in the same year that Fred really made the movie audience sit up and pay attention, when he got fifth-billing in RKO's "Flying Down to Rio."
The plot focus is mainly on the inconsequential love triangle of Dolores del Rio, Gene Raymond and Brazilian tenor Raul Roulien and it takes place in Rio de Janeiro. Roger Bond (Raymond) is an aviator/band leader who falls hard for Belinha (del Rio), only to find out she's engaged to his good buddy, Julio (Roulien)... This was just supposed to be yet another musical-comedy done by the numbers in a style prevalent to the times. But in the greater scope of things, the lead romance takes backstage to the real relevance of this film: the first ever team-up of Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers (the fourth-billed on the roster). On a personal level, this movie also has one of my favorite one-liners: "What have these South Americans got below the equator that we haven't?"
Fred Astaire - back in his Broadway stage days, and partnered with his sister Adele - used to specialize in playing the musically gifted, nice all-American fella with no girl to romance (he certainly couldn't romance his sister) and he carries that role over to this film. He plays Fred Ayres, sidekick and wingman to Raymond's Roger Bond, who does all the heavy load of skirt-chasing. Fred has a relationship with Ginger's Honey Hayes, but it seems to be strictly grounded in friendship, though flirting occurs. It won't be until his next movie The Gay Divorcee that he becomes a romantic lead, the girl in question being, of course, Ginger Rogers. It's a bit ironic to me, though, that the more enjoyable verbal exchanges seem to take place between Fred and Honey, with the amorous Roger and Belinha (del Rio's character) trading the more routine banter. But probably, I'm biased.
The Astaire and Rogers partnership starts innocently enough with the lively musical number "Music Makes Me" but the duo's chemistry is in full-blown display with the eleven-minute-plus-long "The Carioca", a song-and-dance routine that called for the participators to dance with their foreheads pressed together. Oh, Fred and Ginger don't dance for the entire length of the number but, apparently, the audience saw enough to leave a lasting impression. Astaire gets his only singing assignment at the finale, warbling the title song as an unbelievable and disconcerting Busby Berkeley-type aerial routine goes underway. Sandwiched somewhere in the middle of the film, Roulien also croons "Orchids in the Moonlight".
This movie became a financial success, which pulled the RKO studio out of imminent bankruptcy. Variety magazine reviewed the movie thus: "The main point of Flying Down to Rio is the screen promise of Fred Astaire.... He's assuredly a bet after this one, for he's distinctly likeable on the screen, the mike is kind to his voice and as a dancer he remains in a class by himself. The latter observation will be no news to the professsion, which has long admitted that Astaire starts dancing where the others stop hoofing". With only Raymond and del Rio in the cast, this would've been a 2-and-a-half star rating from me, not bad but nothing special. As it is, I'm dropping down 4 stars on Flying Down to Rio, for frothy, entertaining musicality and its historical significance in filmdom.
Oh yeah, Gene Raymond gets the girl in the end.
The plot is thin--but it hatched Fred and Ginger !!!
Matthew G. Sherwin | last seen screaming at Amazon customer service | 05/11/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Flying Down To Rio featured the great Delores Del Rio as Belinha De Rezende, a wealthy Brazilian young lady who must enter into an arranged marriage; and Gene Raymond playing Roger Bond, an American band manager who falls in love with her practically at first sight. RKO intended for Flying Down To Rio to be a vehicle for Gene Raymond and Delores Del Rio. Rather unexpectedly, however, two other people stole the show: Fred Astaire as Fred Ayres, the band's accordionist and Ginger Rogers as Honey Hale. Audiences were very impressed and never forgot them; Fred and Ginger continued to make great movies together for quite some while to come.
But I am getting ahead of myself--by about several reviews or so! In Flying Down To Rio you get an American band rather used to being out of work run by ladies' man Roger Bond; a crooked Greek syndicate; an aerial flying show with dancing girls on the wings of the airplanes, new found love on a supposedly deserted island that turns out to be Haiti; the biggest and best Carioca dance scene you ever did see; and a stuffy old aunt looking after Belinha to make sure she enters into that not so perfectly arranged marriage. So, you may ask, how do these all fit together? Well, this is a 1930s musical designed to distract Americans from the Great Depression, so the answer is easy: they DON'T always fit together well. The plot resembles a buffet where you get a little bit of a lot; and certainly not all of the characters have depth to them here. Gene Raymond injects a lot of effort to act rather convincingly as Roger Bond who is deeply in love with Belinha De Rezende; and Delores Del Rio plays Belinha beautifully.
At the same time, we see Fred and Honey (Fred and Ginger) just beginning to shine and they easily steal the show two or three times throughout this picture. The Carioca dance scene is choreographed to perfection; and Fred and Ginger work wonders together throughout the rest of the film, too.
Will Belinha marry her husband to be Julio (Raul Roulien) and set aside her somewhat impulsive amorous feelings for band manager Roger? Will the band find work in Rio? Will the hotel where the band wants to play be able to stage a show if their permit is fouled up? Why do the Greeks want to take over the hotel? Sorry folks; no spoilers here--if you want to know the answers you'll just have to watch the film to find out!
The choreography shines through best with the numerous extensive song and dance numbers that are peppered all throughout the film; and the cinematography is rather good. The people are well framed on the screen when they need to be and there are several scene changes that take place with lines running across the screen to indicate that we are jumping to another place for the next scene. This was considered fine cinematography in its day.
The DVD has a couple of extras but if you get this DVD the film squarely remains the main event. You get a comedy short entitled Short Beer and Pretzels with Ted Healy and His Stooges and a cartoon entitled I Like Mountain Music.
I highly recommend this film for fans of Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers especially since this was their first film together. Their dancing even then was outstanding, to say the least. People who enjoy musicals from the golden age of Hollywood should catch this film, too, to enjoy the numerous song and dance numbers. The dancing isn't always the best, but you will like these musical numbers anyway.
Heavy on Group Dances; Light on Fred & Ginger (DVD Review)
N. Lim | Santa Clara, CA USA | 10/28/2006
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Their first film together, this is the only Fred and Ginger (F&G) movie where they play supporting roles. The studio executives and the public did not yet know this couple's dance potential and powerhouse future. They only dance together once 43 minutes into the film (The Carioca). The movie is filled with several post-card quality shots of Rio de Janeiro and has more choreographed group dance routines and vocalists than you can shake a stick at. My favorite is all those girls dancing on biplanes while in flight, which is very creative. The romantic plot of the main characters, Belhina De Rezende (Dolores del Rio) and Roger Bond (Gene Raymond) and the subplot of the Greek investors are a little light but still held my interest.
The vintage short "Beer and Pretzels" is a very early three stooges short with Ted Healy still with the comedy team. The slapping-of-the-face sound effects have not yet even entered the soundtrack. Just like F&G in Rio, Moe, Larry and Curly are in supporting roles. The four men cause havoc as waiters in a high class restaurant. Most of this short consists of song and dance routines of people I have never heard of. (1933 Run time 20:33)
In the classic cartoon "I Like Mountain Music" the characters in a department store come to life and perform. Most of them jump out from magazine and book covers and are caricatures of personalities popular at the time. (1933 B&W Run time 6:59)
Theatrical Trailer (Run Time 1:29)"