My brain is kind of melting. I played way too many drinking games last night and can no longer thing of clever titles for my posts.

Anyhoo…. everyone knows the “essential” Fred and Ginger films. Swing Time, Top Hat, The Gay Divorcee, Shall We Dance. But most of my favorites are the ones that don’t get a lot of attention. Roberta, Carefree, Follow the Fleet. And these movies have some of my very favorite Fred and Ginger dances. So why aren’t they better known? So here are my favorite obscure Fred and Ginger movies, with my favorite dances from each of them.

Roberta
In my absolute favorite of their films, Fred and Ginger actually play second banana to Randolph Scott and Irene Dunne. They are infinitely more interesting than the main couple, but the movie is just so completely charming.


I’ll Be Hard to Handle
I don’t think Fred and Ginger ever had more fun doing a dance number than they did here. It’s a fast, fun, breezy dance that’s a blast to watch, and judging be the smiles and laughter coming from the pair, a blast to perform as well.

Smoke Gets In Your Eyes
This is my favorite Fred and Ginger dance. It’s a very simple dance, but it’s so well choreographed and put together. It’s extremely beautiful, and has some exquisite moments (the dip, the spin, the way he holds her head against his shoulder… so romantic).

Follow the Fleet
Fred and Ginger are kind of playing second banana again in this one (the other couple is Randolph Scott and Harriet Hilliard). The balance is a little more even between the pairings in this one, though. For once, Fred and Ginger don’t play upper class people. Fred is a sailor in the Navy and Ginger is a singer/dancer in a small dance hall. It makes for a really unique and fun dynamic between them.

I’m Putting All My Eggs In One Basket
This is probably Fred and Ginger’s funniest number. I also love it because it’s really a moment for Ginger to shine and show her tremendous ability for physical comedy. Fred’s great here, but surprisingly, it really is Gingers number. I also like the song quite a bit as well.

Let’s Face the Music and Dance
Like Smoke Gets In Your Eyes this is a very simply done, but beautiful number. Ginger’s dress is extremely beautiful in it (it’s probably my favorite dress Ginger wore in any of there movies). It was beaded and very heavy, and if you look close enough you can see Fred getting whapped in the face by one of the sleeves.

Carefree
This is probably the most unique Fred and Ginger movie, because it’s storyline and narrative structure are completely different from their other films. Fred is a psychiatrist who’s trying to help his friend with his wishy washy fiance (Ginger). Of course, they fall in love. This is definitely more Ginger’s movie than Fred’s, and it’s probably her finest comedic performance.

I Used to Be Color Blind
This is a very interesting dance. It’s done in slow motion to give it a dreamy feeling (the whole dance is actually a dream sequence). And it’s also the first time Fred and Ginger shared a kiss onscreen.

The Yam
This number is another reason that this is mostly Ginger’s movie. She gets to sing this song (Fred thought it was too silly and handed it off to her). She does a great job, and she kind of takes the lead in the dance, which is a really fun and creative number.

By Katie Richardson

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