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zmu02| Flying Down to Rio
Director: Thornton Freeland
Screenplay: Lou Brock, Anne Caldwell, Cyril Hume, Erwin S. Gelsey, H.W. Hanemann
Producer: Lou Brock, Merian C. Cooper
Cast: Dolores del Rio, Gene Raymond, Raul Roulien, Ginger Rogers, Fred Astaire
Genre: Musical

Running Time: 89
Aspect Ratio:  1.33:1 (NTSC )
Sound: Dolby Digital 1.0
Subtitles: English, Spanish, French
Features: Black and White
Studio:  Turner Home Ent DVD Region:  1 NR
DVD Release:  Oct 2006 Discs:  1 (DVD) [$19.98]
Reviews:  In 1933, RKO Pictures had the bright idea of pairing Dolores Del Rio and Gene Raymond for their new musical blockbuster, "Flying Down to Rio". The film was a smash, but not for the reasons anyone expected. The fourth- and fifth-billed stars were an RKO bit player and a Broadway man breaking into Hollywood. Their names were Ginger Rogers and Fred Astaire, and their pairing in this and eight subsequent RKO films would rewrite cinematic history. Most of "Rio"'s screen time is spent on a humdrum romantic triangle involving Del Rio, Raymond, and Raul Roulien, but Fred (as Fred Ayres) and Ginger (as Honey Hayes) are still able to establish many of the trademarks of their later films. Ginger fronts the band (with Fred on accordian!) in the saucy "Music Makes Me," and Fred does some solo tap, then sings and leads the band for the spectacular airborne finale featuring chorus girls perched on the wings of biplanes. The heart of the film is "The Carioca," a company dance extravaganza that would be imitated by "The Continental" and "The Piccolino" in later films. Here Fred and Ginger take the floor together for the first time; their eyes meet and their foreheads touch. Their dance lasts only a few minutes, but it was the highlight of the film and audiences wanted more. The most prophetic moment occurs toward the beginning of the dance, when, after watching for a while, Fred grabs Ginger and tells her, "I want to try this. Come on, Honey." She declares, "We'll show 'em a thing or three." They did indeed. It was magic, and it was only the beginning. "--David Horiuchi"

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