Run time: 103 mins
In Theaters: Monday 12th October 1936
Box Office Worldwide: $2.6M
Budget: $886 thousand
Distributed by: RKO Radio Pictures Inc.
Production compaines: Radio Pictures
Contactmusic.com: 3.5 / 5
Rotten Tomatoes: 100%
IMDB: 7.7 / 10
Director: George Stevens
Producer: Pandro S. Berman
Starring: Fred Astaire as John "Lucky" Garnett, Ginger Rogers as Penelope "Penny" Carrol, Victor Moore as Pop Cardetti, Helen Broderick as Mabel Anderson, Eric Blore as Gordon, Betty Furness as Margaret Watson, Georges Metaxa as Ricky Romero, Dennis O'Keefe as Dance Extra in 'The Way You Look Tonight' Number (uncredited)
Maybe it's for the best, though. Missing the wedding winds him up with Penny (Ginger Rogers), who we're sure is going to be a better match for Lucky, because, you know, she can dance. (Here, in a bit of comic kitsch, she's a dance instructor and he's never danced before... though he proves to be an exceedingly fast learner.)
Swing Time is, of course, a platform for some amazing set pieces and big musical numbers, most notably including the numbers "Pick Yourself Up" and wedding staple "The Way You Look Tonight." There's also a number with Astaire in black face, but that's another story.
Swing Time also has some unexpected and quite chuckle-worthy moments of humor. My personal favorite is when, after Penny catches Lucky in a sort of strip poker game (on account of him needing to win some clothes to wear on a date), Penny shuts him out. In response, Lucky pickets outside her apartment protesting "unfair" treatment, with a mortarboard around his neck. Not outside the building, but in the hallway outside her door.
Now available on DVD for the first time (also as part of an Astaire and Rogers box set), the disc includes commentary from an Astaire biographer, a featurette about the film, and a couple of comedy and musical shorts.