Fred's Films
Fred Astaire made only 41 films, not a lot compared to most of his contemporaries. 
This could be due to the fact that he was determined to have only his best work on film,
so each of his movies was painstaklingly rehearsed -- and even then he was rarely satisfied.
But when you think about it, have you ever seen a really bad Fred Astaire performance?
Dancing Lady  1933 - Fred has a cameo role as himself, "that dancer from New York", in this otherwise routine backstage musical starring Clark Gable, Joan Crawford and Franchot Tone.
Flying Down to Rio  1933 - Fred plays sidekick to womanizing bandleader Gene Raymond. Musical numbers surround the thin story of Raymond chasing gorgeous Delores Del Rio, most importantly, Astaire's first dance on screen with Ginger Rogers.   more
The Gay Divorcee  1934 - First film to star Astaire and Rogers. Ginger's trying to get a divorce and is led to believe that Fred is the hired correspondent in her case to prove apparent infidelity. But does the plot matter? It's only an excuse for the music and dancing... more
Roberta  1934 - Produced before the huge success of "The Gay Divorcee" was known, Fred and Ginger again have secondary roles, playing back-up to the romantic troubles of Randolph Scott and Irene Dunne. more
Top Hat  1935 - Fred and Ginger come into their own in this, the quintessential Astaire-Rogers movie. Fred plays a dancer chasing Ginger across several continents - she's not only very annoyed by him just on principle, but thinks he's his (married) friend Horace (the priceless Edward Everett Horton) besides. Songs by Irving Berlin include Fred's signature "Top Hat, White Tie and Tails", and the exquisite "Dancing Cheek to Cheek." more
Follow the Fleet  1936 - Fred plays a cocky sailor and Ginger his feisty former dance partner - he tries to rekindle their romance but instead keeps losing her jobs for her - which understandably causes some friction.... more
Swing Time  1936 - Fred heads for New York to make a quick bundle of money to satisfy his future father-in-law, but he finds Ginger instead of a job and his plans begin to change.... A masterpiece. more
Shall We Dance  1937 - Fred's a ballet star known as "Petrov", but he's really just plain Pete, yearning for tap, not toe, shoes. He meets up with musical comedy star Ginger and sparks fly. more
A Damsel in Distress  1937 - Fred's an American in England, coming to noblewoman Joan Fontaine's rescue when she's restricted to her father's castle to curb her 'scandalous behavior' (she doesn't want to marry the creep that Dad picked out). Great solo dancing by Astaire, some comedy bits from George Burns and Gracie Allen.
continue: Astaire Films 2 ~ Films 3  || go to Astaire TV appearances

Astaire/Rogers Collection, Vol. I  DVD boxed set
order from


Astaire Menu | Multimedia | Biography | Fred & Ginger | Celebrate Astaire | This Month on TV | Guestbook | Links