Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Ginger and Fred

Fred and Ginger should have always been “Ginger and Fred” as Ladies first should be the rule. Here is a photo from their first movie together, “Flying Down To Rio” in which they had second billing after Gene Raymond (I’m sorry, but….who?) and Dolores Del Rio. It may have had plot holes you could fly an airplane through, but it holds up well, and has great charm, all thanks to Ginger and Fred. Dolores was beautiful, but couldn’t emote, and Gene Raymond, try as he might, never could make any impression-he hardly shows up in his own film.
Merian C. Cooper, the producer had quite a busy 1933-among the 29 (!) movies he produced that year (according to the standouts were “King Kong”, “Morning Glory”-Katharine Hepburn’s first Oscar winning performance, and “Flying Down To Rio”.
Ginger Rogers was magnificent, and she well deserved every accolade presented her.
Fred could do it all, with sort of an off hand charm and pleasantness, but without Ginger he would only have been a memorable specialty dancer. The dancing was wonderful, but ticket buyers in the 30’s and 40’s (and DVD buyers in 2007) wanted to see them together, falling in love on the screen.
Ginger in her autobiography makes casual mention of the five or so husbands she collected over the years, and glosses over troubled times as if they were no big deal, that’s life and all of that. All of our idols have feet of clay. But I appreciate Ginger and Fred, and all the fun and entertainment they have brought into the world.

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