Follow The Fleet

Dir: Mark Sandrich, 1936. Starring: Fred Astaire, Ginger Rogers, Randolph Scott, Harriett Hilliard. English. Musical.
Follow The Fleet

Follow the Fleet is not the formula that the Astaire/Rogers team is best known for. He's a sailor, and she's single gal making a living in the busy port of San Fransisco as a dance hall girl. Theirs isn't even the the only love story. Historically it's a piece that goes back a picture to when they were the lovable comic relief playing second fiddle to the more glamorous duo, Irene Dunne and Randolph Scott, in Roberta.

However, Fleet is loaded with adult humor and childish charm. Astaire in a sailor suit is hilarious. He looks so young and tiny compared to the bulky and once again co-lead, Scott, and Rogers seems a little crass standing next to the lithesome beauty of a young Harriet Hilliard (of Ozzie and Harriet fame). However their chemistry and spunk make the other two seem as flat and as interesting as soggy pancakes.

Follow the Fleet is a must just to experience the power and charge that the rest of their career together makes you take for granted. But the real reason to see this movie is the very last scene - 5 of the most glorious minutes in the history of film. It is like watching the birth of a legend. Astaire never looked so good in a tux and Rogers in that shimmering gown is what dreams are made of. Their powerful precision never diminishes the passion behind this sweet sad vignette of love. If you let them, Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers dancing "Face the Music and Dance" will change your life. My advice? Let them.  

Posted by:
Jessica Kaman
Nov 17, 2007 5:16pm
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