Synopsis by Hal Erickson
The top-billed stars in the extravagant RKO musical Flying Down to Rio are Dolores Del Rio and Gene Raymond. Forget all that: this is the movie that first teamed Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers. We're supposed to care about the romantic triangle between aviator/bandleader Raymond, Brazilian heiress Del Rio and her wealthy fiance Raul Roulien, but the moment Fred and Ginger dance to a minute's worth of "The Carioca", the film is theirs forever. Other musical highlights include Rogers' opening piece "Music Makes Me" and tenor Roulien's lush rendition of "Orchids in the Moonlight". Then there's the title number. The plot has it that Del Rio' uncle has been prohibited from having a floor show at his lavish hotel because of a Rio city ordinance. Astaire and Raymond save the day by staging the climactic "Flying Down to Rio" number thousands of feet in the air, with hundreds of chorus girls shimmying and swaying while strapped to the wings of a fleet of airplanes. It is one of the most outrageously brilliant numbers in movie musical history, and one that never fails to incite a big round of applause from the audience--even audiences of the 1990s. Together with King Kong, Flying Down to Rio saved the fledgling RKO Radio studios from bankruptcy in 1933. The film was a smash everywhere it played, encouraging the studio to concoct future teamings of those two stalwart supporting players Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers.
dance [art], father, hotel, love-triangle, pilot, airplane
High Budget, High Historical Importance