Trivia Time with Swing Time

Tuesday, August 28, 2018

I've live tweeted the musical Swing Time (1936) on a number of occasions, and during each one I've posted various bits of trivia about the film. So I've decided to combine a few of my favorites and craft them into one convenient post here for your enjoyment. Here are 10 fun facts about Swing Time:

1. Ginger's mother Lela helped actress Betty Furness, who plays Margaret in Swing Time, get her start when she starred Furness in the opening of her Hollytown Little Theater in 1933. The play was titled "Even as Heathens."

2. Landers Stevens, who plays Betty Furness's father in the film, is the real life father of director George Stevens.

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Landers Stevens in Swing Time

3. Swing Time was originally based off of an Erwin Gelsey story titled "Portrait of John Garnett."

4. "The Way You Look Tonight" received the Academy Award for Best Original Song of that year. It was written by Dorothy Fields and Jerome Kern, and performed by Fred Astaire in the film.

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5. Whipped cream from the RKO commissary was used on Ginger's hair for the scene shown to the left. This was after her head had gone through various trials experimenting with items such as eggs and toothpaste.

6. The snow used in the "A Fine Romance" duet was filmed in the middle of a hot Los Angeles summer and used shredded wax paper. Real ice was incorporated into the close ups.

7. Each of the chorus girls' costumes in the "Bojangles of Harlem" number cost $400, and their collective salary was $5,000 for three weeks of work.

8. It took until four in the morning to finally complete filming for the "Never Gonna Dance" number.

9. Never Gonna Dance was actually the tentative title for Swing Time.

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10. Ginger often listed Swing Time as her single favorite Astaire-Rogers musical. This is largely due to the "Never Gonna Dance" routine.

Sources:, Ginger: My Story, 1991

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