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Robert Abrams
Movie Reviews
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Shall We Dance (1937)

by Robert Abrams
December 31, 2000

A Review of "Shall We Dance" (1937)

Robert Abrams


"Shall We Dance" (1937) stars Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers. This film has a flimsy plot. There is plenty of elegant tap dancing, several ballet numbers, a little ballroom dancing, and one dance number on roller skates. I thought it was enjoyable, although given the title, I had been expecting more dancing. My grandmother, who was 33 when this film was released, kept complaining that it was too long. While she did laugh during a number of the scenes, in general she didn't think the film was worth watching.

The plot may be flimsy, but this film does have a point to make. The film argues that experimentation and a marriage of traditions will enrich dance as a whole. Fred Astaire's character mixes ballet with stage dance, tap, and African dance. A remake of this film that explored this thesis in depth might be worth watching.

There is a song and dance number in this movie called "Shall We Dance", but it is a different set of music and lyrics than the one found in "The King and I".

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