Heartbreak and a Demanding Career
Ginger’s life is speeding by with little time for her and Lew. Musicals are time consuming with all of the rehearsals for her duets with Fred. She started rehearsing with Fred and Hermes Pan five to six weeks before production. She found herself rising at 5:30 in the morning and returning home in the late evening hours. When working on a musical with Fred it did not matter whether they were rehearsing or shooting a film holidays such as Thanksgiving and Christmas were working days just like any other day of the year. There were seven days in the workweek.
Ginger went back East for the premiere of Follow the Fleet with her mother instead of Lew at the last minute. Lew stayed home because he had to be within calling distance for retakes for his latest picture. Travel between the coasts was not as accessible as it is today and took around a half of day to make the coast-to-coast flight. Lew is not one who likes publicity for himself or his wife. Maybe he stayed home to avoid the spotlight that is shining on his wife, the young and elegant Ginger Rogers.
Ginger’s career was rising fast and Lew’s is taking a temporary dip. All of Ginger’s hard work, dedication, and long hours were finally paying off. How could she turn her back on what she had been fighting her whole life for, a successful career in show business. Ginger would never be one to sit idly by watching the parade go by, she had to be involve and inhaling the fumes of good hard work. She always had to be busy working and partaking in life. Lew wanted a wife at home. Who does not but that was not in Ginger’s nature. She had tried that when she was married to Jack Culpepper. She wanted to keep her promise to herself that if her career interfered with her marriage she would give up her career. She meant it when she said it but it was a promise she could not keep. It is heartbreaking that Lew did not realize she would not have been the same woman he fell in love with if she gave up her career for him. Ginger wanted a home with a husband and children but was that asking for too much? Can she have a successful career and a family? She had to concentrate on the here and now and worry about that later. The only thing Ginger knew for sure is she has to be at the studio tomorrow. One-step at a time with the hope that she might one day have her dream come true.
For whatever the reason, they separated in May of 1936. Ginger wistfully states, “I just live each day as it comes, do the best I can with it, watch it die without regret, I put what is passed away.” She was too alive and full of zest to live someone else’s life. For as much as Ginger loved Lew, she could not give up her career for him in the end.
Ginger explains, “what it means to stick in there and try to look graceful while thinking where your right hand should be, and how your head should be held, and which foot you end the next eight bars on, and whether you are near enough to the steps to leap up six of them backward without looking. Not to mention those Astaire rhythms. Did you ever try to count the different tempos he can think up in three minutes?” Fred’s chorography was inspirational because he did not confine himself or Ginger to the rules of dance. He invented his own style of dance and that is why he was so refreshing with Ginger. Ginger was not a trained dancer and had been interpreting her own dance style before she wowed the judges in Texas doing the Charleston her own way. This is one reason why Ginger complemented Fred’s innovative style so well. Neither one of them felt compelled to adhere to the rules of dance.
At the end of the article, Mr. Evans poses this question, “What if Fred had chosen another partner? What if he’d picked out a girl who didn’t have sufficient brains and talent to follow his suggestions and provide a foil for his great dancing and grand comedy? Perhaps, Ginger has done a great deal for Fred-and I’m sure he’d be the first person to admit it.” Ginger did more than just dance, she acted through the dances paying attention to every minuscule detail. These elements made those Astaire Rogers duets masterpieces. The Gods of Music and Dance ordained their pairing.
In July of 1936 after filming for Swing Time was completed, Ginger found herself on her way to Texas to celebrate their centennial. Even though she was born in Independence and spent time in Kansas City as a youngster, Ginger lived in Texas during her formative years. Texas considered Ginger one of theirs as she acknowledge them also as a favorite daughter. Governor Allred bestowed upon her the rank of admiral in the Texas Navy. She gladly accepted the honor.
Swing Time August 27, 1936 New York City, New York
After getting on Penny’s good side, she precedes to teach Lucky a few simple steps, which finds Lucky on the floor. Lucky and Penny delightfully sing Pick Yourself Up. Penny and Lucky try the steps again and now both of them are on the floor. She informs him to give it up that he could never learn to dance in a million years. This gets Penny inadvertently fired as her boss (Eric Blore) over hears her. Lucky drags a reluctant Penny onto the dance floor for a demonstration to show her boss what an excellent teacher she is.
Lucky does a fast tap and Penny leans backward as her face reveals her relief and astonishment at Lucky’s footwork. Lucky takes Penny into his arms and the dance starts with the steps that Penny had been teaching him. Penny follows Lucky’s lead incredulously until she realizes he knows what he is doing. They miraculously blend in step as one. When you think of Ginger and Fred dancing on air, this routine comes to mind. They seem to be floating up in the stratosphere as they tap, twirl, and leap effortlessly across and beyond the dance floor. Their exhilaration in coming together in dance has no earthly limits.
Lucky sings The Way You Look Tonight to Penny as she is washing her hair and she goes over to Lucky and tenderly caresses his shoulder with her hand and he turns to gaze upon her with a giddy smile until he sees her head of suds and she runs out of the room when she looks into the mirror. The song wins the Best Song Oscar for 1936.
Lucky and Penny have become romantically involved with each other as they rehearse for their dance debut. Lucky still does not want to commit to Penny and Penny is unsure of how Lucky really feels about her. Off to the New Amsterdam with Pop and Mabel (Helen Broderick) and maybe some alone time. Penny sings her verse of A Fine Romance to Lucky. It describes her bewilderment as to what kind of romance they should have compared to what kind of romance they appear to have.
Lucky has promised Penny that he will not gamble anymore and therefore he will not be able to earn the money he needs in order to return to Margaret. On the night of their performance, Penny goes to Lucky’s dressing room to settle a dare by Mabel to kiss him. She moves forward and Lucky moves backward. Penny tries again to no avail when she asks Lucky about her dress and cape. Lucky admires her dress and cape as he backs Penny up into a corner behind the door. The kiss is imminent, the door opens, and I miss the kiss. The door closes to reveal Penny and Lucky and the looks on their faces say it all. All of the giddy girlhood dreams of romance radiate from Penny’s face and Lucky’s lipstick smeared face shows the elation of a man in love.
Then the fiancée, Margaret, shows up and all seems lost. Penny accepts Ricky’s (Georges Metaxa) proposal of marriage in order to escape the unhappiness of Lucky’s promise to marry Margaret.
Lucky goes to leave the dance club and comes upon Penny and Ricky. Lucky asks to speak to Penny and she asks Ricky to wait for her outside. This next scene is one of the tenderest, loving, and heart wrenching put on film.
Penny: Bye. Penny walks off.
Lucky: Penny. She stops and turns around.
Oh, never mind. I just want to wish you good luck and all
Penny: And all what?
Lucky: Whatever you want.
Penny: Does she dance very beautifully?
Penny: The girl you are in love with.
Lucky: Yes, very.
Penny: The girl you are engaged to. The girl you are going to
Lucky: Oh, I don’t know. I have dance with you. I am never gonna
Penny turns and starts to walk up the steps. Lucky starts to sing and she turns to listen.
Though, I’m left without a penny
The wolf was discreet
And so, I put them down on anything
But the la belle
La perfectly swell romance
Never gonna dance
Dancing to radios
Or Major Edward Bowes?
Though, I’m left without a penny
The wolf was discreet
He left me my feet
And so, I put them down on anything
But the la belle
La perfectly swell romance
Never gonna dance
Never gonna dance
Only gonna love
I’ll put my shoes on beautiful trees
I’ll give my rhythm back to the breeze
My dinner clothes may dine where they please
For all I really want is you
And to heaven, I give a vow
To adore you. I’m starting now
Though, I’m left without my Penny
The wolf was not smart
He left me my heart
And so, I cannot go for anything
But the la belle
La perfectly swell romance
Never gonna dance
Music Jerome Kern
Lyrics by Dorothy Fields
Penny walks back down to the dance floor and Lucky takes her hand. Lucky and Penny somberly walk hand in hand around the dance floor and begin to sway and move in unison. Penny starts to walk away when Lucky grabs her hand and spins her around while pleading with his body to make love one more time as they dance. She accepts and they dance a sobering heartfelt romantic interlude and devastating breakup, which is dramatic and draining. Penny and Lucky are reviewing their romance in dance starting with the first few steps Penny taught Lucky through an overpowering love affair climaxing with several spins at the top of the staircase. Penny walks away and Lucky lowers his head heartbroken and dejected.
Naturally, all obstacles are finally out of their way by the end of the movie and they sing a duet in counterpoint. Penny sings They Way You Look Tonight and Lucky sings A Fine Romance. They turn to face each other and tease their audience with another hidden kiss.
Mr. Evans first met Ginger when she was on Broadway in Girl Crazy a few years earlier. She had told him of her aspiration to become a famous actress. He lamented that if she became too important, she would not give him the time of day. Ginger reassured him “if that sweet day ever does arrive, you’ll find me, in these important moments, surrounded by old friends.” Mr. Evans knows she is in town because he saw her at the opening of Romeo and Juliet, but he never thought he would hear from Miss Rogers when the phone rings. Good to her word Ginger invites her old and dear friend to dinner and the premiere.
As the evening proceeded, Ginger and Lela began to talk about Fred. Ginger commented to Mr. Evans that Fred is a much better actor than most people give him credit. “And his timing of lines, for instance,” she went on. “And then consider his sense of dramatic values in dancing. Only a great actor could get as much out of a dance routine as Fred can.” Lela concurred with her daughter by stating, “Ginger is right but I’d go farther than that. I’d even go so far as to predict that someday Fred Astaire will do a serious picture or play and then be recognized as a fine dramatic actor.” Mr. Evans asks Mrs. Rogers if there is anything in Swing Time to indicate Fred’s dramatic potential. Her reply was in the affirmative! “Just watch him closely during the scene when he sings ‘Never Gonna Dance’. He’s got great emotional depth and it shows every time a situation gives it the least chance.”
It was then back to Ginger’s hotel room and some game playing reminiscent of Pictionary. Ginger puts on a black wig assisted by Louise. Ginger dons her disguise in order to go to Harlem for some dancing and fun. The description reminds of how Ginger looked as Carol Corliss in In Person minus the teeth. The disguise radically changed Ginger’s appearance. Mr. Evans states that the disguise even changed her facial features. All had a good time, as no one was the wiser to who “the dark-haired girl with the lovely figure who danced so divinely” was in reality.
While filming Shall We Dance, Ginger has an unexpected visit from an old friend from her Broadway days. Phillip Huston had just arrived in Hollywood to film The Big Game. They met when Ginger and her mother had rented a beachfront home in Douglaston, New York on the Long Island Sound. Everyone was eager with anticipation to see the girl who was in the big hit Top Speed.
Phillip noticed someone out on the float and he dove into the water and swam out to the float to investigate. He found Ginger on the float and went on and on about how he had seen her in Top Speed and how wonderful she was and he could not wait to meet her. Ginger listened politely to his rambling praise and said, “That was a good speech. Let’s swim.” Again, Ginger proves she is human first and a big star second. Ginger spent the summer as her schedule allowed with Phillip and the younger crowd that summered there.
Phillip had his first big crush on this fascinating young woman. Ginger reciprocated with friendship. Everyone soon learned that Ginger was not all about being a star but about whom she was like inside. There was not an uppity bone in her body.
When Ginger went back to rehearsals for Girl Crazy Phillip was there in the wings. He decided to try vaudeville. When he had a job, he ran off to tell Ginger. Ginger was supportive but explained that it was hard work. If he were serious, he would need to be ready to break his heart for it. When he returned he was able to snag a part in a play in Greenwich Village. He had not called and told Ginger he was back in town because he thought he was horrible and did not want her to know. Two women came into the theatre, sat down in the back, and watched. When the rehearsal was over, they walked down the aisle and said hi to Phillip. Phillip was in shock that Ginger and her mother knew he was even in town let alone where and what he was doing. Ginger said he was not rotten. This gave him hope because Ginger does not give empty compliments. Phillip went on to a career on stage and Ginger went to Hollywood and became a movie star.
When Phillip found himself in Dennis, Massachusetts preparing to play Duke Mantee in The Petrified Forest, producer Raymond Moore mentioned that Ginger Rogers would be perfect for Gabrielle. “Just the right combination-child of nature plus a certain spiritual quality.” Phillip says he will call and see if she is interested. Ginger said she would love to do it but check with Pan Berman who happened to be in New York City at the time. Phillip rushes to New York and meets with Mr. Berman. Ginger does not have the time but he offers Phillip a part in an upcoming film about a football player. Phillip accepts and is on his way to Hollywood with all the misgivings any successful stage performer feels when leaving for the movies.
Phillip did not let Ginger know he was coming so you can imagine how surprised he was when he disembarked from the airplane after midnight and saw Ginger and her mother there to meet him. It did not matter to Ginger that she had to be at the studio at six o’clock that morning. Ginger took time out of all of her commitments and gave Phillip advice after viewing the rushes with him. She made it a point to go to the sneak preview of which Phillip was not aware of until she phoned him later that night to congratulate him on his performance. Ginger was supporting and helping a friend. She was just being Ginger not a star. The kindhearted person who helps those she can quietly as one friend to another. Broadway was kinder to Phillip than the movies in later years. After completing a few movies he guest starred on some television shows. He died in July 1980 at the age of 72 in New York City.
The Petrified Forest was a hit with Bette Davis as Gabrielle, Leslie Howard as Alan Squier, and Humphrey Bogart as Duke Mantee when it opened on February 8, 1936. Ginger played Gabrielle on the radio show For the Boys on January 16, 1944, with host George Brent playing Alan Squier. I have listened to Ginger’s portrayal of Gabrelle and thought that she would have given the character a softer side and would have meshed better with Leslie Howard’s Alan Squier. His sacrifice would have been nobler. I love Bette Davis and watch this and many of her other films often. She was an excellent dramatic actress.
Shall We Dance May 7, 1936; 13 May, 1937 New York City, New York
Petrov (Fred) a supposed Russian ballet dancer sees and falls madly in love with dancing musical star Linda Keene (Ginger). Linda is tired of her dancing partner kissing and pawing her on and off stage. She decides to leave Paris and go back to New York City. Petrov goes to her apartment using his phony Russian persona pretending he has heard that she wants to dance with him. Linda is not impressed and leaves for the States. Petrov overhears her plans and he too is on the next ship to the States with Linda aboard.
Petrov’s manager Jeffrey Baird (Edward Everett Horton) tells Lady Denise Tarrington that Petrov is sailing and that his wife is with him. He does this because Denise was a dancer in the company and still has a crush on Petrov. Jeffrey is a pompous elitist who dismisses Linda because she is a dancing musical star where as Petrov is a ballet dancer which is more highbrow.
Petrov is able to search out Linda and change her opinion of him. They begin to spend time together. Linda is found knitting a sweater for her little dog while sitting next to Petrov on deck. Now, Linda is not only married to Petrov but also pregnant. When Linda learns of the gossip, she is humiliated and leaves the ship via the mail plane.
Linda tries to let Petrov know how her feelings have changed by asking him into her apartment for a nightcap when they return after being married, but he refuses even though he really wants to accept. Petrov goes to his next-door apartment hoping that Linda will come into his room through the adjoining door between their rooms. Linda wants to go to Petrov but hesitates. While Linda thinks, Denise shows up in Petrov’s apartment. Linda boldly opens the adjoining door to find Petrov and Densie sitting on the sofa. Petrov stands up and goes over to Linda. Linda dispels any doubts about their marriage and declares she will never divorce Peter and goes back to her apartment hurt and humiliated because she now knows she loves him.
Linda lets her pride get in the way of her true feelings for Peter and leaves. Peter is overjoyed to hear that Linda does not intend to divorce him and he hurriedly gets rid of Denise. He gleefully rushes to Linda’s room to find she has vacated the premises. The dialogue between Denise and Linda is choice. You need to watch the scene. Ginger’s delivery is faultless in manner and dialogue.
Petrov decides to dance with images of Linda if he cannot dance with her. Linda is trying to have divorce papers served on Peter but he is able to avoid the process server. On opening night, Linda shows up with her lawyer and the divorce papers. She sits in the audience and watches the show. She sees Peter dancing with women who have masks with her image on them. Arthur tells Linda that if Peter could not dance with her he would dance with images of her. Fred starts to dance with Harriet Hoctor and Linda leaves. The dance is too long and very awkward looking. In the meantime, Linda has gone backstage. She replaces one of the girls with the genuine article. Peter finds Linda amongst the girls and they dance an all too short duet. They sing and get the last laugh as they are together in spite of it all as Mr. and Mrs. Peter P Peters.
One day Ginger went into the wardrobe department for a fitting and found a pink metallic dress for her. Pink clashes with her red hair but instead of making trouble for the wardrobe people, she wore the dress without complaint. Everyone from prop men to the producers on a Ginger Rogers’ set get along with and likes its star. She does not snub the extras or tell the director how to direct his picture. The warm-hearted Ginger looks after the newcomer on a Rogers’s film. Everyone on the set likes Ginger because she is Ginger and not a star.
On the In Person set, Ginger came up missing just before shooting an emotional scene. The scene was set up and ready to film but where was Ginger? The director thought maybe she was in her dressing room pacing dramatically back and forth while listening to a recording of Tchaikovsky’s to help her get in the right mood for the scene when he heard a thump, thump, thump. Ginger was behind the prop bar playing jacks with a couple of the little girls in the movie. Ginger was always involved in some kind of activity. Since she did not live a sedentary life, she never had to diet. Ginger had a hardy appetite and was able to eat whatever she wanted.
Once the filming of Shall We Dance was over Ginger and Alfred Vanderbilt threw a party at the Rollerdome, a roller skating rink. Jimmy Stewart, Cary Grant, and Alfred Vanderbilt split their time up while squiring Ginger around town. I thought Ginger and Jimmy Stewart would be a good love match but he did not marry someone in the business when he finally settled down. Ginger and Jimmy had a certain charisma between them and might have made a good match. After all, when he left for the service he gave her his pilot wings but she falls for another man in uniform.
Ginger did not want to be pigeon holed as a dancing musical star. She desperately wanted to be a dramatic actor. Ginger was getting a lot of print concerning her desire to be in a dramatic film. Ginger went so far as to don the persona of Lady Ansley with the help of John Ford the producer. Ginger wanted to play Queen Elizabeth I and the studio was planning on filming Mary of Scotland. Katharine Hepburn would be playing Mary. Katharine was in on the deception and participated in the test with Lady Ansley. Ginger made the test and went unrecognized by any of the stage personnel. One stagehand mention that there was something familiar about her but could not place her. Pan Berman wanted another test with sound. The ruse was exposed in Winchell’s column titled Why is Ginger Rogers being so coy? Ginger goes to Pan so she can explain. Pan was forgiving but he was not willing to gamble on Ginger playing Queen Elizabeth. As it turns out the movie was not received well by the public. Ginger might have been blamed for the failure if she was casted as Queen Elizabeth. Pan understanding Ginger’s desire to play roles that are more challenging assigns her to Stage Door with Katharine Hepburn and Vivacious Lady with Jimmy Stewart.
Ginger’s films with Fred are considered musical comedies with poor writing. If you really sit down, watch, listen and inhale those pictures you will see very creative writing which was executive with finesse. The films cover the spectrum from the very lighthearted to the very dramatic. Through dialogue, song, dance, and their body language Ginger and Fred accomplished this with ease, grace and eloquence. Their movies were so much more than mere musicals. When Ginger and Fred were together on the screen, it was awe-inspiring ecstasy.
Out of Ginger’s last nine movies, six of them had been musicals with Astaire. Musicals take an enormous amount of time in rehearsals and cut into her time when she could have been performing in nonmusical movies. Ginger was a young and vivacious woman at a high point in her career and was subjugated to just performing in musicals with Fred. It is no wonder that after Shall We Dance Ginger went on to make three nonAstaire movies.
Ginger’s star continues to rise without Astaire. It will be sixteen months before Ginger and Fred will be seen on the screen again in my second favorite Ginger and Fred movie, Carefree.
Stage Door October 8, 1937
Stage Door October 8, 1937
Ginger is the consummate actor in this film and deserved top billing. At least her billing was equal with Katharine’s name being first alphabetically. Ginger proves herself with her adroit characterization of Jean Maitland. Katharine plays the upper crust socialite who wants to make it big on the stage which is Katharine playing Katharine. I savor every scene with Ginger and Katharine because they complement each other when their contrasting characters clash with each other.
Ginger taps a little with a very young Ann Miller. Ann Miller asked to do a dance with Ginger and she obliges. Adolphe Menjou, Andrea Leeds, Gail Patrick, Lucille Ball, and Eve Arden are among the supporting cast. Andrea Leeds was nominated for best supporting actress and the movie for best picture.
Upon hearing of Kay’s suicide, Jean goes directly to Terry to confront her and harshly blames her for Kay’s death. Jean tells Terry that every word she speaks and every motion she makes it will be Kay not her. Terry is shaken to her very core by Jean’s accusation and Kay’s death that she cannot go on. Her mentor (Catherine Collier) reminds her of what this play means to everyone who is involved with it and it is her duty to go out there and do her best job. Terry reaches deep into her soul and wanders out onto the stage in a stupor. Terry gives a remarkable performance to her father’s chagrin and Powell’s delight. Terry tells the audience about Kay and without her, she would never been able to play her part. It was as if Kay was inside of her using her voice and body. Jean along and the other girls from the boarding house are brought to tears. Jean reconciles with Terry and they leave the theatre to go to Kay arm in arm.
At the end of the movie, Judy (Lucille Ball) goes off to be married when Jean remarks apprehensively, “Well, at least she will have a couple of kids to keep her company in her old age. And what will we have, some broken down memories and an old scrapbook, which nobody will look at." Terry answers with, “We’re probably a different race of people.” I wonder if they had an inkling how driven they will be by their careers and end their lives alone. Whether they kept scrapbooks, I do not know. At least Kate had Spencer for a time. I have kept Ginger’s scrapbook for her and look at it often. I have articles, original photos, lobby cards, postcards, stamps, plates, etc.
The closing scene has Ginger talking on the phone and Gail Patrick is coming down the stairs. Ginger has trouble saying, “Hold it a minute-gangrene has set in!” She kept saying for seven takes, “Gangarene has set in!” On the eighth take, she nails it. I know how cumbersome a select few words can leave you tongue-tied.
The Family Circle October 22, 1937 Review
“Katharine Hepburn, who has what is really the central role, is fine. Ginger Rogers is a Ginger you have never seen before. There is but a fleeting glimpse or two of her dancing; the rest of the time she acting. And I mean just that-acting as she has never acted before. But as good as Katharine and Ginger are, they must split the applause three ways with Andrea Leeds, the disappointed girl who kills herself. Hers is a gripping portrayal. And Mr. Menjou gives a splendid performance.”
Katharine had the better part in the script. Ginger had the better part on the screen. Ginger stole the show because she made Jean come alive on the screen. She was real and believable. Ginger won the critics away from Katharine and gained a new following. Ginger is now a star in her own right. She brings out the best in the other actors as she shares scenes and does not dominate them so Ginger’s co-stars are able to show off their considerable talents. Andrea Leeds and Lucille Ball are now looked upon as actresses of worth by the studios. Katharine Hepburn also benefits as critics state that this is her best performance to date. Ginger is now a force to be reckoned with and her desire for more dramatic roles over musical roles are a step closer. The Academy missed the boat by not nominating Ginger for a Best Actress Oscar.
Maxine Jennings was a character actress. She usually had small parts in movies without credit. I found she was also in Robeta and Follow the Fleet but could not find any reference to Having Wonderful Time. One day Maxine’s brother showed up with his bride to meet his sister. Maxine went and introduced the new Mrs. Jennings to Ginger and her reply was, “But-I know you, don’t I?” The new Mrs. Jennings turned out to be Babe Cowart. She was the girl Ginger beat in the Charleston contest back in Texas eleven years ago. The Jennings stayed and watched Ginger and Doug swim while pretending to enjoy it in freezing cold water. Babe seem content with how things turned out as she said, “I guess I’d rather be just Mrs. Jennings!” When the big storm was filmed Ginger said they had on, “Long union underwear! And over that we have a cellophane union suit so we can’t possibly get wet even if our clothes do. Studio orders to wear ‘em.”
Ginger enjoys the open spaces of the mountains. She has been able to ride, golf, and learn a little archery from Doug. She writes her friend Margaret Sullavan a post card with the words “Having Wonderful Time!” in big black letters.
Having Wonderful Time July 1, 1938
Having Wonderful Time July 1, 1938
Teddy arrives late and all the buses to the camp have left except for the one driven by Chick Kirkland (Douglas Fairbanks, Jr.). Teddy puts on the sophisticated society girl act. Chick tries to make small talk with Teddy as he carries her luggage to the bus. Teddy’s suitcase inadvertently opens spilling her clothes everywhere. Chick gets a tongue-lashing and gives it right back to Teddy. Chick gives Teddy a sarcastic apology by saying, “Excuse me for living.” Even during this quarrel and the ride to the camp, you can see a gleam in the participants’ eyes, as they seem to see something in the other to their liking but continue to dislike each other outwardly.
Teddy runs into playboy extraordinaire, Buzzy (Lee Bowman). She declines his invitation to go to his private cabin until she sees Chick approaching her cabin with a raging party going on inside. Chick asks Miriam (Lucille Ball) who is ‘Screwball’ to Buzzy if she has seen Teddy. Miriam says she has gone off with her love interest Buzzy to his cabin. Chick runs off to save Teddy with Miriam in tow. Chick heroically barges in upon the unsuspecting backgammon players. Fully humiliated he retreats with Miriam back to the party. Buzzy is not happy with his backgammon partner. This is not how he imagined the evening playing out. He tires of Teddy’s antics and goes to bed alone. Chick watches Teddy’s charade from afar through Buzzy’s window, as she is the only one visible with a partially drawn curtain. When the dawn comes, Teddy finds herself still in Buzzy’s cabin where she fell asleep playing her make believe games of backgammon. As she sneaks out of his cabin at seven in the morning, Miriam witnesses her departure in the early morning hours. Miriam picks up a rock and hurls it through an unsuspecting Buzzy’s bedroom window.
Teddy leaves her cabin for breakfast and runs into her mother’s ideal as the perfect man for her, Emil Beatty (Jack Carson). He has driven up to get Teddy to save her from the long train ride home. At first, she is upset he is there because he is not her idea of husband material when she really wants Chick. Chick comes in, she makes nice, nice to Emil, and they sit down to eat. Chick comes over to their table, as he is their waiter, to take their order. Buzzy comes in and sits down followed by an outraged Miriam. She accuses Buzzy of spending the night with Teddy. He denies it. Chick comes to Teddy’s defense but Teddy stands up and acknowledges the event in question as being truthful but it did not mean anything. Emil leaves. Chick chases Teddy to the porch and grabs her arm. Chick proposes but Teddy feels the need to protest. This ending scene with talk about attacks of uncontrollable backgammon playing and the cost of a backgammon board and marriage is engaging.
I am a hopeless romantic with a happy ever after affliction. Hope springs eternal. Eve Arden, of radio and television Our Miss Brooks and her television role in The Mother’s In-laws with Kaye Ballard, has a bit part as one of Ginger’s roomies. It is noteworthy that the social director Itchy is Richard ‘Red’ Skelton. This is his film debut. Ginger will guest on his television show in the sixties.
My grandson and I play backgammon whenever we get together. I take pleasure in the game as Teddy did and my grandson plays because he loves me. I hope he enjoys the interaction more than Buzzy appeared too.
Ginger spent time filming an alternate escape route from Buzzy’s cabin in the not too warm lake. The scene has Ginger donning a makeshift bathing suit out of Buzzy’s undershorts and a large bandana for a halter-top. She then dives off the veranda out back into the lake and swims back to her cabin across the lake. Lucy could still see Ginger flee at seven in the morning as she dives into the water in her swimsuit made of Buzzy’s clothes. This would be a much more intriguing escape than just sneaking out the front door of Buzzy’s cabin and running to her cabin. There were many scenes reshot for some reason after the supposed completion of the filming. Ginger spends long hours learning new dialogue, filming the new scenes, and being photographed for publicity stills. I have seen stills from the movie that never made the final cut and have wondered in what context they were shot. Hollywood would make a mint off compiling deleted scenes for the public’s consumption.
Vivacious Lady May 10, 1938 Los Angeles, California; June 2, 1938 New York City, New York
Francey and Peter spend the movie trying to get together but run into roadblocks at every turn. When Peter climbs a fire escape so he can spend some alone time with his wife is quite comical and lovable. There is also some fun made when Peter tries to get the temperamental Murphy bed, named Walter, to fall with Francey’s help. If Peter would not had yelled to the clerk at Francey’s door, he could have stayed. I always tell him to shush and be quiet. The sexual tension between Peter and Francey is undeniable from the moment Peter enters Francey’s room. I want desperately for them to spend the night together.
Mrs. Morgan goes to visit Francey the next morning and is delighted to find out that Peter is married to her. Keith shows up and the three of them dance the Big Apple to Mr. Morgan’s utter mortification. He demands that Francey leave Peter or else he will fire him from the school’s faculty. Francey reluctantly leaves on the afternoon train with Mrs. Morgan who is tired of her husband’s tyrannical rule. Peter takes it upon himself to blacken the Morgan name if Francey is not good enough for the respectful Morgan clan. He precedes to become blotto in front of his father’s visiting guests risking the endowment for the college. Peter passes out and misses the train.
Peter and his father stop the train by leaving their car across the tracks. The couples are reunited. Peter forcefully takes matters into his own hands. Peter proceeds with that long awaited honeymoon with his loving wife Francey by slamming their compartment door and shutting me out. Nevertheless, I have a very satisfied smile on my face.
Jimmy’s career gathers some steam after this remarkable movie with Ginger. He starts to get better offers and top starring roles. Ginger’s career is soaring with the completion of her last three films without Astaire in straight roles, which demonstrates her aptitude as a dramatic and comedic actress.
Lew’s career is starting to pick up with his portrayal of the disillusioned alcoholic brother in Holiday and his renditions of the idealistic Young Dr. Kildare. Hollywood hopes his successes might lead to reconciliation between Ginger and Lew because they felt Ginger’s success had split them up. It has and always will be hard for a man to handle being married to a woman who is financially more successful than he is. This is especially true if the wife is better known and is in the public eye.
Carefree September 2, 1938
This movie is my second favorite Ginger and Fred film. When it was release in Europe, it was released as Amanda. After all, the storyline is about Ginger’s role as a successful radio singer. Ginger and Fred’s last movie had been Shall We Dance in May of 1936. Audiences had not received Fred’s Damsel in Distress, November 19, 1937, very well. It just was not an Astaire Rogers’s musical and it did not intend to be one. I have seen the movie and it is not a bad movie. It is just different from the Astaire Rogers type of movie. George Burns and Gracie Allen are marvelous. Gracie was such the expert standup comedian. I watched George and Gracie’s television show Burns and Allen while growing up. Those explanations sincerely stated with a straight face always broke me up. Rose (Betty White) from Golden Girls had the same quality of naiveté. I loved it when George would talk to me, the audience, directly.
The critics unfairly compare Joan Fontaine to Ginger. Fred did not have a partner to dance with and that element was missing from the movie. Joan Fontaine is a marvelous dramatic actress and gave Ginger a run for her money for the Oscar in 1941 with Rebecca. Joan would receive her Oscar for Suspicion the next year from Ginger. Joan was a dramatic actress not a dancer nor a comedian.
Ginger is gaining a reputation as an adroit comedian and dramatic actress while her career continued to soar without Fred. The press begins to wonder if Ginger should dance Fred’s career out of a slump. Carefree was intended to rejuvenate Fred’s career. Screen Guide September 1938 Can Ginger Rogers Rescue Fred Astaire’s Career rehashes Fred’s partnerships with his sister Adele on Broadway and his film partnership with Ginger. You can see why Fred wanted to break away from any kind of partnership and make it on his own. Ginger’s popularity is growing without Fred. Ginger is recognize as an entity of her own making and not tied to someone else whereas Fred is still tied to Ginger as a screen couple.
Carefree is the only time Ginger chases Fred and he needs to be convinced that he loves her. The movie was well received and opened in New York City at Radio City Music Hall. In Frank S. Nugent’s review for The New York Times, he states “Rogers and Astaire are back in town … In case you haven't heard, Rogers and Astaire dance, sing and have the knack—bred out of past necessity—of investing even ordinary lines and situations with extraordinary comedy. Here, for a change, their task has been made easier by a quartet of writers with inventive humor and a lively turn of phrase… While it is not exactly a secret, we might confide that Miss Rogers has become one of the gayest of our comediennes, equally practiced with the verbal foil or the slapstick. She uses both here with devastating affect… as she spreads a one-woman reign of terror under the influence of an inhibition-freeing anesthetic. Possibly the best of it all, though, is the way she brings down a Tyrolean hat in a skeet-shoot.”
Their next encounter is at the club riding bicycles. Once things are straighten out between Amanda and Tony, she begins to be attracted to him while they dance later that night at the club. Since Amanda’s attitude towards Tony has changed, she agrees to his prescription to dream by eating the most ghastly food combinations. For example, lobster with gobs of mayonnaise.
Amanda goes to Tony’s office the next day with her Aunt Cora (Luella Gear). Tony sees Amanda alone and proceeds to tell her that she does not really love him. Tony does not understand that Amanda is crying because she loves him and is not confused because she dreamed of Tony and not Stephen. This is a very dramatic and soulful scene and Ginger nails it.
Tony puts her under hypnosis and puts into her mind that she loves Stephen and men like Tony should be shot down like dogs. Tony leaves the room and says he will be right back. Amanda gets up and leaves still in the trance. She goes down to her car and drives to the club and the fun begins. Tony has realized that he is in love with Amanda and wants to takes back what he has put into her subconscious. When he returns he finds Amanda gone and follows her to the club.
I like how they addressed Ginger’s hobby for skeet shooting in this movie. She has won awards for her adeptness for shooting skeet. She had several rifles but never killed any living thing. Amanda is brought out of her trance after she has shot a bird and a Tyrolean hat out of the air and then goes after bigger game as she aims at Tony and shoots his hat out of his hand. Amanda is abruptly brought out of her trance and runs to Stephen.
Tony is desperate to undo the false suggestion he has put unwittingly in Amanda’s subconscious so he has Stephen called away to a bogus phone call later that evening at the club. Tony knows he is in love with Amanda and wants her to have her own mind back and she can think for herself. Tony follows Amanda out to the pavilion. She is waiting for Stephen when Tony starts to mesmerize her. Tony wants to free Amanda from his hypnosis so she can again think for herself and realize how much he loves her. He starts to plead with Amanda to remember that she loves him as he pulls her back to him with his hands. She tries to resist him but she starts to regain her own consciousness and falls into his arms. Tony removes his spell and she arises to dance with the man she desperately loves. They unite in body and soul. It is so sensual, especially when their faces are so close they almost touch and kiss. They blend as one in an intimately tender and intensely sexual dance. At the climax of the dance, Amanda falls back into Tony’s arms and he carries her over to the bench. Stephen comes running to Amanda and awakes her before Tony can tell Amanda how much he loves her verbally.
Ginger’s dress is exquisite and I am enthralled by it. Ginger and Fred dance to Change Partners with the same sensual intensity, which has become their trademark and I am irrevocably under its magical spell.
The next day everyone gathers at the club for the wedding of Amanda and Stephen. Amanda’s Aunt Cora has left a window open for Tony and his assistant Thomas Connors (Jack Carson) to come in, see Amanda before she makes the biggest mistake of her life, and marry someone who she does not actually love. Connors suggests that he can get to Amanda’s unconscious mind by knocking her out cold.
Tony and Connors enter in the groom’s room and flee with Stephen in hot pursuit. Tony and Connors find the bridal room with Stephen right behind them across the hall. Tony raises his fist to slug Amanda and lowers it when he just cannot bring himself to hurt her even if it would benefit him. Stephen comes storming in with fists flaying, goes to slug Tony, misses laying a good one on Amanda, and knocks her out cold. She slumps to the ground. Tony goes over to her saying lovingly, “Tony loves Amanda.” A smile creases across Amanda’s face as this declaration of love reaches her subconscious and Amanda’s mind is now her own again. Her love for Tony is fully realized once again.
In teInhe next scene, you see Tony walking out with Amanda on his arm. When they turn to walk towards the judge to be married, Amanda is sporting a shiner, but they are so in love it does not matter as they smile at each other and me.
When Ginger’s mother Lela was a young girl, she witnessed her father’s generosity towards the less fortunate when a tramp came to the back door of their home looking for some food. Therefore, after giving the tramp some food the Owens had a visit from the minister who lived next door. The minister said, “Mr. Owens your maid told my maid that you fed that tramp. The man doesn’t deserve any food, Mr. Owens; he’s a lazy good-for-nothing who won’t work.” Mr. Owens replied, “Maybe he is and maybe he isn’t but I would rather feed a hundred men who don’t deserve it, than to turn one away who does. And another thing, anytime you feel you can’t afford to feed a man who comes to your back door-just send him over here. I’ll manage if you can’t!” I feel the same way and try to help those in need when I can.
My family was leaving the ballpark after a game one Sunday afternoon when I saw a man sitting under a tree with a sign asking for money. I went over and gave him a few dollars. My granddaughter said that he was probably faking it and did not deserve the money. My grandson said that he was strung out and would spend the money on drugs. He looked as if he was a bit high but I felt the need to help someone who appeared to be worse off than I was. If he chose not to use the money for food that would be on his conscience not mine. My mind was clear as I truly felt I was helping someone.
Ginger has a kind heart and her generosity is founded in the Owens tradition. Ginger took it upon herself to become her Aunt Billie’s young son Lee’s guardian without fanfare and publicity. Billie is undeniably grateful to her sister Lela’s daughter Ginger for her son’s life. It seems that two years ago when Lee was but seven years old he went to sleep early one evening and by midnight, he had a rattle in his chest. The doctor diagnosed Lee with pneumonia and was immediately rushed to the hospital and put in an oxygen tent. The crisis averted Lee regained his strength and he went home.
Lee had a relapse and the doctor said if he made it through the night it would be a miracle. Billie sat vigilantly at her son’s bedside. She feels helpless watching his fever grow, his breathing labored, and his strength starting to ebb. Then the phone rings and it is her niece Ginger calling from Hollywood. She inquires about her cousin’s condition. Ginger asks to talk to Lee. Lee takes the phone from his mother and listens to his cousin.
“Hello, darling,” said Ginger as Lee’s lips turned up into a slight smile.
“You’re not sick, dear, said Ginger. How could you be? God made all little boys perfect, in His image. You’re no different than any of the rest of them. You’re going to get well. You’re going to eat something pretty soon, aren’t you, darling? And then you are going to go to sleep, and tomorrow morning you’ll feel fine, won’t you, Lee?” Lee nodded into the phone and gave it to his mother. Ginger tells her aunt that Lee will get better but she needs to believe and have faith he will get better. Ginger tells Billie that Lee will ask for some food in half an hour. Ginger hangs up and promises to call every hour to check in on Lee. Lee awakens and asks for a sandwich to eat and is on the road to recovery.
Billie goes on to sing the praises of Ginger and Lela as she relates the time when her husband was very ill and had to be hospitalize. Ginger and Lela provided the best doctors for him and paid all the expenses for his long drawn out hospital stay. They not only provided monetary relief but called almost every day to give their moral support to Billie. When her husband died, they paid the funeral expenses. Billie tried to refuse their help but Ginger and Lela answered her by stating, “How can we refill our buckets if we don’t empty them?” Ginger’s generosity is an Owens’ trait she has possessed since she was a little girl. Ginger remembers birthdays at the studio, gives to many worthy causes, and is generous to a fault.
Ginger’s grandfather lives in a small home close to Ginger. He does his own gardening and lives very simply. Billie and Lee have been invited to join Ginger in Hollywood where Lee could be chauffeured to school, spend days at the beach, and be served dinner by a butler. Billie and Lee prefer their apartment in a resident hotel in Chicago. Billie rolls out of bed at seven in the morning and works feverously in a beauty parlor. Billie believes that what you work and earn for yourself tastes better. This is the Owens motto and you can see why Ginger is relentless in her desire to make her own way in life.
The Story of Vernon and Irene Castle March 29, 1939
Then the miracle occurs and Vernon is sent to Texas to help with the training of American pilots. Vernon is safe and he calls Irene with the news. They will at last be able to be together. Irene leaves for Texas.
The last few scenes are sharply painful, a man in love with his wife planning a romantic rendezvous, a woman in love with her husband, anticipating the reunion of a lifetime. When Irene realizes it is not to be the tears pour in the realization of what they once had is only an intangible memory. Ginger never had to speak because you experience it with her. I cry right along with her like it was my husband who had died. Ginger had a way of conveying deep emotion by a gesture, a look, an expression, and without words. She did not need words to put across her character’s feelings they only added to the sense of urgency articulated by her whole being. Ginger is brilliant in her portrayal of Irene Castle. She conveys her hurt, pain, and loss of the man that had meant so much to her superbly. I always cry along with her as a chapter is closed on the most significant and noteworthy coupling in cinematic history. This closing scene rips my heart out. Irene and Vernon’s spirits dancing away together in each other’s embrace is affecting because of its meaning not only to the Castles but also to Ginger and Fred. This was to be their last picture together, their final swan song. Now, they are both dead but they live on in their movies and I imagine them dancing on in the heavens together.
If you ever want to witness and experience deep emotional love and tenderness between two people, you need to watch Ginger and Fred. They knew how to tug on your heartstrings with glamour, grace, and eloquence as they spoke, danced, and sang with one another. The collaboration of Ginger and Fred personified everything love, romance, and the struggles of falling in love encompass. The difficulties of finding love and romance while wrestling with the joys and uncertainties that necessitates becoming a couple. I for one am tickled pink, their films all had a happy conclusion except for when they portrayed the Castles.
Ginger and Fred proved to be equally enchanting as a married couple as when they were falling in love with each other for the first time. It is a shame they did not make more movies as a married couple. The forties’ musicals would have been a greater treat with Fred and Ginger as a couple. At least I can watch them as a couple in The Barkleys of Broadway.
When I started my quest to find and own all of Ginger’s movies, her pairings with Fred were among the last for me to acquire. After seeing Ginger in various roles and gaining a real respect for her ability I decided to buy them. I was surprised and overwhelmed by how good they were. This was a different Fred than I had experienced in his other films without Ginger. Yes, the dance routines were exceptional in his other films but the emotional tie between the actors was missing. The dance routines were more ostentatious and flamboyant not simple, sincere, amorous, and real. The films lacked an intimacy between Fred and his female costars. I could not connect with their plight or rejoice in their union. For the most part the women Astaire was paired with after Ginger were not adequate actresses and fell short in convincing the audience of their love and affection for this older unattractive wimpy looking man. I was especially disappointed in Easter Parade and You Were Never Lovelier because I am very fond of Judy Garland and Rita Hayworth as actresses. Astaire’s style, eloquence, and grace did not meld with them, as they did not become one with him as Ginger did. Astaire and his other partners walked along side one another and did not become entwined as a couple. They stood apart.
Ginger’s movies with Fred would not still be the topic of so much discussion if they were only mere musicals of the 1930s and all they had to offer were their dance routines. They were a tour de force. They are the most exquisite musicals ever put on film because they encompass all facets of the performing arts. They have drama, comedy, singing, and dancing all in one. It is not an easy task. Most movies are dramas, comedies, or musicals but not all of these aspects combined into one superbly neat package. The scripts were witty and ahead of their time with the use of humor, drama, song, and dance all together. No one has been able to duplicate their works of genius and will be the standard for centuries to come because Ginger and Fred were truly astonishing actors, dancers, and singers.
The plots reflected life between two people meeting and getting to know one another with all of the complexities of being in love. Each movie was fresh and new because Ginger and Fred brought their characters to life and I feel the turmoil, happiness, tenderness, frustrations, and euphoria these two people feel for each other. I become a part of what is happening on the screen. I have become one with them. What makes the movies works of art is that no matter how many times you view them, you still become a passionate participant while under Ginger and Fred’s magical enchantment. Ginger and Fred still capture the public's attention and acquire new fans with each new viewing considering their first movie together was Flying Down to Rio was released on December 29, 1933, is quite a feat.
Ginger and Fred represent the ultimate coupling of any two people and are endlessly compared to any pairing trying to make their mark in any field or profession.
Ginger never looked as if she was dancing in Fred’s shadow but shed her own light because she was a professional and an exceptional actress. She was never in competition with Fred or out to surpass him as some of his partners were. Ginger and Fred worked hard to make those films the great art they are because they both were perfectionists. Their films will be revered as the ultimate and decisive teaming of any two actors to the end of time. They worked together as a team, helped each other, and were equally fantastic.
Ginger and Fred had great respect for each other and shared special warmth you can detect in their voices for one another. Ginger and Fred always acknowledged that they had a partner. Fred was a genius when it came to the choreography but Ginger complimented him with her interpretation of the dances so well they united in soul and being becoming one entity. Fred's solos were marvelous but with Ginger, the duets were awe-inspiring. Such elegance, tenderness, and desire danced so expressively together. They have transcended the ages and will forever be the Gods of Song and Dance.
Ginger made the difference with Fred. Without her great contribution to those films, there just might not have been a Fred Astaire and that would have been a travesty. There still would have been a Ginger Rogers. We are fortunate to have Ginger Rogers and Fred Astaire together because they are phenomenal. They are witty, comical, and tender together. They are the perfect foil for each other. Neither Ginger nor Fred ever found someone who completed them so well on the screen. It is a unfortunate that Fred was not able to flex his dramatic talents more often.
Ginger has very little down time between pictures but when she is able to take a break Ginger does not slow down. If anything, she is more driven to get everything she has had to put off compacted into a few days.
One time while vacationing in the town of Ojai in the mountains north of Hollywood, Ginger was up at four in the morning horseback riding. She then played tennis for two hours and swam several hours before playing ping-pong and golf. This is all in one day. Of course Ginger was in bed by six that evening because of exhaustion.
Last year when Ginger went to Canada to do some fishing she was up by one and casting a line to the fish by two-except the fish were not biting. Apparently, the fish were still asleep, as Ginger did not get a nibble.
While filming Follow the Fleet Ginger invited Harriet Hilliard to spend the night. Harriet had filmed two scenes and she was tired and looking forward to a dinner tray and bed. Ginger had been in every scene besides doing dance routines during lunch. Harriet felt sure Ginger must be ready to stop for the day as they left the studio at 6:30 that evening. Not Ginger, she played several sets of tennis before cooking the dinner for Harriet and herself. Ginger threw a couple of steaks on her barbecue grill.
Before filming for Bachelor Mother began, Ginger found she had two days to herself so she called her cousin Phyllis and invited her for a short trip to Palm Springs. On the way there, they stopped and Ginger cooked up some bacon and eggs for breakfast. I love a breakfast of bacon and eggs. I would add some waffles smothered in butter and maple syrup.
Ginger and Phyllis reach Palm Springs about nine in the morning, an early hour for the residents so, Ginger and Phyllis went for a long horseback ride across the desert before returning to Palm Springs for lunch, a game of ping pong, and an afternoon swim topped off with six sets of tennis with the Racquet Club “pro”.
The next morning Ginger was up at four and drove out to La Quinta for an early morning breakfast ride with guests from the hotel. Ginger has the knack of fitting in no matter where she happens to go loafing. When Ginger returned after breakfasting with the other guests cooked by the hotel, she ran into Spencer Tracy, his wife, and Bette Davis. They played several sets of tennis before Ginger had to return home for work started in the morning. Ginger is known as the hardest working woman in Hollywood and when she goes loafing.
After returning from her vacation, Ginger is seen at the Tropical Garden Ice Rink. Jimmy Stewart is a frequent escort and admits that he would rather be in his plane than on the skating rink. Nevertheless, he cannot resist the company of Ginger Rogers. Ginger is becoming quite the figure skater. Jimmy says, “Why shouldn’t she be? She’s only had to learn how to skate.” Again, Ginger proves she is up for the challenge and continues to live up to her nickname from her close friends, “The Champ” bestowed upon her with respectful affection.
Ginger’s career has not been one that was planned out in detail. She once explained by drawing a four sided box. Once you plan and enclose your box, you have limited what you can accomplish. If you draw your box with only two sides and have a general plan, you have left open your options, and you can choose a different path if something better comes along. One fact is certain that when Ginger was on the vaudeville circuit she was concentrating on being the best vaudevillian she could be. When Ginger found herself on the Broadway stage and she was concentrating on being the best musical comedy actress she could be. This is not to say that Ginger does not look ahead, she does but she does not limit herself to plans set in stone and attends to the challenge at hand. Ginger has said more than once, “I believe in living each day as it comes, to the best of my ability. When it is done, I put it away, remembering there will be to-morrow to take its place. If I have any philosophy, that’s it. To me it is not a fatalistic attitude.” She prepares herself for opportunities as they come her way and climbing up the next rung on her ladder to a successful career and beyond by working diligently at the task of the moment to the best of her utmost ability. Ginger has attained stardom but she continues to work hard and do the best she can do today and the future will take care of itself.
The one thing Ginger takes seriously is her friends. She takes her friendships to heart. Once you have become her friend you are one for life, and she will stick by you through thick and thin. The only way you can lose her loyalty is by betraying her trust. Betrayal is the one thing she cannot forgive.
Ginger is not a duffer and she will not commit herself to anything she cannot give her full attention. She bought herself a nice set of golf clubs but she will not set foot on the links until she can give the game her full attention and learn how to play the game properly. Time is Ginger’s nemesis. She is always moving at top speed trying to take in everything around her. She is constantly improving herself by reading, learning, and inhaling life as time is her only limiting factor in what she can accomplish in any one day. Ginger is not one to sit and watch the parade go by. She is leading the parade.
Perfection for the task at hand is the only goal Ginger has for that day. When the day is done, it is put away and on to the next day. She knows that perfection is the one goal you cannot achieve but that does not stop Ginger from trying and putting her best effort forward.
Ginger and Fred part because they do not want to wear out their welcome and want to pursue solo careers. Ginger and Fred acknowledge that their teaming made them both stars. They held onto that stardom by way of their movies together. Ginger had ventured off into a solo career without Astaire and has some outstanding movies to her credit, such as, In Person, Star at Midnight, Having Wonderful Time, Stage Door, and Vivacious Lady. Ginger wants to concentrate all of her energies honing her acting talents and give dancing a rest for a time. Ginger’s star continues to rise without Astaire.