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Fred & Ginger get the last laugh in... Shall We Dance (1937)

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When a popular screen team makes a number of films together, there are bound to be a few flicks that fall through the cracks. When it comes to Fred and Ginger, everyone knows the big three: The Gay Divorcee, Swing Time, and Top Hat. This doesn't necessarily make them the best of the duo's output, though. (Except for Top Hat. That one's near perfect.) I find myself drawn to the more neglected films, such as Follow the Fleet, Carefree, and the film I'm talking about today, Shall We Dance. A bubbly musical comedy about show business, Shall We Dance is a sharp-witted, superbly crafted confection with a nice helping of froth on top. When I created my ranking of Astaire and Rogers movies a few years ago, there was a reason why I listed SWD at #3.

Actually, there are many reasons. For starters, there is the phenomenal score by George and Ira Gershwin. Despite their immense popularity and proven successes, SWD was just the second film to commission the brothers and it became …