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Fred and Ginger's Cinematic Farewell: The Barkleys of Broadway (1949)

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  When Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers danced "The Missouri Waltz" on the set of The Story of Vernon and Irene Castle in 1939, it felt like a historic moment. After six years and nine films, the partnership of Astaire and Rogers seemed to be ending with this final, impossibly beautiful waltz. People from RKO and nearby studios Columbia and Paramount gathered on the set, eager and sad to see this magical pair dance their last steps together. However, as Fred wrote in his autobiography, "Ginger and I never felt that it was any last-time thing. We expected to do another picture or so when the right time came along." Ten years later, that time came when Judy Garland was placed on suspension and forced to drop out of The Barkleys of Broadway . Resting at her Oregon ranch, Ginger received a call from an MGM executive. "Would you have any objections to doing another film with Fred Astaire?" Appalled at the insinuation that she and Fred parted on bad terms, Ginger