Best Ginger Rogers Movies

For nearly four decades, Ginger Rogers was a force to be reckoned with in the film industry. Whether she was working with legendary dance partner Fred Astaire or appearing as an independent leading lady in her own right, Rogers’ immense talent and charisma allowed her to captivate audiences across the globe. Her unparalleled success earned her a place among the most beloved stars of the era, prompting many movie enthusiasts to wonder: what are the top 10 best Ginger Rogers movies?

To answer this question, we’ve compiled a list of Rogers’ most iconic films. From early musicals like Top Hat (1935) to later comedies such as Monkey Business (1952), each of these ten titles serves as a shining testament to Rogers’ versatility and lasting appeal. We’ve also included a few Honorable Mentions that fit comfortably within the pantheon of her work. Thus, whether you’re a longtime fan of Miss Rogers or simply looking to learn more about her extraordinary career, this selection of films should provide hours of entertainment and delight.

The Top 10 Best Ginger Rogers Movies, Ranked

Honorable Mention: Monkey Business (1952)

  • Genre: Sci-Fi / Comedy
  • Starring: Cary Grant, Ginger Rogers, Marilyn Monroe, Charles Coburn
  • Directed by: Howard Hawks

Before we get into our Top 10, we’ve got a few Honorable Mentions to go through, starting with Monkey Business. Rogers’ career began to lag a bit toward the end of the 1940s. By the 1950s, she wasn’t the box office draw that she used to be. However, she starred in some great films in this decade, though Monkey Business is definitely the best.

We’ve included this comedy here because it’s a great film with a stunning cast — and because Rogers earned a Golden Globe nomination for Best Actress in a Comedy or Musical for her work here!

Monkey Business follows a scientist (Grant) who accidentally invents a youth formula, thanks to a monkey, that then makes him regress back to childhood. He and his colleagues — and his wife (Rogers) — begin to act like mischievous teenagers!

Related — Cary Grant: Essential 1950s Movies

Honorable Mention: Kitty Foyle (1940)

  • Genre: Romance / Drama
  • Starring: Ginger Rogers, Dennis Morgan, James Craig, Eduardo Ciannelli
  • Directed by: Sam Wood

Kitty Foyle barely missed out on landing on our Top 10 list. As Rogers won her one and only Oscar for Best Actress for her marvelous role here, we thought it would be best to make it an Honorable Mention!

In Kitty Foyle, Rogers plays a working-class girl who navigates love and class barriers as she falls for a wealthy man (Morgan). She finds herself torn between her heart’s desire and societal expectations. Drama ensues when his parents work to break them up.

10. Follow the Fleet (1936)

  • Genre: Musical / Romance / Comedy
  • Starring: Fred Astaire, Ginger Rogers, Randolph Scott, Harriet Nelson
  • Directed by: Mark Sandrich

Follow the Fleet is so much fun, just as every single Astaire and Rogers musical is! In this 1936 film, audiences sail away to a world of toe-tapping tunes and romantic escapades as a sailor (Astaire) tries to win back the heart of his former dance partner (Rogers)!

9. Tales of Manhattan (1942)

  • Genre: Romance / Comedy / Drama
  • Starring: Charles Boyer, Rita Hayworth, Ginger Rogers, Henry Fonda
  • Directed by: Julien Duvivier

Very rarely are anthology films actually good. But that’s not the case with Tales of Manhattan, which is one of the best Ginger Rogers movies of all time! This film is a star-studded anthology film filled with heartwarming and humorous tales that intertwine as a luxurious tailcoat travels through different lives in New York City.

In Rogers’s part of the film, her character Diane falls in love with Henry Fonda’s George… even though she’s supposed to be marrying George’s best friend!

Related — The Top 10 Best Charles Boyer Movies of All Time

8. Vivacious Lady (1938)

  • Genre: Romance / Comedy
  • Starring: Ginger Rogers, James Stewart, James Ellison, Beulah Bondi
  • Directed by: George Stevens

Rogers and Jimmy Stewart in a romcom together? Don’t mind if we do! Vivacious Lady follows a nightclub singer (Rogers) who secretly marries a conservative professor (Stewart), causing uproar and many hysterical moments among his family when they find out.

Related — The Top 10 Best James Stewart Movies of All Time

7. Bachelor Mother (1939)

  • Genre: Romance / Comedy
  • Starring: Ginger Rogers, David Niven, Charles Coburn, Frank Albertson
  • Directed by: Garson Kanin

Who doesn’t love Bachelor Mother? It’s a delight! In this romantic comedy, a shopgirl (Rogers) is mistaken for a single mother after she finds an abandoned baby on the steps of an orphanage. Obviously, this leads to hilarious situations — and even unexpected love!

6. The Major and the Minor (1942)

  • Genre: Romance / Comedy
  • Starring: Ginger Rogers, Ray Milland, Rita Johnson, Robert Benchley
  • Directed by: Billy Wilder

Oh, The Major and the Minor is so much fun. It’s also one of the very best Ginger Rogers movies of all time! In our opinion, when Rogers stars opposite Milland, it’s dynamite.

In this charming comedy, Rogers plays a plucky woman who disguises herself as a child to save on train fare. However, things get hilariously complicated when she catches the eye of a handsome army major (Milland) — who mistakes her for an actual minor.

5. The Gay Divorcee (1934)

  • Genre: Musical / Romance / Comedy
  • Starring: Fred Astaire, Ginger Rogers, Alice Brady, Edward Everett Horton
  • Directed by: Mark Sandrich

We’ve got another Astaire and Rogers musical! The Gay Divorcee follows an unhappily married woman (Rogers) who travels to England to get a divorce from her husband. Along the way, she meets a performer (Astaire) — and sparks fly.

Related — Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers Movies, Ranked by Popularity Today

4. Shall We Dance (1937)

  • Genre: Musical / Romance / Comedy
  • Starring: Fred Astaire, Ginger Rogers, Edward Everett Horton, Eric Blore
  • Directed by: Mark Sandrich

Shall We Dance is also one of the very best Ginger Rogers movies of all time! In this delightful musical, Astaire plays a ballet dancer who becomes mesmerized by a tap dancer (Rogers). When people begin to circulate a rumor that the two are married — which they are not — they decide to act as if they’re together for publicity purposes. Of course, they end up falling in love!

3. Stage Door (1937)

  • Genre: Romance / Comedy / Drama
  • Starring: Katharine Hepburn, Ginger Rogers, Adolphe Menjou, Gail Patrick
  • Directed by: Gregory La Cava

Stage Door is the very best Ginger Rogers movie that isn’t an Astaire and Rogers collaboration. In this classic film, a group of aspiring actresses navigates the challenges of the theatrical world while sharing a boarding house. They form friendships and strive for their big break together… while also dealing with a little rivalry.

Hepburn plays a wealthy young lady who comes to live at the boarding house, which instantly puts her at odds with many of the other residents — particularly her roommate (Rogers).

Related — The Top 10 Best Katharine Hepburn Movies of All Time

2. Swing Time (1936)

  • Genre: Musical / Romance / Comedy
  • Starring: Fred Astaire, Ginger Rogers, Victor Moore, Helen Broderick
  • Directed by: George Stevens

And now, we’re at the greatest Rogers films ever. It was hard to choose between these top two films, but we’ve tried our best!

Swing Time follows talented dancer — and gambler — Lucky (Astaire) as he travels to New York City to make it big to prove to his fiancee, and her father, that he’s worthy of marrying her. However, once in the city, his misadventures lead him to a dancing instructor (Rogers) that he ends up falling in love with!

Swing Time is also a part of the Criterion Collection (spine #979), for those interested!

1. Top Hat (1935)

  • Genre: Musical / Romance / Comedy
  • Starring: Fred Astaire, Ginger Rogers, Edward Everett Horton, Erik Rhodes
  • Directed by: Mark Sandrich

Top Hat is the very best Ginger Rogers movie of all time, in our opinion! In this amazing musical, Rogers plays a wealthy woman who believes that an American entertainer (Astaire) flirting with her is actually her best friend’s husband… even though he’s not. Hilarious mistaken identities ensue, and it’s an absolute delight to watch!

What’s Your Favorite Ginger Rogers Movie?

Now, let’s hear from you. What’s your favorite Rogers film? Do you agree with this ranking? Any films you feel that we should’ve included in this list? Hit the comments below with all your thoughts and opinions! We’d love to hear what you think!

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