Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers Movies

Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers are widely regarded as one of the most iconic dance partnerships in Hollywood history. Together, the duo starred in 10 musical films that have been beloved for decades. While some of their movies have become timeless classics, others are underappreciated gems that deserve to be given their due. To give fans an idea of which Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers movies are the most popular today, we’ve compiled a comprehensive ranking of all 10 collaborations according to various social film sites like IMDB and Letterboxd. Read on to find out which Astaire-Rogers movie is currently leading the pack!

From leading the charge with their revolutionary dancing routines in “Flying Down to Rio” to captivating audiences in “The Gay Divorcee”, these powerhouses demonstrated their unmatched chemistry time and time again. With each pairing more dynamic than the last, it’s easy to see why their films remain celebrated by viewers all over the world. From the ebullient energy of “Top Hat” to the whimsical romance of “Swing Time”, no two craftsmen have ever quite captured the silver screen quite like Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers!

Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers Movies, Ranked From Most Popular to Least Popular Today

1. Top Hat (1935)

  • Starring: Fred Astaire, Ginger Rogers
  • Directed by: Mark Sandrich

4th Astaire-Rogers Movie Collaboration Ever Made

By far the most popular Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers movie today, Top Hat was beloved back when it was first released, just as it is today. This film was one of the most profitable films for RKO in the 1930s as a whole, and it ended up grossing about $3.2 million at the box office. Critically, it was also received well and ended up being nominated for four Oscars, including Best Picture!

Top Hat tells the story of a woman who believes the man who is in love with her is her best friend’s husband (this actually isn’t the case). It’s a fun comedy with lovely songs and amazing dance numbers — something you can expect from all Astaire and Rogers films. However, Top Hat is one of the best. It’s beloved for a reason! Plus, this movie gave us the classic song “Cheek to Cheek”!

2. Swing Time (1936)

  • Starring: Fred Astaire, Ginger Rogers
  • Directed by: George Stevens

6th Astaire-Rogers Movie Collaboration Ever Made

The second most popular Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers movie today, Swing Time is, yet again, a WONDERFUL film. Swing Time follows a gambler (Astaire) who, after his wedding to his fiancee is called off, heads to New York City intent to make $25,000 and prove himself to his fiancee and her father. However, his plan hits a snag when he begins falling for a dance teacher (Rogers). The film was a hit at the box office, even though this film was released during the decline of interest in the Rogers and Astaire collaborations (which is just crazy to think about!). Today, however, this film is still beloved for many reasons.

The dancing is amazing. You always know that you’ll get phenomenal performances when you watch a Ginger Rogers and Fred Astaire movie. Swing Time is no different, and there are some fantastic routines here. However, this film may be remembered best for the music it gave us — most notably the iconic song “The Way You Look Tonight”. Swing Time is also a part of the Criterion Collection (at spine #979)!

3. The Gay Divorcee (1934)

  • Starring: Fred Astaire, Ginger Rogers
  • Directed by: Mark Sandrich

2nd Astaire-Rogers Movie Collaboration Made

The second film Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers ever made was The Gay Divorcee. This movie also happens to be one of their most popular films today. It’s definitely stood the test of time! The Gay Divorcee follows a woman (Rogers) who wants a divorce from her husband and travels to England to get it. While there, she meets Astaire’s character and subsequently falls in love. The plot doesn’t necessarily drive the film; rather, the performances do. “Night and Day” by Cole Porter is sung and performed here, a song that is ALWAYS a winner.

4. Shall We Dance (1937)

  • Starring: Fred Astaire, Ginger Rogers, Edward Everett Horton
  • Directed by: Mark Sandrich

7th Astaire-Rogers Movie Collaboration Ever Made

Shall We Dance is definitely one of the most popular Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers movies today. An interesting little comedic musical, the film follows ballet dancer Peter P. Peters (Astaire) as he falls for tap dancer Linda Keene (Rogers). When the press believes the two have married, the duo actually decides to get married and fake a relationship for the publicity… though they obviously end up falling in love throughout this little charade. There are many great songs and performances in Shall We Dance, though I particularly love the “They Can’t Take That Away From Me” and “Let’s Call the Whole Thing Off” numbers.

5. Follow the Fleet (1936)

  • Starring: Fred Astaire, Ginger Rogers, Randolph Scott, Harriet Nelson, Betty Grable, Lucille Ball
  • Directed by: Mark Sandrich

5th Astaire-Rogers Movie Collaboration Ever Made

Follow the Fleet is the fifth movie Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers made — and also happens to be the fifth most popular movie of theirs! Follow the Fleet is a lot of fun and definitely one of the best Astaire and Rogers movies ever made, even if it isn’t as popular as some of the other movies on this list. With supporting help from Randolph Scott, Harriet Nelson, Betty Grable, and Lucille Ball, this musical follows two sailors (Astaire and Scott) who dock in San Francisco and work to woo two sisters (Rogers and Nelson). Of course, to cause some drama, things don’t exactly go as planned. The songs here include “Let’s Face the Music and Dance”!

6. Carefree (1938)

  • Starring: Fred Astaire, Ginger Rogers, Ralph Bellamy, Jack Carson
  • Directed by: Mark Sandrich

8th Astaire-Rogers Movie Collaboration Ever Made

Carefree is possibly the weirdest and wackiest movie Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers ever made together. I wish it was higher on this list because it’s one of my absolute favorites of theirs. Plus, we’ve got Ralph Bellamy playing Rogers’s boyfriend! That’s fun!

Anyway, Carefree takes off as Stephen Arden (Bellamy) goes to his psychiatrist friend (Astaire) after his girlfriend (Rogers) consistently rejects his marriage proposals. Can you guess what happens next? Though the good doctor tries his hardest to maintain a professional relationship with his new patient, his friend’s girl ends up falling in love with him. It’s fun! Just go with it!

7. Flying Down to Rio (1933)

1st Astaire-Rogers Movie Collaboration Made

Coming in ninth place, we have Flying Down to Rio, the first movie Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers ever made together. While this is the movie that really launched the duo together, the film has fallen in popularity over the decades, possibly because Astaire and Rogers aren’t the leads here. However, Dolores del Rio is, and she’s phenomenal!

Flying Down to Rio follows a choreographer and musician (Astaire) who helps his bandleader friend (Gene Raymond) romance another man’s fiance (Dolores Del Rio). Ginger Rogers stars as the woman’s friend, a singer who helps stage musical numbers. While Rogers and Astaire are not the main leads here, seeing these two stars early on in their career opposite each other for the first time is a real joy to watch today… even if Flying Down to Rio isn’t one of the more popular Rogers-Astaire collaborations today.

8. Roberta (1935)

3rd Astaire-Rogers Movie Collaboration Ever Made

Now, we’re getting to the films that unfortunately are nowhere near as popular as they used to be. In the case of Roberta, this is a real shame, as this film is quite fun! Astaire and Rogers are supporting parts here, with Irene Dunne the leading star. However, it’s still a very enjoyable movie, and the scenes that Astaire and Rogers have together (which are many) are so fun. Roberta follows a football player (Randolph Scott) who suddenly inherits his aunt’s fashion house and turns to designer Stephanie (Dunne) for assistance. The scenes with Ginger and Fred really shine and steal this film.

9. The Barkleys of Broadway (1949)

  • Starring: Fred Astaire, Ginger Rogers, Billie Burke, Oscar Levant
  • Directed by: Charles Walters

10th (Last!) Astaire-Rogers Movie Collaboration Ever Made

The very last Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers movie ever made was The Barkleys of Broadway. Made 10 years after their 9th film collaboration, this musical follows a successful Broadway couple who splits after the wife decides she wants to be a serious actress. While a little serious from time to time, this film also gives us (in my opinion) the cutest Ginger and Fred moment. While not as popular as their other films, The Barkleys of Broadway is a definite must-watch for those who love Fred and Ginger together!

10. The Story of Vernon and Irene Castle (1939)

  • Starring: Fred Astaire, Ginger Rogers, Walter Brennan
  • Directed by: H.C. Potter

9th Astaire-Rogers Movie Collaboration Ever Made

The least popular Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers movie (by today’s standards) is The Story of Vernon and Irene Castle. This film was the last movie Rogers and Astaire made in the 1930s before going on a 10-year drought of making movies together. Their second to last film, The Story of Vernon and Irene Castle is an interesting film, though not as fun and breezy as their others. This movie tells the real-life dramatic story of Vernon and Irene Castle and is a period set. This may be why the film isn’t as big as the others, as it’s just so different from what we’re used to seeing Fred and Ginger do.

However, I still quite like the film. It’s also, for me, the saddest movie Ginger and Fred ever made. The Story of Vernon and Irene Castle follows the real-life couple that taught the world to two-step. The film follows the couple as they ballroom dance together around the world and become huge celebrities. However, when World War I started, everything changed for the world — and for this couple.

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