Ginger Rogers and Fred Astaire’s first of nine films together, Flying Down to Rio, was released in the United States on this day in 1933. The dancing duo had bit parts as an orchestra singer and accordion player, respectively. The romantic musical tells the tale of a bandleader (Gene Raymond, of Hitchcock’s Mr. and Mrs. Smith) who seduces a Brazilian woman (Dolores del Rio, of John Ford’s Cheyenne Autumn) by promising her a free trip home. Though Raymond and del Rio were the purported stars, Astaire and Rogers stole the film with charming banter and a show-stopping dance number atop seven revolving white pianos, which had been fused together to form a stage.
Film Factoid: Dolores Del Rio made waves in Flying Down to Rio by sporting the first two-piece women’s bathing suit ever seen onscreen.