Top 10 Ginger Roger Movies

Born Virginia Katherine McMath on the 16th July 1911 in Independence, Missouri Ginger Rogers will always be synonymous with Fred Astaire as whilst she made over 70 movies it is the 10 movies she made with Astaire everyone remembers. But as many in the business said about Ginger Rogers; she was more than a dancer, she was a comedian and an actress who not only could hold a scene on her own but share the screen with a star, making them look just as good as she did. So in homage to one of the great stars of Hollywood here is The Movie Scene's Top 10 Ginger Roger movies.

10 - Primrose Path (1940)

Primrose Path (1940)

Ellie May Adams (Ginger Rogers) is a tough tomboy with no interest in boys and loves her often intoxicated father as well as her mother who disappears for weeks at a time with various men. It is because that her family live in the less than popular Primrose Hill and have a reputation that when she meets Ed Wallace (Joel McCrea) she hides the truth from him even when they get married, telling him she was forced to leave because her parents thought he wasn't rich enough for her. But when the truth finally comes out it jeopardizes everything especially Ellie's marriage to Ed... Primrose Path review

Trivia: many speculate that the subject matter of this movie was the only reason why Ginger Rogers wasn't nominated for an Oscar for her performance

9 - Tender Comrade (1943)

Tender Comrade (1943)

With her husband Chris (Robert Ryan) overseas serving his country, Jo Jones (Ginger Rogers) keeps things running back at home, working in the airplane factory and managing rations. But she is not alone and some of her colleagues and friends are in the same boat, struggling whilst their husbands are doing their duty overseas. These friends decide to support each other by not only pooling their rations but also moving in together which is not smooth due to their different temperaments and a series of events in their lives... Tender Comrade review

Trivia: when Ginger Rogers complained about "anti-American" speeches in her lines they were switched for other actresses to say

8 - Shall We Dance (1937)

Shall We Dance (1937)

Ballet star Petrov (Fred Astaire) has always wanted to not only dance with but also marry musical star Linda Keene (Ginger Rogers) and so when he discovers that she is going to be crossing the Atlantic on the Queen Anne he arranges to be travelling on the same liner as her. But first he has a little issue with Lady Denise Tarrington (Ketti Gallian) who has taken a shine to him. So his friend and manager Jeffrey Baird (Edward Everett Horton) tells Denise that Petrov is married to get rid of her. But that white lie comes back to haunt everyone as gossip spreads and before they know it everyone believes that Petrov and Linda are married having spent time together aboard the boat... Shall We Dance review

Trivia: reportedly the roller skate dance scene took 150 takes and the final flop scene left both Astaire & Rogers bruised due to the number of takes

7 - Star of Midnight (1935)

Star of Midnight (1935)

Lawyer Clay 'Dal' Dalzell (William Powell) gets a visit from old friend Tim Winthrop (Leslie Fenton) who wants him to track down a woman who ran out on him a year earlier. Heading to the theatre together with Clay's persistent young friend Donna (Ginger Rogers), Tim swears that the woman on stage is the woman who ran out on him but she runs off before anyone can speak to her. Later on a man comes to Clay with information on the runaway actress but he is shot dead before can spill the beans. Now dragged into this mess Clay and Donna set about uncovering the truth, finding the mystery woman and finding out who the killer is... Star of Midnight review

Trivia: Less that a week after making "Roberta" Ginger Rogers started work on this movie and when this one finished it was less than a week before she started filming her next movie, "Top Hat"

6 - Bachelor Mother (1939)

Bachelor Mother (1939)

It is Christmas Eve and Polly Parrish (Ginger Rogers) has learned that her temp job selling Donald Duck wind up toys at Merlin's Department Store will finish at the end of the day. In need of work she spends her lunch hour looking for jobs but ends up coming across a baby being left on the doorstep of a home for foundlings and when she is spotted near the baby the staff think she is the mother. Confusion abounds when the staff of the Foundling home approach David Merlin (David Niven), the son of department store owner John Merlin (Charles Coburn), and explain that one of their staff has left her baby because she is unemployed. It leads to David not only giving Polly her job back with a pay rise but making sure the baby is returned to her and ending up taking an even greater interest in both Polly and the child... Bachelor Mother review

Trivia: 17 years after the release of Bachelor Mother it was remade as a musical called "Bundle of Joy" starring Eddie Fisher and Debbie Reynolds

5 - The Story of Vernon and Irene Castle (1939)

The Story of Vernon and Irene Castle (1939)

The year is 1911 and Vernon Castle (Fred Astaire), a minor comic in a Lew Fields stage production, has his sights on scoring a date with the shows leading lady, but in his pursuit he meets Irene Foote (Ginger Rogers). Whilst they get off to a rocky start they hit it off as Irene insists that Vernon has more talent as a dancer than as a stooge for the show's main comedian, eventually not only marrying him but becoming a dance duo. Offered work as dancers in Paris they arrive with no money and when the show is delayed find life very difficult until the entrepreneurial Maggie Sutton (Edna May Oliver) hears them rehearsing and becomes their manager turning them into pioneer's of the dance scene and a household name. That is until World War I starts and Vernon feels he should do his duty and sign up to fight... The Story of Vernon and Irene Castle review

Trivia: This was the last Astaire & Rogers musical that they made for RKO studios, reuniting 10 years later to make one MGM musical together

4 - Stage Door (1937)

Stage Door (1937)

Despite coming from a wealthy family, Terry Randall (Katharine Hepburn) is determined to make something of her life without the use of the family name or money and what she plans to do is to become a star of the stage. It is why Terry shows up at the Footlight Club, a home for aspiring actresses, a diverse bunch of wannabees and has beens as well as those who have tasted success and are now desperately trying to obtain that feeling again. Finding herself sharing a room with cynical and feisty Jean (Ginger Rogers), Terry slowly comes to realise the life of an aspiring actress is not as simple as she imagined and those in power are prone to abusing their position, in the case of producer Tony Powell (Adolphe Menjou) who having been using actress Linda (Gail Patrick) as a personal escort turns his affections towards Jean. And he also offers Terry the lead role in his new production, with a little behind the scenes persuasion from Terry's father, a role which talented actress Kay Hamilton (Andrea Leeds) had been pinning her hopes on... Stage Door review

Trivia: Ginger Rogers was originally top billed for this movie but when Katharine Hepburn protested they ended up having shared, side by side billing

3 - Swing Time (1936)

Swing Time (1936)

When he misses his wedding to his home town sweetheart Margaret (Betty Furness), due to his mischievous friends, Lucky (Fred Astaire) decides to head to the city with his friend Pop (Victor Moore) to make $25,000 in order to marry her. But not long after arriving he meets dance instructor Penny (Ginger Rogers) and becomes instantly smitten with her, forming a successful dance partnership. But their relationship is blighted, not only because Lucky feels bad cheating on Margaret but also because band leader Ricky Romero (Georges Metaxa) has a thing for Penny and goes out of his way to make life difficult for Lucky... Swing Time review

Trivia: in a scene where Ginger washes her hair they resorted to using whipped cream as everything else they tried ran down her face

2 - Top Hat (1935)

Top Hat (1935)

Having arrived in London to be part of producer Horace Hardwick's (Edward Everett Horton) show, song and dance man Jerry Travers (Fred Astaire) finds himself confronted by Dale Tremont (Ginger Rogers), an attractive blond, when his dancing in Horace's apartment wakes her up in the room below. Immediately smitten by the attractive Dale, Jerry goes all out to woo her, that is until in a case of mistaken identity she thinks he is Horace who just happens to be the husband of her friend Madge (Helen Broderick) who just happens to have invited Horace, Jerry and Dale for a weekend in Italy with the intention of match making Dale and Jerry... Top Hat review

Trivia: an incident with a blue feather dress in this movie and Fred Astaire presenting Rogers with a locket of a gold feather lead to her nickname "feathers"

1 - Kitty Foyle (1940)

Kitty Foyle (1940)

As a young woman living in Philadelphia, Kitty Foyle (Ginger Rogers) meets and falls for Wynnewood 'Wyn' Strafford VI (Dennis Morgan) a member of a well to do family. And whilst he feels the same about her the traditions of his family constantly cause problems as Kitty is middle class. It eventually causes their romance to end and Kitty to move to New York but she can't get Wyn out of her head even when she starts seeing Dr. Mark (James Craig) and she constantly finds herself drawn back to Wyn despite knowing nothing can ever realistically come from it... Kitty Foyle review

Trivia: this was the movie for which Ginger Rogers won the Academy Award for Best Actress