Warner Home Video
Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers defined romantic musical comedies for a generation, but Mark Sandrich’s Carefree may have been the duo’s kinkiest pairing. Astaire plays a psychoanalyst who tries to convince Rogers to marry his buddy Ralph Bellamy (the cinema’s great cuckold, sort of the James Marsden of his day). Astaire induces dreams in Rogers by ordering a diet of cucumbers and buttermilk—which leads to a rapturously surreal slow-motion dance sequence—but when she falls for her analyst, he uses hypnosis to muck-up her subconscious mind. The emphasis in Carefree is more on broad comedy than on elegant choreography, but the cast includes such stalwart Golden Age role players as Franklin Pangborn and Jack Carson, and the dance numbers that made the cut are among Astaire and Rogers’ best.