Flying Down to Rio
is a musical film
made by RKO
and released on December 29
, in 1933
The film was directed by Thornton Freeland and produced by Merian C. Cooper and Lou Brock. The screenplay was written by Erwin S. Gelsey, H.W. Hanemann and Cyril Hume, based on a story by Lou Brock and a play by Anne Caldwell. The music was composed by Max Steiner.
The film stars Dolores del Rio and Gene Raymond, but is remembered today primarily for the teaming of Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers, in relatively minor roles, who would go on to star in nine more films together. Their first dance together on film, "The Carioca", in which Astaire and Rogers dance with their foreheads touching scandalously, appears in this film.
The film received an Academy Award nomination for Best Song (Vincent Youmans, Edward Eliscu, Gus Kahn) for "La Carioca". Linwood Dunn did the special effects for the celebrated airplane-wing-dance sequence at the end of the film.
Roger Bond (Gene Raymond) and his orchestra are appearing in Miami
, with vocalist Honey Hale (Ginger Rogers) and accordionist and assistant band leader Fred Ayres (Fred Astaire). When Roger spots the beautiful Belinha (Dolores del Rio) in the audience he leaves the bandstand to pursue her. Dona Elena (Blanche Friderici) is Belinha's chaperone and when she is informed of this she fires Roger and the band. Roger arranges to pursue Belinha to Brazil and organises as engagement for the band at the Hotel Atlantico in Rio de Janeiro
, unaware that the hotel is owned by Belinha's father (Walter Walker). He persuades Belinha to allow him to fly her there in his private plane, which runs into trouble inflight forcing a landing on an apparently deserted island. Under the moonlight, she falls into his arms, while admitting to him that she is already engaged.
In Rio, Roger informs his good friend Julio (Raul Roulien) that he has fallen in love and eventually finds out that Belinha is engaged to Julio. During rehearsals for the Hotel's opening, Fred is told by police that the hotel lacks an entertainment license. When Roger spots a plane overhead he comes up with the idea of strapping dancing girls to planes, with Fred leading the band and Honey and Julio leading the planes. The show is a great success and the hotel's future guaranteed. Julio gives Belinha up to Roger while Fred and Honey celebrate.
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