Flying Down to Rio (1933) - Rotten Tomatoes

Flying Down to Rio (1933)




Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

Flying Down to Rio Trailers & Photos

Movie Info

The top-billed stars in the extravagant RKO musical Flying Down to Rio are Dolores Del Rio and Gene Raymond. Forget all that: this is the movie that first teamed Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers. We're supposed to care about the romantic triangle between aviator/bandleader Raymond, Brazilian heiress Del Rio and her wealthy fiance Raul Roulien, but the moment Fred and Ginger dance to a minute's worth of "The Carioca", the film is theirs forever. Other musical highlights include Rogers' opening piece "Music Makes Me" and tenor Roulien's lush rendition of "Orchids in the Moonlight". Then there's the title number. The plot has it that Del Rio' uncle has been prohibited from having a floor show at his lavish hotel because of a Rio city ordinance. Astaire and Raymond save the day by staging the climactic "Flying Down to Rio" number thousands of feet in the air, with hundreds of chorus girls shimmying and swaying while strapped to the wings of a fleet of airplanes. It is one of the most outrageously brilliant numbers in movie musical history, and one that never fails to incite a big round of applause from the audience--even audiences of the 1990s. Together with King Kong, Flying Down to Rio saved the fledgling RKO Radio studios from bankruptcy in 1933. The film was a smash everywhere it played, encouraging the studio to concoct future teamings of those two stalwart supporting players Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers.more
Rating: Unrated
Genre: Musical & Performing Arts, Classics, Comedy
Directed By:
Written By: Lou Brock, Anne Caldwell, Erwin Gelsey, Cyril Hume, H.W. Hanemann
In Theaters:
On DVD: Oct 24, 2006


Fred Astaire
as Fred Ayres
Ginger Rogers
as Honey Hale
Dolores Del Rio
as Belinha de Rezende
Gene Raymond
as Roger Bond
Raul Roulien
as Julio Rubeiro
Walter Walker
as Carlos de Rezende
Etta Moten
as Singer
Paul Porcasi
as Mayor of Rio
Reginald Barlow
as Alfredo Vianna
Eric Blore
as Butterbass the Headw...
Franklin Pangborn
as Hammersmith the Hote...
Luis Alberni
as Carioca Casino Manag...
Jack Good
as Yankee Clipper
Jack Rice
as Yankee Clipper
Eddie Borden
as Yankee Clipper
Alice Gentle
as Concert Singer
Ray Cooke
as Banjo Player
Wallace MacDonald
as Pilot Who Performs M...
Gino Corrado
as Messenger
Betty Furness
as Belinha's Friend
Lucille Browne
as Belinha's Friend
Mary Kornman
as Belinha's Friend
Clarence Muse
as Caddy in Haiti
Harry Semels
as Sign Poster
as Singer
Sidney Bracey
as Rodriguez the Chauff...
Harry Bowen
as Airport Mechanic
Manuel Paris
as Extra at Aviators' C...
Adrian Rosley
as Club Manager
Eddie Boland
as Airplane mechanic
Howard Wilson
as Yankee Clipper
Julian Rivero
as Billboard Worker
Pedro Regas
as Billboard Worker
Carol Tevis
as Blindfolded Blonde
Eddie Tamblyn
as Yankee Clipper
Douglas Williams
as Yankee Clipper
Juan Duval
as Dancer
Show More Cast

News & Interviews for Flying Down to Rio

Critic Reviews for Flying Down to Rio

All Critics (9) | Top Critics (3)

Full Review… | June 16, 2008
Top Critic

Full Review… | January 26, 2006
Time Out
Top Critic

Full Review… | January 1, 2000
Chicago Reader
Top Critic

A quintessential piece of Thirties musical kookiness right out of Man Ray

Full Review… | December 3, 2009

Notable musical for first pairing of Astaire and Rogers.

March 8, 2008

An OK musical that really sparkles when Fred and Ginger dance together for the first time.

June 2, 2006
Journal and Courier (Lafayette, IN)

Audience Reviews for Flying Down to Rio


I was expecting that Fred & Ginger would be the main characters, but no, they take the side-kick roles, and dance around having fun. This movie was a predictable romance, with some funny scenes here and there. I mostly enjoyed the music, the song and dance numbers are especially extravagant. For example, I can't think of another movie where they thought of getting a hundred dancing girls to perform up on top of airplanes. Overall pretty good, but the story could be better.

Aj V

Super Reviewer


When I say that this is the least satisfying of the Ginger & Fred movies, I want you to understand two things. First, it was their first together so they were cast in supporting roles. Hence they are not meant to dominate the scene. Second, they were paired, I believe, by happenstance, but you can believe that once the power brokers saw what they had done, they rubbed their hands together with great glee and just knew that they would have to make more movies with this charismatic couple. Thus the string began. So while this may be the least satisfying of the Ginger and Fred series, that's because it functioned as the discovery of Ginger and Fred. As it is, they are still great together -- and they only got better. This is definitely, from a historical perspective on them, a Rogers and Astaire must-see. You will only appreciate what came later all the more. And quite frankly, the airplane wing dancing is the bomb, even without them.

Lanning : )

Super Reviewer

I am so glad you came along.

Roger Bond is a lady's man that flies planes and performs in a band...making it pretty easy to score chicks. However, in a trip to Rio he falls for Belinha, a socialite and bride to be. Roger is best friends with the groom, but that will change based on his new love. Roger will do his best to win Belinha while she does her best to avoid him.

"Every time I think of her I want to bite myself."

Thornton Freeland, director of Whopee, They Call it Sin, Dark Sands, The Secret Witness, The Unexpected Father, Over the Moon, and Brass Monkey, delivers Flying Down to Rio. The storyline for this is just okay and a bit predictable. The acting is very good and the cast delivers entertaining performances. The cast includes Gene Raymond, Dolores del Rio, Fred Astaire, Ginger Rogers, and Roy D'Arcy.

"Is there any special way you like your coconut juice?"

This was recently on Turner Classic Movies (TCM) during a Ginger Rogers/Fred Astaire marathon. I DVR'd this it was their first movie together. I found it above average and entertaining but far from a classic. This contains entertaining characters worth following but is only worth watching once and I wouldn't purchase the DVD.

"In me you see a sinner."

Grade: C+

Kevin Robbins

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