Flying Down to Rio - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Flying Down to Rio Reviews

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½ May 28, 2010
The story was a bit dull and the lead characters acting left something to be desired, but Astaire and the musical numbers saved the movie and made it fun to watch. Astaire and Rogers dancing to the Carioca halfway through the movie should not be missed!
½ March 22, 2010
There are precisely two things worth saving from this otherwise unmemorable movie: the first is the on-screen pairing of Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers as the humorous sidekicks, and the second is the absolutely ludicrous final number featuring chorus girls dancing on the wings of biplanes in full flight, which is surely one of the most brilliantly stupid things ever captured on film.
½ March 6, 2010
Fred & Ginger steal the show. Without them, there might be nothing redeeming about this movie. Some of the dance scenes are overkill and there is nothing interesting about Del Rio & Raymond and their cliche romance.
½ February 12, 2010
Fred Astaire is in it so I had to watch. My favorite part is when the plane lands on deserted island and they see cannibals, but they're really workers on the island. LOL...could not stop laughing!! Oh, TCM thanks for showing great movies all the time
½ January 17, 2010
Light, inconsequential, and at times enjoyable while retaining some of the melodramatic ambiance of silent films past. Undoubtedly priceless for its legendary pairing of the Astaire-Rogers team, particularly in the Carioca, but beyond that, the film can seem rather dull. The leads perform up to par, which explains why Astaire and Rogers shine because they brewed a chemistry far superior to that of the leads, and with limited screen time. The story is, as most musicals go, fairly predictable, but that's besides the point. The musical numbers glitter, and the finale aerial show is quite spectacular. Interesting that despite receiving fourth and fifth billing, the film's final shot leaves us with an image of Astaire and Rogers sitting idly by and sipping champagne - a sign of good times ahead.
January 12, 2010
The only reason why this movie is still remembered is that it introduced the Fred and Ginger to the world (thank you!) Otherwise it is very boring and Dolores Del Rio's character is boring, rude, a poor dresser, and a hussy. Bottom line: fast-forward any scenes without Fred.
½ January 10, 2010
FLYING DOWN TO RIO is kooky and downright silly at times but I can't help but love this flick. It always manages to put a smile on my face every time I watch it. It really doesn't pretend to be anything more than the 30's escapist entertainment that it is - something to help keep the audience's mind away from The Great Depression - if only for a moment. But there is also a significant cultural footnote that we can attribute to this film though - we can credit FLYING DOWN TO RIO for introducing the world to the dance team of Ginger Rogers and Fred Astaire.

Ginger Rogers usually was relegated to second tier actress roles prior to and including this film, but I always thought she had such a tremendous screen presence that she usually out-shined the higher billed actresses. Although Dolores Del Rio gets top billing here, it's Ginger Rogers who will make the bigger impression on the viewer. She also gets to sing a number early in the film wearing a very slinky outfit. It's one of my favorite tunes from the 30's.

It's the same with Fred Astaire. His role is secondary to Gene Raymond's...but it will be Astaire's fancy footwork that viewers will remember. Really, Fred & Ginger only dances to one number here and it's relatively a short scene and played somewhat for laughs. "We'll show them a thing or three..." says Rogers as she gets up to dance with Fred...and boy, do they sizzle on the dance floor. Compare that dance to Fred's dance with Del Rio later - and, well there really is no comparison.

There is only a semblance of a plot here. Roger Bond (Gene Raymond) is a band-leader who always seems to have a hard time getting steady work for his band. He's either flirting with his female audience members...or he's always late for work cause he spends a lot of time flying around in his plane. He has a piano installed inside his tiny two-seater plane...in case, you know - he wants to play music while he's flying around (I told you this movie is rather kooky)!!!

During a gig at a Miami hotel...Bond gets in trouble again when he flirts with a lovely latin girl from Brazil, Belinha de Rezende (Dolores Del Rio). She is daughter to a Rio De Janeiro hotel owner whose hotel is being acquired unknowingly (in a hostile manner) by foreign interests. She is also the fiancee to a wealthy Brazilian, Julio Ribeiro (Raul Rulien) - who happens to be friends with Bond. It's Julio that has a gig lined up for Bond in Rio. Why Bond doesn't know Belinha is another of the film's imponderables - but no point in worrying about it - for the "love triangle" is established :p

The other significant scene is the outrageous flying sequence with chorus girls strapped onto wings of airplanes. It's a scene that a Busby Berkeley could have choreographed if he was high on something. It's 1930's entertainment kitsch at it's best and most memorable...and I mean it in a good way.

I also love looking at the art deco sets and 1930's fashion - which looks terrific on the actor and actresses. It's all photographed in that nostaglic looking light that makes everything sparkle in that 1930's sort of way.

FLYING DOWN TO RIO was released during the pre-code era, so it gets away with some rather risque looking costumes (can you say "cleavage") and suggestive lines or three.
Yep...I love this film.

9
January 9, 2010
Although exceptionally hokey and fromulaic, scads of partially clothed gyrating women in the sky is not only salacious and novel, but pleasently enjoyable too.
½ January 2, 2010
What a kooky and bizarre musical, Dolores Del Rio gets top billing, but it is Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers film, in their first pairing. Some of the aerial musical numbers are wild! Light, entertaining and great fun to watch.
½ January 2, 2010
What a kooky and bizarre musical, Dolores Del Rio gets top billing, but it is Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers film, in their first pairing. Some of the aerial musical numbers are wild! Light, entertaining and great fun to watch.
June 15, 2009
Rio de Janeiro in the 30's-- even had a slide show to prove it. A very silly fluffy movie, but considering its age, not bad. And of course Fred and Ginger stole the show-- that was inevitable.
May 27, 2009
definitely interesting, but not that outstanding. I'm glad Fred & Ginger's lone dance number caught enough attention to warrant future pairings--they almost get lost amidst the boring leads, the minimal dry humour, and the transitional editing that felt like a 1930s PowerPoint presentation. a few hints of clever effects work, and the film was entertaining enough, but it's absolutely no comparison to peak-form F&G.
May 27, 2009
definitely interesting, but not that outstanding. I'm glad Fred & Ginger's lone dance number caught enough attention to warrant future pairings--they almost get lost amidst the boring leads, the minimal dry humour, and the transitional editing that felt like a 1930s PowerPoint presentation. a few hints of clever effects work, and the film was entertaining enough, but it's absolutely no comparison to peak-form F&G.
½ April 19, 2009
This movie will always have its place in history as the one that *made* the Astaire/Rogers pair. Outside of that, I don't think it was anything all the more special. In fact it was hard to enjoy the main love triangle plot because I kept wanting to see Astaire and Rogers dance more. Their Carioca dance certainly was memorable, it had a timeless smoothness that both made the other dancers look jolty and became their trademark style. Other little memorables: some scandalous, sheer dresses, Roger being mistaken for a gigolo, and the 3rd person "ghosts" talking about their desires. The airplane sequence was just weird and the whole American-boy-always-gets-the girl outcome was unsatisfying.
½ April 17, 2009
The only thing that made this movie enjoyable was watching some of the dancing girls being strapped on the outsides of flying airplanes. There was hardly enough dancing by Astaire and Rogers.
½ March 24, 2009
Overall, this movie was a waste. However, since this gave exposure to the A & R pairing, and provided some fun bits for them (including the last moments of the film), I can forgive the terribly implausible plot movements among the top-billed stars.
March 4, 2009
Had a couple of entertaining moments, but overall not very impressive. Really, the poster is far more interesting than the movie is.
Super Reviewer
½ February 24, 2009
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.
February 10, 2009
i chose this film not because of fred and ginger or the plot but because they featured a black woman not saying yassah and whatever. also, dolores del rio.
½ January 11, 2009
Not a true Astaire/Rogers vehicle. Has its entertaining moments-- the famous duo's dances, Del Rio getting spanked, scantily clad women being latched down to airplane wings in a scene filled with S&M imagery. Still, the long periods where nothing happens tend to drag things down a little bit.
Best line: What do those girls have south of the equator that we don't?
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