powered by AFI
This was Fred Astaire's first picture for M-G-M since the 1933 film Dancing Lady, and it was the first picture Astaire made following his departure from RKO. It was also the fourth and last of M-G-M's "Broadway Melody" pictures. For additional information about the films, see entries above for Broadway Melody of 1936 and Broadway Melody of 1938. According to modern sources, the film was originally to have been shot in Technicolor, but because of the unsettled economic conditions caused by the start of the war in Europe, M-G-M decided to film it in black and white. Modern sources add that the set for the "Begin the Beguine" number cost $120,000 to construct and used a sixty foot multi-paneled mirror mounted on a revolving track that swung around to change backgrounds during the dance. Cole Porter wrote the song in 1935, and it was one of his biggest hits.