January 21, 2012


Dolores, Ginger, Fred and the Girls Fly to Rio One More Time!


This 1933 RKO masterpiece of aviation, music, dance, style and general hi-jinx is perfect for chasing away the January blahs. Directed by Thornton Freeland with a score by Max Steiner, the movie is timeless.

The "Carioca" became legend; chorus girls on the wings of planes is now classic camp. And, the film featured in supporting roles, a young pair of dancers named Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers.

Join C de la C for a look at this little pre-code gem which had not one, but two costume designers.  Dolores del Rio was costumed by Irene, while Walter Plunkett dressed Ginger Rogers and the chorus girls.


Dolores del Rio and chaperone, all dressed up for the flight to Rio de Janeiro.  Pilot, Gene Raymond is at right--already smitten with the stunning Miss del Rio.

When the plane is forced down, Dolores and Gene get to know each other better. Dolores is resplendent in a voile shirt with piping, vest and wide-legged pant ensemble by Irene.

Fred Astaire introduces himself to the ladies. Dolores and her chaperone are dressed in elegant, formal city clothes.


Dolores begins to relax, in a most contemporary looking two piece swimsuit. Gene Raymond looks resort-wear dapper.


One view of the famous "Carioca" dress, and matching wrap.

A French language poster for the movie.  In some countries it was called, "Carioca".

The original sheet music, showing Dolores del Rio and Fred Astaire dancing the "Carioca".
The four hit songs: "Carioca"; "Music Makes Me"; "Flying Down to Rio"; and "Orchids in the Moonlight" are listed at lower right.


A charming shot, featuring fashions of the day, including Ginger Rogers' snappy Walter Plunkett designed suit. Note the striped socks on Fred Astaire!

Beach pajamas, a kooky printed jacket and a wide brimmed hat put Ginger in a Carnival mood. 

Casually attired but always smart looking Fred Astaire looks on. Note:  Fred's spiffy spectator shoes.

Another view of Ginger Rogers' outfit, with grand piano and tuba.

Ginger and Fred, as we have come to know them. She is gorgeous in satin--backwards and in high heels--of course.


The Spanish language Poster in a definite pre-code mode.

Ginger Rogers, Fred Astaire and the ladies of the chorus, flashing their pretty gams (that's legs to all you kids).

Ginger Rogers in a more revealing gown than usual: strategically-placed sequins and bugle beads, a la pre-code Hollywood.


One of the Posters, depicting paper cut-outs of the dancing girls on the plane's wings.

On the wing of a plane.  Don't know how this one got past the censors, but, it did.  Cute!

Fred Astaire and the two chorus girls, in close-up detail from one of the Posters.

Little wings adorn the shoes and the hat--bidding you farewell from this trip to Rio.


  1. Beautiful - this film is a crazy, pre-code joy! Del Rio is gorgeous, of course, but Ginger really comes through with the star power! And thanks for that last photo of the winged shoes - just fabulous!

    1. Love this movie more each time I see it! Thanks, FC!