George Stevens U.S., 1936
If Albert had a favorite musical, it was this one. David Robinson related this story in his Guardian, London, obituary: "At around 12 years old he went to the early afternoon performance of Swing Time at the local movie theatre and was so bewitched by Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers that he sat on through show after show-until the management flashed a slide on the screen saying 'Albert Johnson, your mother is in the lobby'. 'And she was,' he remembered, 'ready armed with a hairbrush.'" For a 1966 tribute to Fred Astaire (in person!), Albert wrote: "Fred Astaire is America's greatest lyric hero, embodying that touch of Nebraska and polish of the Continent which has created a unique personality, finding a graceful source of expression in dance. One is able to observe, through a number of dance sequences, the extent of his marvelous inventiveness, quicksilver energy, and universality. It is in his wildly abandoned solos that we glimpse, for a few delirious minutes, our alter egos, leaping in rhythmic joy."
• Produced by Pandro S. Berman. Written by Howard Lindsay, Allan Scott, based on a story by Erwin Gelsey. Photographed by David Abel. Music by Jerome Kern. Lyrics by Dorothy Fields. Choreography by Hermes Pan. With Fred Astaire, Ginger Rogers, Victor Moore, Helen Broderick. (105 mins, B&W, 35mm, From Warner Bros.)