Follow the Fleet Facts

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At this point, Fred and Ginger began to wonder if the public was still having as much fun as they were. When Follow the Fleet came along, the pair decided that a musical written by Irving Berlin was too good to pass up and that they’d reevaluate future movies in, well, the future.

1. There was another dress incident.

This time Ginger’s dress was beaded, as opposed to feathered (read about that dress here). Astaire was at first worried about the dress because it seemed heavy, but agreed it would work – something he later regretted. According to Rogers, the dress weighed about 25 pounds. When Ginger turned, the dress’ long sleeves would fly up. “If I didn’t duck I’d get the sleeve in the face,” Astaire said. “I kept on dancing, although somewhat maimed.”

2. Astaire punched an actor.

The scene called for him to punch Randy Scott. Astaire wasn’t experienced with fight scenes but was taught how to throw a fake punch. However, it didn’t go as planned. Astaire said, “When the time came for me to swing, I got carried away and brought one way up from my shoe laces that really clipped Randy on the mouth, bringing blood and almost flooring him.”

3. Ginger inspired a number.

Normally musical numbers were worked out with Fred and dancer Hermes Pan, who acted as a stand-in for Rogers. For “Eggs in One Basket”, Ginger thought it would be funny if her character would get stuck doing a movement while Fred moved onto the next. She also came up with the idea of her character landing on the floor after Fred spins her. “Because the two characters we were playing, Sherry and Bake, were not sophisticated, we could get away with the type of nonsensical dance,” Rogers said.