The seventh of RKO's Fred Astaire--Ginger Rogers musicals, Shall We Dance casts Astaire as a world-renowned ballet dancer and Rogers as a musical comedy headliner. Rogers' manager Jerome Cowan concocts a phony romance between his client and Astaire in order to garner publicity for them both.
Eventually, of course, the twosome falls in love for real, but not before a cornucopia of confusion, complications and misunderstandings. Highlights include a number performed on roller skates and Astaire's dance solo in the art-deco boiler room of an ocean liner.
The George and Ira Gershwin score (their last for Astaire and Rogers) includes Slap That Bass, Beginner's Luck, Let's Call the Whole Thing Off, They All Laughed, They Can't Take That Away From Me, and the title number. Shall We Dance was slated as the last of the Fred-and-Ginger romps, but within a year they were together again in Carefree.