With Ginger Rogers again opposite, and the Irving Berlin music to dance to and sing, Astaire once more legs himself and his picture into the big-time entertainment class.
Imperfections in Fleet are confined to story. That’s usual with musicals, stage or screen. This is a rather free adaptation of [Hubert Osborne’s play] Shore Leave, a David Belasco oldie. Yet the story never detracts from the important element – the Astaire-Rogers musical efforts.
There are seven songs which is a bit too much – all by Irving Berlin, with ‘Face the Music’, a cross between ‘Piccolino’ and ‘Lovely Day’, easily the leader. The score on the whole is pleasant but save for ‘Face the Music’, the last number, not particularly distinguished.
Story is a double romance involving the starred duo and Harriet Hilliard-Randolph Scott. Yarn breaks them up and teams them again for the finish.
This is Hilliard’s first picture. She’s from radio, having sung mostly with the Ozzie Nelson band and chiefly on the Joe Penner programs. A blonde originally, she’s in brunet wig in this film, presumably in deference to Rogers.