A quote from Parma in the Aesthetic Issues forum:
Ha, you have a point re "Lady In The Dark". For that matter, I didn't like Fred & Ginger together so much in their final, reunion film, "Barkleys Of Broadway". It seemed to me that Ginger had pretensions by then, not just in the movie either. And her voice when she plays that Sarah Bernhardt role!!! But in all the RKO teamings, they were just perfection together. (It goes against the grain, but my favorite is "Follow The Fleet"-I love their "dance competition" number, "Let Yourself Go", and the casino number "Let's Face The Music And Dance"--love that dramatic Art Deco feel and especially the ending).
"The Barkleys of Broadway" does play off the real-life Astaire-Rogers story, in a rather creepy way, with the partnership breaking up because the woman wants to do dramatic roles. Rogers wanted to branch out because she realized her shelf life as a musical lead was pretty short and she was eager to prove herself in straight comedy and drama, which she did. I can definitely understand that (although you are right, she is terrible reciting the Marsellaise in TBoB!). As you might know, the Rogers part was originally intended for Judy Garland, so it was a sort of "reunion film" of necessity. (I remember the director, Charles Walters, saying that although Astaire and Rogers were perfectly agreeable to each other, it was as if they'd just met on the set.)
It does have a nifty number, "Swing Trot," although you have to peer at it behind the credits. In "That's Entertainment III" the number can be seen in pristine form.
My favorite Astaire-Rogers is still "Top Hat."