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.
August 24, 1937: a day in the life of expressionist sculptor and author Ernst Barlach (Fred Düren). Barlach lives in the small town of Güstrow, keeping to himself and wanting to steer clear of politics. On this day he learns that the Nazis have dragged his famous 1927 sculpture The Hovering Angel—which bears the features of German artist Käthe Kollwitz—out of the Güstrow Cathedral.
Mary Donnell was married at sixteen to a gangster and soon widowed. She works for unhappily married lawyer Lloyd Rogers. A client's son Jack elopes with her, but his father tracks them down and has the marriage annulled. Mary has a son. Unaware of this, the father remarries; his new wife is crippled in an auto accident. The lawyer, now dying, tells Mary he has left her money for her and her son, Roger's widow suspects her husband may have been the father, while Mary is convinced instead that it was her annulled ex-husband, Jack.
British diplomat Robert Conway and a small group of civilians crash land in the Himalayas, and are rescued by the people of the mysterious, Eden-like valley of Shangri-la. Protected by the mountains from the world outside, where the clouds of World War II are gathering, Shangri-la provides a seductive escape for the world-weary Conway.