Ruby Keeler, Carole Lombard and British musical star Jessie Matthews were each approached to play the role of Alyce, but were unavailable. It went to Joan Fontaine.
Joan Fontaine joked that this movie set her career back four years. At the premiere, a woman sitting behind her loudly exclaimed, "Isn't she awful!" during Fontaine's on-screen attempt at dancing.
After learning that Fred Astaire wanted Burns and Allen to audition for him, George Burns hired a vaudeville dancer he knew to choreograph a complex routine with whisk brooms. Astaire enjoyed the performance by George and Gracie so much that he insisted on working it into the film.
In the late Thirties, Fred Astaire's box-office appeal temporarily dimmed somewhat. This film has been labeled a financial disappointment. Following next, the final two Astaire-Ginger Rogers pairings of the decade failed to equal the hefty profits of their seven prior match-ups.
The song "Put Me To The Test" was used as an instrumental in this film, but Ira Gershwin had written lyrics to it, and when the Technicolor musical film "Cover Girl" was made in 1944, composer Jerome Kern fitted his own tune to the already existing lyrics, and the newly revised song was sung and danced in that film by Gene Kelly.
When Fred Astaire learned that Gracie Allen was nervous about dancing with him onstage, he reportedly made a point of tripping and falling in front of her the first day on the set to put her at her ease.