Ring Around the Rosy
August 28, 2006 1:05 PM   Subscribe

What movie first used the two-person romantic ring-around-the-rosy routine?

Where did this movie cliche originate? Two characters stand facing each other, grasp each others' hands, and swing each other round and round. We see the twirling through the eyes of one of the characters (looking at the other). The characters are deliriously happy.

Also, what would you call that?
posted by blue grama to Media & Arts (8 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
I think that shot requires a steadicam. The first 360-degree steadicam shot was in Rocky (1976).
posted by mattbucher at 1:28 PM on August 28, 2006

Actually, that kind of shot could easily be done using a tripod with a decent head on it... Not that that answers the question... But it could easily predate the stedicam.
posted by lucidreamstate at 1:40 PM on August 28, 2006

What can you say about a twenty-five-year-old girl that dies? I'm just guessing, here, but it feels right. It would predate the steadicam, but I bet lucid dreamstate is right about the tripod bit.
posted by Rock Steady at 2:16 PM on August 28, 2006

Surely a dolly on a circular track would do just as well?
posted by The Bellman at 2:53 PM on August 28, 2006

I suggest collecting a list of films where this "shot" is used. Then you could search for filmography terms used to describe them, and if there is a standard term for this shot that can be used to determine its history.
posted by MonkeySaltedNuts at 2:56 PM on August 28, 2006

Hmm. It seemed to already be a cliche in Carrie (1976). (That spinning dance sequence did also include P.O.V. shots, didn't it? It's been a few years since I last saw it.) That was shot with the actors on a platform rotating, and the camera on a ring around it, I believe, going in the opposite direction.
posted by RJ Reynolds at 3:25 PM on August 28, 2006

Never saw "Love Story", and don't recall it in "Carrie", but I found the scene like this in "Saturday Night Fever" (1978) quite memorable.
posted by Rash at 5:17 PM on August 28, 2006

Technically, you're describing a swish pan. Its modern frolicking-lovers-as-whirling-dervish cliché* was likely predated by its use in such films as Citizen Kane and the dizzying carousel finale of Strangers on a Train.
*Possible instances of this before "Love Story" are "Jules et Jim" (1962), "Le Bonheur" (1965), and "Elvira Madigan" (1967).
posted by rob511 at 5:31 PM on August 28, 2006 [2 favorites]

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