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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An early classic, 4 Jun 2003
By 
This review is from: The Gay Divorcee [VHS] (VHS Tape)
This must be one of the best movies of the early 1930s. Although originally a highly popular Cole Porter stage musical, the film cut all of the songs save 'Night and Day', which became one of the best Astaire-Rogers dance routines. Astaire meets Rogers, falls in love at sight but then loses her: cue the catchy 'A Needle in a Haystack'. 'Don't Let It Bother You' and 'Let's Knock Knees' are perhaps a little inferior but the sixteen-minute dance marathon 'The Continental' more than makes up for them. The film's also a brilliant slapstick comedy, with several of the regular Astaire supporting actors such as Edward Horton and Erik Rhodes providing amusing sub-plots. And that's Betty Grable dancing in 'Let's Knock Knees!' A definite recommendation.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Dazzling dances!, 20 July 2001
By A Customer
This review is from: The Gay Divorcee [VHS] (VHS Tape)
This film is a definite must for all who love music and dance! Fred and Ginger's ability to light up the screen is truly amazing and watching any of their dances always practically leaves you in daze. This film is no exception to this and I would recommend it to everyone! Astaire and Rogers: Now thats dancing!
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars My favourite Astaire and Rogers musical, 15 July 2004
By 
L O'connor (richmond, surrey United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: The Gay Divorcee [VHS] (VHS Tape)
Fred Astaire plays a dancer returning to England from a trip to Europe. At the docks he meets Ginger Rogers in an embarassing predicament. He tries to find out who she is, but she refuses to tell him, so he spends ages searching London for her before he tracks her down, and begins to charm her. Ginger Rogers and her dithery, much-married friend (Alice Brady) go down to a rather unrealistic and glossy Brighton because Ginger is attemtping to obtain a divorce. Astaire naturally follows with his friend, dithery lawyer Edward Everett Horton. she intends to spend the night with a professional co-respondent, and an unwitting remark by Astaire leads her to believe that he is the co-respondent, which puts her right off him. However, the real co-respondent, a little Italian, turns up ("Your wife is safe with Tonetti, he prefer spaghetti"), and the misunderstanding is sorted out. But what will happen in the morning when her husband arrives? This film has a wildly improbable but very funny plot, and some wonderful dialogue, particularly between Horton and Brady. The whole film is tremendous fun.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Okay, but there are better, 2 Oct 2013
By 
Eric Mascarin Perigault (Panamá) - See all my reviews
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After the success of Flying, Fred and Ginger made his first incursion as the stars of the film. Night and Day Fred sings a slightly faster rhythm. One of the best songs of Cole Porter and the only one left of the original musical. The plot is a a little unrealistic, but who see the plot of any film Fred and Ginger. Cole Porter would work as well in another film of them, Carefree. Basically a needle in a haystack and The Continental are the only other two songs from the movie. But is fine, this 1934 film.

Después del éxito de Flying, Fred y Ginger hacen su primera incursión como las estrellas de la película. Fred canta Night and Day en un ritmo un poco rápido. Una de las mejores canciones de Cole Porter y la única que quedó del musical original. La trama es un poco inverosímil, pero quien quier ver la trama de una película de Fred y Ginger. Cole Porter trabajaría también en otra película de ellos, Carefree. Básicamente a needle in a haystack y The continental son los únicos otros dos temas de la película. Pero está muy bien, esta película de 1934.
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5.0 out of 5 stars The Film that Started It All for Astaire and Rogers, 15 Aug 2013
By 
Stephanie De Pue (Wilmington, NC USA) - See all my reviews
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THE GAY DIVORCEE, (1934) was the first RKO studio pairing of Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers as stars, after they unexpectedly stole the previous year's Flying Down to Rio . It received five Academy Award nominations: one for Best Picture, and won one, the first ever awarded in that category, for best original song,"The Continental." It set the look and sound of the Astaire-Rogers pictures for this studio, and brought together most of the onscreen, and offscreen, talent that would make them. And it was a great hit: nobody ever invented a better way for depression era audiences to forget their cares.

It was based on a stage play in which Astaire starred, "The Gay Divorce." Screenwriter Dwight Taylor, producer Pandro S. Berman, director Mark Sandrich, cinematographer David Abel, Oscar-nominated art directors Carroll Clark and Van Nest Polglase, and costumier Walter Plunkett gave us a magically elegant looking film, all creamy black and white art deco. The romantic comedy plot was silly, and forgettable,(all mistaken identities, something to do with divorce), just as all future Astaire/Rogers movie plots for this studio would be. The acting company established here would show up in future films, too: Edward Everett Horton, (Here Comes Mr Jordan ), as Astaire's befuddled best friend, lawyer Egbert (Pinky) Fitzgerald. Erik Rhodes, (Top Hat ), as the ethnic Italian, (co-respondent Rodolo Tonetti). Eric Blore (The Lady Eve), as the funny working class bloke, sometimes a valet, here a waiter. Only one member of the usual company is missing here, the priceless rubber faced Helen Broderick, always Marge, or Madge, Rogers' female sidekick. That part is here played by Alice Brady (In Old Chicago), as Rogers' ditsy Aunt Hortense. There are fewer dance numbers, and great songs by brand name composers, than future movies would boast. Horton's character gets to dance; Blore's seems to get more lines than usual; Rhodes' actually gets to sing, and play his concertina. A very young Betty Grable is given a novelty song and dance number. A repeated gag, "Chance is the fool's name for fate," is funny enough.

The movie kept only one song from the stage play on which it was based, Cole Porter's everlasting "Night and Day." When first written, it was considered unsingable, but, as Astaire does it, it's unforgettable, imbued with love and longing. The Astaire/Rogers dance to it wins many votes as most romantic and sexy movie dance ever: Rogers could actually act, while, to quote the feminist Gloria Steinem, dancing backwards and in heels. The duo concludes, wrung out; Astaire offers Rogers a cigarette, perhaps the second sexiest cigarette scene in cinema, after that shared by Bette Davis and Paul Henreid in NOW VOYAGER.

Then there's "The Continental," seventeen minutes( the movie's only 105!) of sheer black and white musical bliss. Lots of dancing up and down staircases, revolving doors, and chorus boys and girls. That cute bit with the cutout dancers on the revolving record player turntable. And a brief instrumental reprise a bit later, to wrap things up. As Jackie Gleason used to say, What a way to go.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A Divine Movie Classic, 29 May 2013
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This review is from: The Gay Divorcee [VHS] (VHS Tape)
I have a Collection of Fred and Ginger Movies ALL Classics so I had to add The Gay Divorcee. This is an EXCELLENT MOVIE all the Graceful Dances and Some FABULOUS CLOTHES.

The Thirties were a Divine Time for Fashion and Dancing, This Movie is BURSTING with both. Really Nice Family Film. A DEFINATE Must for ALL Fred and Ginger Fans.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars "Chance is the fool's name for fate", 14 Nov 2009
By 
Guy Holden (Fred Astaire) meets Mimi (Ginger Rogers) and pursues her for marriage. However, unknown to him, she is already married and is planning a set-up involving a hired co-respondent to facilitate her divorce. She mistakes Guy for the hired gigolo which makes for an amusing scene in her bedroom. However, events work out so that everyone is happy at the end.

As with all the Fred and Ginger films, there are great songs and dances. They have 3 dances together, 2 of them with the songs "Night And Day" and "The Continental", and a routine at the end of the film. The other songs are "Needle In A Haystack" sung by Fred, and "Don't Let It Bother You" sung by a chorus of showgirls at the beginning of the film. The film also has Betty Grable singing and dancing in "Let's K-nock K-nees" alongside Edward Everett Horton and you just can't help but wonder how she and Fred Astaire may have done as a dance team. Not that Ginger Rogers is bad.

The supporting cast are all good, especially Erik Rhodes as "Rodolfo Tonetti" - "Your wife is safe with Tonetti......he prefer spaghetti". It's a story of misunderstandings and it has genuine funny moments and funny lines delivered by the whole cast. Watch it and enjoy the magic of the 1930's - great sets and some black-and-white escapism. The story is ripped-off with pretty much the same cast in a film that they did the following year - "Top Hat" - but that film isn't as amusing or as good as this one.
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The Gay Divorcee [VHS]
The Gay Divorcee [VHS] by Mark Sandrich (VHS Tape - 1998)
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