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Top Hat [DVD] 
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Jerry Travers (Fred Astaire) receives an inexplicably haughty response from Dale Tremont (Ginger Rogers) when he attempts to woo her, but that's because she has mistaken him for her friend's husband. Love's eventual triumph is charted through a number of classic song and dance routines, including 'Cheek to Cheek' and 'Top Hat, White Tie and Tails'.
Even the best Fred and Ginger musicals are merely lavish excuses for some of the most elegant dancing ever put on screen, and Top Hat is no exception. The story is a silly but timeless tale of mistaken identity that compounds itself to extremes. Fred Astaire is the famous American hoofer Jerry Travers, in London preparing for a new show with his befuddled producer Horace Hardwick (the always entertaining Edward Everett Horton) when he falls for Dale Tremont (Ginger Rogers), a lovely, wisecracking American girl as light on her feet as Jerry. Dale believes Jerry to be Horace, the husband of her best friend Madge (Helen Broderick) and rebuffs his advances by marrying her dressmaker Alberto (Erik Rhodes), but in the best tradition of musical comedy, true love finds its own way. Practically the entire cast of the 1934 hit The Gay Divorcee reunites for this frothy confection, along with director Mark Sandrich, designer Van Nest Polglase, and choreographer Hermes Pan. Irving Berlin provides a tuneful score, including "Cheek to Cheek", which provides a classic duet for Astaire and Rogers, and "Top Hat, White Tie and Tails", which remains one of Astaire's finest solo numbers. Polglase outdoes himself with sets both elegant and outrageous and Hermes Pan's choreography is as smooth as ever, but ultimately it is the grace and chemistry of the leads that makes Top Hat top entertainment. --Sean Axmaker
The Gay Divorcee
The year before, in 1933, Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers had grabbed America's attention in Flying Down to Rio, even though they were the second bananas in that film. The duo had a certain chemistry--Fred with his lighter-than-air elegance, Ginger with her moxie--and studio heads gambled that they could carry a starring vehicle of their own. Nobody guessed there would be another eight movies together after The Gay Divorcee, which turned into a huge success for RKO Pictures. The plot is the usual silliness, with Ginger a divorce-minded gal in England, Fred a dancer whose sincere interest in her is mistaken for something else. But plots never mattered much in these affairs, and this one achieves a kind of free-floating bliss. Astaire had starred in the stage version of the story, titled The Gay Divorce. The censors forced the extra e to be added to the title because surely no divorce could be portrayed as a happy one (this frothy movie's evidence notwithstanding). Only one song was carried over from the stage show, Cole Porter's smash hit "Night and Day," which forms the basis for a sublime pas de deux between Fred and Ginger. A tune, "The Continental," written for this film won the first Oscar ever awarded in the best-song category. --Robert Horton --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.See all Product description
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on 4 June 2003
Format: VHS Tape
Easily the greatest of the Astaire-Rogers musicals, 'Top Hat' is the perfect blend of light comedy and dancing genius. It boasts the greatest score that Irving Berlin ever wrote, featuring the romantic 'Cheek to Cheek', 'The Piccolino' and the title song, 'Top Hat, White Tie and Tails.' A particular favourite of mine is 'Isn't it a lovely day to be caught in the rain', which gives Ginger the unusual luxury of wearing flat shoes in a dance with Fred. Even the story is remotely tolerable, with an amusing supporting performance by Edward Everett Horton. An absolute must for musicals and dancing fans alike.
on 10 June 2017
Format: DVDVerified Purchase
Not at all as described. It came as a two part set and the first disc didn't play. I bought as a gift and I thought I would test them first, good job I did. I'm glad they didn't receive them and was as disappointed as me, what a present that would have been. Couldn't get it replaced either so had to have a refund.
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Most recent customer reviews
Really enjoyed this old film and the fashions, but thought there had been more dancing in from what I remembered. What there was, was great.
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