Mimi Glossop wants a divorce so her Aunt Hortense hires a professional to play the correspondent in apparent infidelity. American dancer Guy Holden meets Mimi while visiting Brightbourne (...
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William A. Seiter
Johnny Brett and King Shaw are an unsuccessful dance team in New York. A producer discovers Brett as the new partner for Clare Bennett, but Brett, who thinks he is one of the people they lent money to gives him the name of his partner.
Mimi Glossop wants a divorce so her Aunt Hortense hires a professional to play the correspondent in apparent infidelity. American dancer Guy Holden meets Mimi while visiting Brightbourne (Brighton) and she thinks he is the correspondent. The plot is really an excuse for song and dance. The movie won three Academy nominations and the first Oscar for Best Song: "The Continental", a twenty-two minute production number. Written by
Ed Stephan <email@example.com>
The original musical on which this movie was based was called "The Gay Divorce", but because of objections from the censor, the title of the film was changed to "The Gay Divorcee" (one 'e' added). See more »
Guy Holden, Mimi Glossop and Rodolfo Tonetti are eating grapefruit at breakfast when Egbert Fitzgerald and Aunt Hortense enter the room. In the next shot Guy has his elbow on the table with his hand on his head, which immediately changes back to Guy eating his grapefruit as before. See more »
After hearing Fred Astaire put his stamp in a song, it's hard to imagine anyone else attempting to improve in what seems to be the definite rendition of it. That is the case when Mr. Astaire sings Cole Porter's elegant "Night and Day". In pairing Ginger Rogers with Mr. Astaire, Hollywood hit the jackpot as it produced a winning combination that went from film to film with such ease and panache, it will never be imitated.
Mark Sandrich worked with Ms. Rogers and Mr. Astaire in several movies. Somehow, "The Gay Divorcée" is one of their best collaboration. This film is a lot of fun to watch, even after more than 70 years after it was made. It speaks volumes for all the people involved in the production of this movie.
The Great Depression was the right background when movies like this were made. In a way, it was an escape from the harsh realities of the times America was going through. The public went to the movies to see their favorite stars that were shown in such a glamorous roles. How could anyone not admire the great Fred Astaire, always impeccably dressed? Or how could not any woman in the theater envy Ms. Rogers's beauty and easy grace? That era made it right for Hollywood to show the world a sensitivity and sophistication that only few rich types were able to enjoy in real life, while the rest was trying to eke out a life of whatever work they could find.
The musical numbers are amazing. "The Continental" alone, must have blown the budget of the picture. Imagine how much it would cost today to have all those dancers in a sound stage! Not only that, but in that lengthy number, there are at least four changes of costumes for the women. Also, he is delightful singing "Looking for a Needle in a Haystack". A young and radiant Betty Grable makes an appearance singing "Let's K-knock K-knees" in which she shows a bit of her enormous charm and talent.
Ginger Rogers makes a gorgeous Mimmi Glassop. Alice Brady, is perfect as the dizzy Aunt Hortense. Edward Everett Horton plays an excellent Egbert Fitzgerald, the divorce lawyer. Erik Rhodes is one of the best things in the film; his Signor Tonetti injects a funny shot into the movie. Eric Blore, as the waiter, has great moments in the movie.
In setting the film in London and Brighton, a rich texture is added to this winning picture that will remain a favorite that will live forever because of the chemistry that Ginger Rogers and Fred Astaire produced in anything they did together.
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