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The Gay Divorcee (1934)

Approved  |   |  Comedy, Musical, Romance  |  12 October 1934 (USA)
7.6
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Ratings: 7.6/10 from 4,965 users  
Reviews: 47 user | 32 critic

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 (... See full summary »

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(from the book by), (musical adaptation) (as Kenneth Webb) , 9 more credits »
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Won 1 Oscar. Another 5 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
...
...
...
Egbert 'Pinky' Fitzgerald
Erik Rhodes ...
Rodolfo Tonetti
Eric Blore ...
The Waiter
Lillian Miles ...
Singer - Continental Number
Charles Coleman ...
Guy's Valet
William Austin ...
Cyril Glossop
...
Dance Specialty
Edit

Storyline

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 <stephan@cc.wwu.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

divorce | aunt | dancer | password | lawyer | See All (49) »

Taglines:

Introducing the new dance sensation "The Continental" See more »


Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

| |

Release Date:

12 October 1934 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Continental  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Box Office

Budget:

$520,000 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(RCA Victor System) (as R C A Victor System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Helen Broderick was asked to play the role of Hortense but was unavailable. See more »

Goofs

During the "Continental" sequence Rodolfo Tonetti is shown playing a concertina and singing along. Though he moves the concertina in and out, and you can hear the music, his fingers never move on the keys. See more »

Quotes

The Waiter: Whumsical is more Whimsical than Whamsical.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Roberta (1935) See more »

Soundtracks

A Needle In a Haystack
(1934)
Music and Lyrics by Con Conrad and Herb Magidson
Song and dance performed by Fred Astaire (uncredited)
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Fred & Ginger's first starring role as a team
5 April 2006 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

After their hit dancing of the "Carioca" in "Flying Down the Rio," RKO gave the teaming of Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers a star role in "The Gay Divorcée" in 1934. With few exceptions, the plots of the Fred-Ginger films were excuses to get to the important part - the dancing - but the story lines were always pleasant and the casting good. "The Gay Divorcée" was based on a Broadway musical (of which the only number retained is "Night and Day") and it appears that a few of its plot devices were adopted in later Astaire-Rogers films as well. One such plot device is that of mistaken identity. In this movie, Astaire (reprising his Broadway role) is mistaken for a professional correspondent hired to help Rogers get her divorce. Another device is that at first, Ginger is never interested in Fred - that goes here, too. And there's a stock cast in these films, namely, Edward Everett Horton and Eric Blore (and of course, he's always the butler and always very funny). Horton plays Rogers' attorney whose major problem is Rogers' aunt (Alice Brady).

What can be said about the dancing except that it's glorious? Fred and Ginger dance to "Night and Day" after Astaire sings it to her. For a supposed non-singer, Astaire could really put over a song - his voice is pleasant and he's so musical - no wonder composers wrote songs for him. Ginger is beautiful and spunky as Mimi, a young woman ducking Fred while she's trying to get a divorce. Betty Grable has a bit that showcases her in the number "Let's K-knock Kneez." There's also "I'm Looking for a Needle in a Haystack" delightfully sung and danced by Fred. Astaire's dancing is fantastic throughout.

It feels as if about half the picture is taken up with the elaborately staged production number, "The Continental." In later films, of course, the dancing would center more around Fred and Ginger, but it's a great part of the movie and certainly solidified these two as a top box office pairing.

For pure enjoyment, there's nothing like watching Astaire & Rogers in these movies.


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