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The Gay Divorcee (1934)

Approved | | Comedy, Musical, Romance | 12 October 1934 (USA)
An American woman travels to England to seek a divorce from her absentee husband, where she meets - and falls for - a dashing performer.



(from the book by), (musical adaptation) (as Kenneth Webb) | 4 more credits »

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Won 1 Oscar. Another 5 nominations. See more awards »



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


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


The King and Queen of 'Carioca' See more »


Approved | See all certifications »




| |

Release Date:

12 October 1934 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Continental  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office


$520,000 (estimated)

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

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

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Initially, Fred Astaire didn't think that Ginger Rogers would be classy enough for the female lead and argued for an English co-lead. See more »


Whilst sitting at the night-club table Guy Holden is playing with a hand puppet which he proceeds to remove. The next shot has the puppet on the table and Guy now has his elbow on the table with his fingers against his head. The following shot has his arm stretched across the table. See more »


Egbert Fitzgerald: And now, Tonetti, remember: I want delicacy, tact, assurance, finesse.
Tonetti: I've brought everything.
See more »


Night and Day
Music and Lyrics by Cole Porter
Played during the opening credits
Song performed by Fred Astaire (uncredited)
Dance performed by Fred Astaire (uncredited), Ginger Rogers (uncredited)
See more »

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User Reviews

Fred and Ginger
1 February 2005 | by (New York) – See all my reviews

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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