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Top Hat (1935)

7.9
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Ratings: 7.9/10 from 11,492 users  
Reviews: 93 user | 61 critic

An American dancer comes to Britain and falls for a model whom he initially annoyed, but she mistakes him for his goofy producer.

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(screen play), (screen play), 6 more credits »
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Title: Top Hat (1935)

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Nominated for 4 Oscars. Another 2 wins & 2 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
...
...
Erik Rhodes ...
Eric Blore ...
Helen Broderick ...
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Storyline

Showman Jerry Travers is working for producer Horace Hardwick in London. Jerry demonstrates his new dance steps late one night in Horace's hotel, much to the annoyance of sleeping Dale Tremont below. She goes upstairs to complain and the two are immediately attracted to each other. Complications arise when Dale mistakes Jerry for Horace. Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

See them dance the sensational Piccolino! See more »


Certificate:

TV-G | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

|

Release Date:

6 September 1935 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The World by the Tail  »

Box Office

Budget:

$609,000 (estimated)

Gross:

$3,000,000 (USA)
 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (re-release) (re-edited)

Sound Mix:

(RCA Victor System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

For the "Cheek to Cheek" number, Ginger Rogers wanted to wear an elaborate blue dress heavily decked out with ostrich feathers. When director Mark Sandrich and Fred Astaire saw the dress, they knew it would be impractical for the dance. Sandrich suggested that Rogers wear the white gown she had worn performing "Night and Day" in The Gay Divorcee (1934). Rogers walked off the set, finally returning when Sandrich agreed to let her wear the offending blue dress. As there was no time for rehearsals, Ginger Rogers wore the blue feathered dress for the first time during filming, and as Astaire and Sandrich had feared, feathers started coming off the dress. Astaire later claimed it was like "a chicken being attacked by a coyote". In the final film, some stray feathers can be seen drifting off it. To patch up the rift between them, Astaire presented Rogers with a locket of a gold feather. This was the origin of Rogers' nickname "Feathers". The shedding feathers episode was recreated to hilarious results in a scene from Easter Parade (1948) in which Fred Astaire danced with a clumsy, comical dancer played by Judy Garland. See more »

Goofs

When Jerry goes to sprinkle sand on the floor, it is obvious from the lack of carpet pattern that there is already lots of sand on the floor. See more »

Quotes

Dale Tremont: I still feel a little guilty, being here with you while Alberto is out looking for us.
Jerry Travers: Come on! Let's eat, drink, and be merry, for tomorrow we have to face him.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Billy Bathgate (1991) See more »

Soundtracks

Alexander's Ragtime Band
(1911) (fragment) (uncredited)
Music by Irving Berlin
In the score during the opening credits
See more »

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User Reviews

"Simply Reeks With Class"
23 June 1999 | by (London, England) – See all my reviews

The stage star, Jerry Travers, disturbs a young woman's sleep by tap-dancing on the floor of a hotel room directly above hers. The young woman is Dale Tremont, a beautiful fashion model. In the course of the movie plot, by way of London, Venice and the usual snags of mistaken identity, the two youngsters flirt, dance and fall in love.

Fred Astaire was a huge Broadway star and social lion long before he ever saw the inside of a film studio. A lucky pairing with Ginger Rogers (a film star in her own right) in "Flying Down To Rio" (1933) led on to a series of smash hits throughout the 1930's. "Top Hat" was the third film the couple made together, and for this one RKO Radio started getting serious, bringing in the legendary Irving Berlin to write the sparkling songs.

This picture was preceded a year earlier by "The Gay Divorcee", and is a repeat prescription of that successful formula - wealthy, elegant characters, frivolous lifestyles, light-hearted love and sumptuous dance numbers. It is not merely the storyline of 'Divorcee' that is repeated here

  • alongside Fred and Ginger, several of the cast members


reappear. Edward Everett Horton was the lawyer Egbert in the earlier film, and here he is Horace the impresario, but is still Fred's bumbling buddy. Eric Blore was the wisecracking waiter, now he is the sarcastic valet: Erik Rhodes plays Italian buffoons in both films - Tonetti in 'Divorcee', Beddini here. Watch out for the girl florist ... it's Lucille Ball, two years into a very long and busy showbiz career.

The film's first number is "Fancy Free", an amiable little ditty which sets the prevailing tone of easy gaiety. Fred leads into it very nicely, his speech becoming more and more rhythmic until he lifts off into song.

"It's A Lovely Day" has a great tune, witty choreography, a thunderstorm and a superb bandstand set. Yet the song everyone associates with this movie is "Top Hat, White Tie And Tails": it doesn't involve Ginger at all, but Fred makes up for that by being in breathtaking form, his performance exuding athleticism, grace, poise and assurance.

Ginger gets her turn to sing with "The Piccolino", a song designed to accord with the plot's Venetian setting. It is the weakest number in the movie, and Ginger sings it without conviction.

In order for the plot knots to unravel, it is necessary for Horace to be kept apart from his wife Madge for 24 hours, even though they haven't met for weeks and they are staying in the same hotel. This is highly artificial, but such flaws are rendered negligible by the sweeping climax of "Cheek To Cheek", the splendid finale in which Fred and Ginger get to dance as lovers.

Verdict - Immortal stylish music and dance.


28 of 31 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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This is really going over my head... TheLamplightersSerenade
Ok, what's the deal with Madge and Horace Hardwick? beb11572
am i the only 13yr old that likes fred astaire movies??? kittyaw1991
This Movie is Hilarious! Friesen_471
this movie is lamer than FDR's legs dro888
Where is the Feather Dress?? savon333
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