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6 out of 6 people found the following review useful:

A Very Entertaining Astaire and Rogers Showcase

9/10
Author: JOHNAMI from United States
1 April 2009

Of the ten films Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers made together "Top Hat" is the one that best demonstrates their many talents and which presents a memorable impression of their unique, inspiring partnership. Although they were great dancers, they were really so much more: Their work represented a standard of excellence, it conveyed an image of exciting, beautiful romance, and they made it seem as though the fantasy world of Hollywood was accessible to everyone.

The story lines for all ten films are weak. Some have more credibility than others, but even the pseudo-biographical films made later in their partnership are contrived, overly sentimental, and trite. RKO cranked-out a script like "Top Hat" simply to accommodate the hot team of Astaire and Rodgers. They didn't allow time to do better. In addition to the stars, good direction and fine work from both the supporting actors and the various technical people transformed the lean script into satisfying entertainment.

Ginger Rogers brings a great deal to the shallow women she is asked to portray. Her acting accounts for much of the success of the Astaire and Rogers movies because she approaches every line, every idiotic incident, every emotion with the same professional integrity she would give to the finest material. She is a hard working, disciplined actress, always completely in character, and in turn, completely believable. In great part, we believe the stories simply because of her.

Her singing and dancing skills are excellent, although not as dynamic as her acting ability. Fred is definitely the lead in singing and dancing. That she is able to follow Fred's dancing with both technical and artistic agility attests to her talent and even more to her professionalism. She earned a reputation as Fred's greatest partner because, on many levels, she can approach his greatness. They work as one toward a common goal.

Fred Astaire was an established Broadway star when he began working in Hollywood. He had already defined his artistic persona and had concentrated on three major areas: Demeanor, Musicianship, and Dancing. Fred is a most unlikely romantic lead. He has comely, but ordinary looks that diminish under close examination; too high a forehead, too large features, too pale and small-framed. Yet, on the screen, he projects a charming, elite image that more than compensates for the banality of his physical person. These qualities derive from Fred having developed the most exquisite manners. He is the most poised, the most polite, the most confident of men. Those fine traits, combined with his everyday looks, make him a romantic lead anyone can believe in, by association as well as by example.

He also developed an exceptional ability to interpret music. He finds everything the composer has written. It's not just a matter of reading the notes or of keeping the right tempo. He finds the essence of the song, its deepest meaning. He has a pleasant, small voice with which he sings splendidly. Every word is given full value, both musically and literally. The music is fully appreciated and fully communicated. In "Top Hat" his excellent musical talent is beautifully demonstrated in the song, "Cheek to Cheek." Written in a high register, Fred scales the music with impressive virtuosity, never failing to convey the full meaning of the song.

His gift with music extends with perfect appropriateness to dance. As a choreographer and dancer his work is one hundred percent original. His ability to find the very core of the music creates interpretation that is never obvious, never expected, and seeded with a genius that is unparalleled, highly aesthetic, and always inspiring. It is unfortunate that he has been labeled a "perfectionist" because it is a misunderstanding of his objectives. The word perfectionist tends to have an underlying negativism. It suggests triviality, fanaticism, rigidity. None of those factors exist in the work of Fred Astaire. His objective was, perhaps to some degree unconsciously, to achieve a level of quality that equaled his genius. In order to get to that point, it was necessary to rehearse and rehearse, to make everything just right, in the same way that all the stokes of a Matisse are as they need to be, or all the chisel strikes of a Michelangelo create a unified artistic achievement.

In "Top Hat," when Fred finishes singing the lyrics in the "Cheek to Cheek" scene he and Ginger segue to an open area where they perform a beautiful, fascinating dance. It is a highly romantic sequence, performed with impressive technical skill. At the end, Ginger's reaction clearly shows how it wasn't just dancing, but a type of love-making that satisfied the mind and the soul. It is notable how much they were able to communicate symbolically through movement.

For me, "Top Hat" showcases the many talents of Fred and Ginger more fully than the other nine films they made together. It also has excellent production values. However, it should be noted that the other films also have exceptional dance numbers of equal, and sometimes, even greater merit than those in "Top Hat." It is definitely worth seeing all ten of the Astaire and Rogers films, preferably in chronological order.

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6 out of 6 people found the following review useful:

The real star of the movie

Author: (tork0030@tc.umn.edu) from Minneapolis Minnesota
17 April 2001

When whipping up the froth of a musical comedy most creators and commentators forget that fateful second word . . . COMEDY. Not to take away from Astaire & Rogers' beautiful balletic grace, but no one ever gave more comedy more modestly yet more professionally than Edward Everett Horton. His triple-barreled name alone suggests haughty dignity and sniffing puritanism, and his role in this film, as in so many others, gives him ample scope to screw up his mouth in petty disdain, look aghast at social blunders, and sputter in disbelief over the foibles of others while generously ignoring his own idiocies. Horton is a reactor, one which boosts a fairly pedestrian plot to the Moon & beyond. Like Margret DuMont with the Marx Brothers, there is something about the pernickity Horton that begs us to tilt his top hat and fling a banana peel his way just for the delightful reaction we are sure of getting. Perplexed or chagrined, the hatchet-faced Horton is a monument to the lost art of supporting clown -- those dumb bunnies and prissy busybodies that used to inhabit movies and give them life & breath even when the big-shot stars were off the screen. Horton had impeccable timing in delivering a line or flashing a double-take -- you feel he could just as easily count the nano-seconds between the neutron pulses of an atom. If he seems to intrude too much into the musical numbers of this movie it's simply because the director/editor must have been overly fond of his coy mugging. I recommend that music lovers rewatch this film and concentrate on Edward Everett Horton. Your attention will be well-rewarded with deep chuckles and an abiding affection for this New England zany.

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6 out of 7 people found the following review useful:

Delightful Confusion and Musical Numbers

8/10
Author: Claudio Carvalho from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
1 November 2011

The dancer Jerry Travers (Fred Astaire) meets his friend and producer Horace Hardwick (Edward Everett Horton) at the conservative Thackeray Club in London and Horace invites Jerry to spend the night in his hotel. Jerry is excited with the show and has a "dance attack", tap dancing in the room and disturbing the guest Dale Tremont (Ginger Rogers) that is lodged in the room below. Dale goes upstairs to complain against the noise and meets Jerry and they flirt with each other.

On the next morning, Dale mistakes the single Jerry for the married Horace and becomes upset with her flirtation. When she learns that Horace is the husband of her friend Helen Broderick (Madge Hardwick), there are many complications and confusions in the lives of the two friends.

"Top Hat" is another wonderful film from the Golden Age of Hollywood, with delightful confusion and musical numbers. The gags are very funny and the song "Cheek to Cheek" was nominated to the 1936 Oscar in the category Best Music, Original Song. My vote is eight.

Title (Brazil): "O Picolino"

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6 out of 7 people found the following review useful:

Top Hat: Tops in Movie Musicals!

8/10
Author: krdement from United States
14 July 2007

I do not watch musicals to hear music. For a musical to be enjoyable, the music should be an embellishment of a story that is otherwise fun to watch. Dancing is the same thing. Beginning sometime in the 50's most musicals leave me flat - precisely because they don't have a good storyline, because they emphasize music to the detriment of the story, and because they routinely interrupt the flow of the film to just "burst into song." There are some wonderful, notable exceptions, of course - Singing in the Rain, 7 Brides for 7 Brothers, My Fair Lady, The Sound of Music... But give me the musicals of the Golden Age of Hollywood any time; the story always seems to come first - just think of The Wizard of Oz (the musical that nobody ever thinks of as a musical).

Give me a musical that features Fred and Ginger. In fact give me almost any film with EITHER Fred or Ginger - especially Ginger!

And if the story is predictable, who cares? It is the journey (the telling) not arriving at the destination (the predictable ending) that counts. This is the key to storytelling - cinematic and otherwise - that both film makers and movie goers understood and appreciated when Hollywood was the "Dream Factory." A film entertains by the deftness with which a story is told - the cleverness of dialog, the development of characters and their interaction. It is not necessarily a bad thing that the outcome is predictable.

Neither is it necessarily a good thing that a story is unpredictable; Hollywood has since produced a lot of original, unpredictable garbage.

This is Fred and Ginger at their very best. Their chemistry was never better. The dialog, musical numbers, dances, costumes and sets are all tops. This film is like a fabulous screwball comedy with song and dance, featuring two of the very brightest stars in the history of Hollywood in peak form. My favorite Fred and Ginger routine of all time - dancing and singing the immortal "Cheek to Cheek" will delight you. Let Top Hat take you on this delightful journey as an illustration of Golden Age musical-making at its finest! Top Hat is Tops!

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4 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

"Isn't this a lovely day to be caught in the rain?"

8/10
Author: ackstasis from Australia
6 November 2007

'Top Hat' is a classic 1930s dance musical. The film positively reeks with class, and the winning partnership of Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers is impossible to overlook. The two stars had performed together three times previously {Flying Down to Rio (1933), The Gay Divorcée (1934), Roberta (1935)} and would later do so on a total of ten occasions. As of this moment, I've only seen one of these films, but if 'Top Hat' is anything to go by, I have a lot of great titles to track down. It's rather peculiar that until recently I would actively avoid anything that features characters suddenly bursting into song for no particular reason, but classics such as this one and 'Singin' in the Rain' are gradually overcoming my aversion towards the musical genre. Mark Sandrich, who would direct five of the dancing team's outings, presents the audience with a glittering world of wealth, class and elegance, helped along by the potent chemistry of the two leads and a memorable selection of musical numbers written by Irving Berlin.

The storyline in 'Top Hat' is relatively basic, a lightweight screwball comedy with an assortment of misunderstandings and mistaken identities, but it's very entertaining. Of course, some of the plotpoints are rather contrived and require a bit of suspension of disbelief, but try and find me somebody who gives a damn. Jerry Travers (Astaire) is an American Broadway dancer making his London debut for producer Horace Hardwick (Edward Everett Horton). Following an uncontrollable late-night urge to start tappin' in his hotel room, Jerry comes to meet Dale Tremont (Rogers), who is initially repulsed by him but is later won over by Astaire's boyish enthusiasm and charm, not to mention some well-executed dance moves. However, an assortment of unlikely scenarios leads Dale to believe that Jerry is the husband of her good friend Marge (Helen Broderick), and his perceived infidelity leads her to seek somebody else's hand in marriage, namely the pompous Italian dress designer Alberto Beddini (Erik Rhodes).

Of course, the story is entertaining to watch, but the film's main assets are its remarkable dance numbers. As opposed to many other musicals, the sequences in 'Top Hat' have a certain intimacy about them. There is no quick editing or unusual shooting angles, but instead the camera is settled at enough of a distance for us to fully see both performers, and then it just sits back and allows the two stars to do what they do so well. Additionally, because each of the songs is integrated almost perfectly into the plot {except for "The Piccolino," which seemed a bit out-of-place}, the musical interludes complement the storyline, and vice versa. Choosing a favourite song would be next to impossible, so I'll just declare that "No Strings," "Isn't This a Lovely Day (To Be Caught in the Rain)" and "Top Hat, White Tie, and Tails" are all massively enjoyable to watch. The film's most famous number, "Cheek to Cheek," has since become one of American cinema's most beloved musical scenes, and subsequent directors have regularly employed it to add emotional resonance to their own works {see Woody Allen's 'The Purple Rose of Cairo (1985)' and Frank Darabont's 'The Green Mile (1999)'}.

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4 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

Smooth, a frappé delight.

7/10
Author: Robert J. Maxwell (rmax304823@yahoo.com) from Deming, New Mexico, USA
7 June 2007

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Fred and Ginger in one of their best at mid career, almost a remake of "The Gay Divorcée". The music is by Irving Berlin and includes "Isn't This a Lovely Day" and "Cheek to Cheek." I can't imagine how Fred and Ginger managed to grind out these demanding films. The actors showed up at the studio at 4AM. And Fred Astaire was a perfectionist. He used up thirteen canes while filming one number, "Top Hat." He had his most notable argument with his partner over a feathery gown that Ginger Rogers had designed, since the feathers had a tendency to fly off during spins and stick to Astaire's dark evening clothes. And dancing itself, physical stamina aside, involves compelling self discipline. What looks so easy -- so IMPROVISED -- on the screen is actually worked out in minuscule detail beforehand, with each step, and each PART of each step, thoroughly memorized and rehearsed. Berlins' lyrics are above his usual standard: "I'm steppin out, my dear To breathe an atmosphere that simply reeks with class. And I trust that you'll excuse my dust when I step on the gas." ("Reeks with class", pretty good.)

Astaire made it even more difficult. Before him (and after him, for that matter) there had been Busby Berkeley, he of the overhead camera shot and the unfolding flower imagery. Astair had proclaimed "either the camera dances or I dance," so his numbers were shot with as few cuts as possible, and from eye level only. An exception occurs here during the climactic "Piccolino", although Astaire isn't in the shot, and it was the last time a Berkeleyesque shot was to appear in one of his films. These ensemble dances were organized by Astaire's colleague, Hermes Pan, a name that suggests its owner had just waltzed out of Andy Warhol's Factory but that, in fact, was the real name of an ordinary mid-Westerner who just happened to dance well.

I don't know how Irving Berlin could pump out songs as if they were hamburgers at a Sonic Drive-in either -- and winners, too, like "White Christmas" and dozens of others. The guy couldn't read music any better than you or I can. And he could play the piano in only one key, and only on the black keys. He had a custom piano built that mechanically transposed the melodies into other keys. It's like a chimpanzee picking up a paintbrush and producing The Last Supper, followed by Three Musicians, and so on, with scarcely a Big Eye painting among them.

You've got to see this thing if only for the art deco sets, blindingly white, huge, accented with black. The Greek keys and sinuous French curves follow one another sequaciously. The walls are white, the furniture is white, the telephones are white. Only the glossy floors and some of the wardrobe are black. Venice here looks like an expensive and sterile two-story set in an RKO studio. The dialog has more cutting witicisms than usual. Talking about a carriage horse, Astaire tells Rogers that his sire was Man O' War. "Who was his dame?", asks Rogers. "I don't know. He didn't give a (Rogers slams trap door)." And Rogers: "What is this power you have over horses?" Astaire: "Horse power."

And the supporting players like Eric Blore, Eric Rhodes, Edward Everett Horton, Lucille Ball, and Helen Broderick. They were all typecast, of course. The men tended to be effete, which served to emphasize Astaire's genuine, everyman quality. It must have been reassuring to see the same actors play variations on the same themes. Their descendants are the TV actors we've come to know in supporting parts -- the Ted Baxters and the Fred Mertzes and the -- well, the Fred Dalton Thompsons? Can I say that here? In the 1930s the audience had to wait for a year to see their favorite character actors. Now we get them once a week.

What gets me about this series is that the people we see are all so terribly rich. They all wear gowns and tuxedos and fly around from London to Venice to Paris and stay in the fanciest of hotels -- and this is 1935, with the world in the grip of a depression. It seems far too glib to claim the audience wanted an "escape" from the dreariness of their real worlds, too facile. Warner Brothers at the same time was producing films that "reflected" the dilemmas of the working-class audience. It would be interesting to know if "Top Hat" and its clones attracted a somewhat different audience from, say, "I Was a Fugitive From a Chain Gang." Too late to know.

Alas, though, the movie ends tragically, with everyone in Venice dying of cholera.

Just kidding.

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4 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

Great Dances, Crazy story

Author: Scaramouche2004 from Coventry, England
28 January 2007

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Top Hat, although the most successful of all the Astaire/Rogers movies of the 1930's, is however the most hard to swallow.

The songs and dances are as wonderful as ever, especially when provided by the great Irving Berlin, and executed by such consummate performers as Fred and Ginger, but it's the storyline that lets this one down. In short, it's entertaining enough but it's just not believable enough.

Fred and Ginger are Jerry Travers and Dale Tremont who as ever, meet under acrimonious circumstances and as ever, put down their weapons, kiss and make up and fall in love. That's before a case of mistaken identity makes Dale believe Jerry is actually Horace Hardwick, erring husband of her very best friend Madge played as brilliantly as ever by Helen Broderick.

Here is the plot down point as I find it hard to accept that after falling in love after dancing together in a rain soaked bandstand to Irving Berlins 'Isn't it a Lovely Day' that they didn't deem it necessary to introduce each other. Apparently the unimportant matter of somebodies name means nothing when it comes to true love. They obviously believe their romance can survive with the occasional 'Hey you' or a far from personal grunt.

Jerry is determined to woo her and put right any wrongs, and in true stalker style follows her all the way the Venice resort to which the ever elusive Miss Tremont has escaped too.

Again despite the fact that Jerry, Dale and Madge all meet at a poolside café and have a rather long conversation, Madge under the impression that this is Jerry and Dales' first meeting also neglects the preliminary introductions, with Jerry instead fanning the flames of the fire by declaring his love and respect for Madge and the impact she has on his life, which the rest of the film goes on to show as none whatsoever.

In fact the only person who goes out of his way to ask who anybody is Alberto Beddini (Erik Rhodes) Dale Tremont's fashion designer and would-be boyfriend who unfortunately finds and threatens to kill the real and completely innocent Horace Hardwick played by the ever watchable Edward Everett Horton.

See what I mean, I practically pulled my hair out by the roots in pure desperation the first time I saw this movie, but as ever it is the dances that really make up the missing magic.

Fred delights us with two wonderful solo numbers, 'Fancy Free' an energetic tap number around a spacious London apartment and 'Top Hat' a song that has over the years become Fred's signature tune and a routine where he made the ensemble of top hat, white tie and tails his very own brand name of swelegance (although many have said in real life, he hated wearing the outfit)

With Ginger he performs the aforementioned 'Isn't it a Lovely Day' and the films finale the The Piccolino, which was again an attempt to recreate both The Carioca, and The Continental, a concept that was later dropped from future movies.

But without doubt the highlight of this musical is the Cheek to Cheek number in which Fred and Ginger perform one of their best routines around a deserted Italian veranda, falling in love all over again.

Although the scene and the dancing is faultless, it was the routine that caused most of the off screen problems between the two. It is the now notorious ostrich feathers incident. These feathers can be seen quite clearly floating from Ginger's self designed evening gown onto Fred's suit and no doubt up his nose. Despite the bad feeling it caused at the time, according to Ava Astaire it became a life-long joke that the two would laugh and reminisce about whenever they spoke.

Forget the story, just watch the dances, they are great.

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6 out of 8 people found the following review useful:

Reaching the Highest Peak

8/10
Author: bkoganbing from Buffalo, New York
20 April 2006

A point not often raised by other reviewers of Top Hat is how much of a benchmark this film was in the career of Irving Berlin. Top Hat marked Berlin's return to Hollywood with a new appreciation for the business end of the motion picture industry.

Berlin had been there in the first three years of sound and wrote a few songs for the screen. He didn't like writing and seeing his work integrated into the scores of other films, he didn't like seeing his work ending up on the cutting room floor as was the case in Reaching for the Moon and he didn't like just writing the songs and seeing them tossed every which way into a film.

With Top Hat Berlin began a tradition of total control. After that it was extremely rare to hear a non-Berlin note in any score he wrote. He was as in on the creation of the film as he would have been on the Broadway stage. And he retained copyright control of his songs which was usually not the case, the studio did. The man was a first class businessman as well as our greatest songwriter.

This was the fourth teaming of Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers. With these two, RKO started rivaling Warner Brothers and MGM for quality musicals. With Fred Astaire they had not only a great dancer, but a star who worked hard in the creation of those numbers. The Piccolino number that he and Ginger do at the finale certainly rivals any of the stuff Busby Berkeley was doing at Warner Brothers though it is not as surrealistic.

Irving Berlin wrote and integrated five outstanding songs into Top Hat. The aforementioned Piccolino, No Strings, Isn't It a Lovely Day To Be Caught in the Rain and Cheek to Cheek. The last was one of Berlin's most popular songs, still done today by would be Astaires. It was nominated in the second year of the Best Song Oscar category, but lost to Lullaby of Broadway.

My favorite number here is the free and easy Isn't It a Lovely Day To Be Caught in the Rain. Fred and Ginger make that informal number under a gazebo so natural, it's positively infectious.

A whole lot of this cast was retained from the previous Astaire-Rogers outing, The Gay Divorcée. Edward Everett Horton, Edward Blore, Erik Rhodes, and Helen Broderick simply repeat their roles from the previous film.

So when you're caught in the rain at home with your significant other, you could do worse than watch Top Hat. You'll be dancing cheek to cheek and soon.

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3 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

You can't help smiling when they're dancing.

8/10
Author: islander-14 from Malta
26 September 2007

When my parents use a metaphor for a film too old to watch, they say Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers are in it. Since I watch silent films with relish, Astaire and Rogers singing and danching cheek to cheek are positively contemporary from my point of view though there are many ways one is reminded these swingers were kicking about 15 years before my parents were born.

'Top Hat' is great fun. The two dancers defy gravity in a way that looks improbable to eyes who have seent he making of Hong King wire-fu movies. There is a grace and ease that is not of this world. The smiling and cheering of dancers who should be sweating and panting from the physical exertion is as unreal as everything else about the story that is told. But this is really happen, for a 1935 camera without cuts and edits does not lie.

Beyond the dancing there's very little to write home about. The plot is as silly as they come and probably would not pass the morning conference of script writers of a bad Argentinian soap. What's so dissonant to our post-war (post-several wars) eyes is that everyone seems so damn happy: they have so much to smile and dance and sing about. Don't these people pay bills? In reality that is what this film is meant to do: let us look into a world without worries. Those looking at it first time round in 1935 had much to worry about. They are the people of Grapes of Wrath and of Modern Times: the depressees who lost everything and could afford no luxury but the movies every week.

Musicals gave them a magical world they could escape to and if that magical world was anything like reality it would not be worth paying the ticket for.

I suppose if you wanted to tell a story where people break into song and dance every few minutes, you could not really have much to do with reality even if you wanted to.

Consider the set for what is meant to look like Venice in the second half of the film. It looks like something out of a Disney park: an American interpretation of a long-ago seen post-card retold and magnified to seem even more otherworldly in children's eyes than Venice in any case really is.

Though you'll raise your eye brows a few times at the sheer improbability of the plot turns and you won't laugh the second time the characters take a Stan Laurel double-take (today's humour is too fast to leave place for people who expect to be funny because they're slow on the uptake) you can't help smiling when they're dancing. The sheer joy of Astaire and Rogers in their art form is infectious.

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3 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

Very positive and spacious Astaire-Rogers entry; genial and quite well-done

7/10
Author: silverscreen888
22 June 2007

"Top Hat" was adapted from an Hungarian play, for which Sándor Faragao credited as Alexander Faragó and Aladar Laszlo deserve the credit. The serviceable but slight story-line was also worked on by Károly Nóti, Allan Scott and Dwight Taylor. The main plot may be told in a single paragraph: A dancer comes to London to star in a new show. Annoying a young woman by tap dancing when she is trying to sleep, he meets her, falls in love with her and fails to win her despite her attraction to him because she believes him to be the husband of her best friend instead of only being the star of his show, a man working for him. Complicating the mix are a jealous count for whom the girl works and an opinionated butler working for the impresario, who is then paid by the dancer to spy for him instead. Mark Sandrich directed the goings on in sprightly fashion, with Pandro S. Berman credited as the attractive film's producer and Irving Berlin, with incidental music by Max Steiner, writing the film's above-average score of songs, including "Dancing Cheek to Cheek:, "To Hat" and "The Piccolino", among others. Art Director Van Nest Polglase, Cinematographer David Abel, set dresser Thomas Little and designer of gowns Bernard Newman manage to give the entire production an airy and positive feeling, whether the scene is one set indoors or out. Hermes Pan and Fred Astaire devised the intelligent choreography and half a dozen fine arrangers helped to make the music work. The sunny disposition of the story, with its reliance on a simple misunderstanding, allows the smallish cast to develop their characters unusually fully for a musical. Fred Astaire is lively, young and likable, and his dancing has seldom been better. Ginger Rogers generally seems comfortable with her demanding role as dancer,. singer, confused lover, angry young woman and bewildered participant. Edward Everett Horton is very properly stuffy, Eric Blore as his butler successfully sarcastic, and Helen Broderick makes a delightful and able sarcastic wife in a role that only Eve Arden could have bettered. Eric Rhodes impersonates the irascible Italian count Alberto with power and ability throughout. But ultimately, the film's charm comes down to its simplicity, high style and characters. An intended musical climax to the film, the elaborate "Piccolini", as written by Irving Berlin and sung by Ginger Roger, is a mistake despite its competent arrangement. However it is the only sour note in an otherwise expert trifle, one played winningly and presented beautifully, in my judgment. The opening comedic scene in a London Men's Club, Astaire's first meeting with the butler, the Italian sequences, the stage numbers and the hotel room and hansom scene are all memorable. This film was very popular in 1935 and because of its positive qualities remains a favorite Astaire-Rogers vehicle today. Its elements have often been imitated, but perhaps never bettered,

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