Edit
Top Hat (1935) Poster

(1935)

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.
The finale of "Top Hat, White Tie and Tails" production number with Astaire miming his cane as a weapon "attacking" his supporting dancers, 13 canes were prepared for it. During shooting, Astaire, ever the unforgiving perfectionist, was continually breaking his canes in frustration at his mistakes, which concerned the crew that he was running out of them. As it turns out, the shooting of the scene was finished with the very last cane.
The two-minute dance of "The Piccolino" was filmed in one take.
7 of 7 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink
The dress Ginger Rogers wore in the Piccolino number is on display in the Smithsonian's National Museum of American History in Washington, DC.
7 of 7 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink
Earned $3 million at the box office (a huge amount at the time), the only other film in 1935 to outgross it being Mutiny on the Bounty (1935).
6 of 6 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink
After Fred Astaire met Irving Berlin while filming Top Hat (1935) they became lifelong friends.
6 of 6 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink
Character Alberto Beddini's motto was originally, "For the men the sword, for the women the whip." The script was changed to "For the women the kiss, for the men the sword" after the censors objected.
5 of 5 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink
The first time Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers had a screenplay written specifically for them.
5 of 5 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink
Erik Rhodes' Italian characterization so offended the Italian government - and dictator Benito Mussolini in particular - that the film was banned in Italy. The same fate befell The Gay Divorcee (1934) the year before.
5 of 5 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink
The fourth (of ten) dancing partnership of Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers.
5 of 5 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink
For contrast to the "Big White Set" of the Lido, the water in the canals was dyed black.
4 of 4 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink
One of the productions that rescued RKO from bankruptcy (the other being King Kong (1933).)
4 of 4 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink
Fred Astaire didn't care for the big finale production number "The Piccolino" so he handed singing duties on it over to Ginger Rogers.
4 of 4 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink
The Venice canal set was so large it required two adjoining sound stages at RKO's Gower studio. The entire length was over 300 feet. Up to that time it was the largest set ever built on the RKO lot.
4 of 4 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink
Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers dance together five times in this film. They would dance that many times together in only this film.
6 of 7 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink
The end portion film was trimmed down after a preview audience complained of the length. Small parts by Donald Meek and Florence Roberts were cut. One of the last scenes to go, in which Eric Blore insults a policeman, is still present in some prints (including the RKO Collection videotape version from Turner Home Entertainment).
3 of 3 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink
Mark Sandrich, who directed five of the Fred Astaire-Ginger Rogers musicals, was a physicist before he got into filmmaking, and would devise blueprints for every scene, so he would know exactly where to put the cameras and the actors.
3 of 3 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink
In one scene at the Lido, Madge orders a drink called a "horse's neck". It is traditionally served with a spiral of lemon (or orange) peel hanging over the edge of the glass, suggesting the curve of a horse's neck. It calls for 2 oz of bourbon or brandy, 4 oz of ginger ale, and a dash of bitters, over ice.
5 of 6 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink
Early drafts of the script called for Irving Berlin songs "Wild About You", "Get Thee Behind Me, Satan" (to be sung by Ginger Rogers) and "You're the Cause", but they were not used in the final version.
2 of 2 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink
A 78-minute version of the film was released by RKO in 1953. Cuts to the dance numbers were severe. Prints are still in circulation.
2 of 2 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink

See also

Goofs | Crazy Credits | Quotes | Alternate Versions | Connections | Soundtracks

Contribute to This Page