7.5/10
6,385
58 user 41 critic

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.

Director:

Mark Sandrich

Writers:

Dwight Taylor (from the book by), Kenneth S. Webb (musical adaptation) (as Kenneth Webb) | 4 more credits »
Reviews
Won 1 Oscar. Another 5 nominations. See more awards »

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Lady Alyce Marshmorton must marry soon, and the staff of Tottney Castle have laid bets on who she'll choose, with young Albert wagering on "Mr. X". After Alyce goes to London to meet a beau... See full summary »

Director: George Stevens
Stars: Fred Astaire, George Burns, Gracie Allen
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Fred Astaire ... Guy Holden
Ginger Rogers ... Mimi Glossop
Alice Brady ... Aunt Hortense
Edward Everett Horton ... Egbert 'Pinky' Fitzgerald
Erik Rhodes ... Rodolfo Tonetti
Eric Blore ... The Waiter
Lillian Miles Lillian Miles ... Singer - Continental Number
Charles Coleman ... Guy's Valet
William Austin ... Cyril Glossop
Betty Grable ... Dance Specialty - Knock Knees
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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

Taglines:

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


Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English | French | Italian

Release Date:

12 October 1934 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Continental See more »

Filming Locations:

Santa Monica, California, USA See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$520,000 (estimated)

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$5,418
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

RKO Radio Pictures See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

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

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Erik Rhodes, who plays Tonetti, repeats his stage role from the Broadway musical "Gay Divorce", on which this is based. See more »

Goofs

During the part of the film supposed to take place just outside of London, the car chase between Mimi and Guy occurs with them driving on the right side of the road. He passes her on the left at one point. See more »

Quotes

Waiter: Pardon, you, you uh rang sir?
Egbert Fitzgerald: Who me? Well, my dear fellow, what is there here to ring with?
Waiter: Pardon sir, that's just a figure of speech.
Egbert Fitzgerald: Oh, oh. Uhuh. Well, bring me a... let me have a... eh, there there. You see? Your figure of speech has made me forget entirely what I wanted.
Waiter: Could it have been that you require crumpets?
Egbert Fitzgerald: No no no, I never ring for crumpets.
Waiter: Would you be the kind of man who would ring for a toasted scone, sir?
Egbert Fitzgerald: Scone? Well, now uh, no. no. Try me again.
Waiter: Well, then could you, ...
[...]
See more »

Alternate Versions

In the version of The Gay Divorcee released in Brazil in the 1930s, the Brazilian actor Raul Roulien sang in the musical number "The Continental". See more »

Connections

Featured in Cocoon (1985) See more »

Soundtracks

The Continental
(1934)
Music and Lyrics by Con Conrad and Herb Magidson
Song performed by Fred Astaire, Ginger Rogers, Erik Rhodes, Lillian Miles
Dance performed by Fred Astaire, Ginger Rogers, chorus
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Sublime dancing, hilarious comedy, Art Deco time capsule
5 June 1999 | by jacksflicksSee all my reviews

It's astounding that this all-time classic doesn't get a better average score.

Nureyev said Astaire was the greatest dancer in the world, and Astaire is at his best here with his best partner, Ginger Rogers. No need to elaborate, just watch them in action.

Erik Rhodes should have got Best Supporting Oscar. He was also wonderful in Top Hat, but it's here he gets to say the immortal line, "Your wife is safe with Tonetti, he prefers spaghetti."

The clothes and the decor evoke an ideal of courtship as aesthetic rather than as rutting, as it is today. Elegance, grace and wit give even the silliest scenes more dignity than anything, fatuous "talents" can concoct today.

Some call the plot banal, but I think it's funny and inventive. Sure it's mistaken identity, which is indeed a cliché, but so what? It's what they do with it that matters. A professional co-respondent??? Of course it's silly but Hey, that's what farce is. And this musical farce is one of the very best.


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