7.5/10
6,926
62 user 44 critic

The Gay Divorcee (1934)

Approved | | Comedy, Musical, Romance | 12 October 1934 (USA)
Trailer
1:17 | Trailer
A woman thinks a flirting man is the co-respondent her lawyer has hired to expedite her divorce.

Director:

Mark Sandrich

Writers:

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

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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:

The King and Queen of 'Carioca' See more »


Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

According to the Internet Movie Car Database, some cars are identified as follows: The car that Tonetti drives up to the resort in is a 1927 Austin Seven Swallow. The car that asks to get by in the fake roadblock is a 1927 Bugatti Type 40. The car Ginger Rogers is driving is a 1929 Dusenberg J. Fred Astaire is driving a 1931 MG J2 Midget. See more »

Goofs

When Hortense says that Egbert "always had the mother instinct" she starts looking at him at neutral eye level as if he is sitting down then her gaze follows him up indicating that Egbert has just stood up. On the next cut however Egbert is still sitting down then stands up and Hortense repeats the action of her eyes starting at even eye level, then the gaze follows him as he stands up. See more »

Quotes

Mimi Glossop: Please don't ask me to stay.
Guy Holden: All right, I won't. Don't go!
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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

Edited into Joan of Paris (1942) See more »

Soundtracks

The Continental
(1934)
Music by Con Conrad
Instrumental reprise
Dance performed by Fred Astaire, Ginger Rogers
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User Reviews

"Distinct Tendencies Towards Terpsichorean Excellence"
14 March 1999 | by stryker-5See all my reviews

Guy Holden, the celebrated stage dance star, is touring Europe on vacation. Mimi Glossop is a rich American living in London and is currently in the throes of a divorce. They meet, they dance, they fall in love.

Ginger Rogers was by far the bigger cinema star when RKO Radio teamed her with Fred. She had appeared in 34 films to his 3, and two in the previous year had been smash hits - "Golddiggers" and "42nd Street". This loose borrowing from Cole Porter's Broadway show contains only one of the master's songs, the immortal "Night And Day", and only four other songs in the entire movie - Conrad & Magidson's "Needle In A Haystack" and "The Continental", and Gordon & Revel's "Don't Let It Bother You" and "Let's K-nock K-nees" (featuring an 18-year-old Betty Grable, who had herself featured in no less than eight films in the previous year).

At the depth of the Depression, this sort of film was all the rage - a fantasy of carefree opulence and ease, set in a world of Parisian floorshows, ocean liners and tuxedos. The wit is sharp and the mood flirtatious. What if the film-makers hadn't the first clue about how an English barrister conducts his cases? This is about romance, not professional ethics. What if the terrain of Brighton isn't an igneous intrusion, but in fact a sedimentary accretion? This is about two people's sublime dancing, not geology.

Fred is as always the quintessence of style, a naturally elegant creature, and Ginger is gorgeous. The plot is very well constructed, containing all the misunderstandings associated with musical farce, but developing them with panache. The denouement is both neat and unexpected. There are plenty of girls dancing in the usual geometric patterns, but there is also abundant creativity in the choreography - the playful steps in "The Continental", for example, or Fred's reluctant dance for his supper. Mimi is trying to resist Guy, and has to be drawn into "Night And Day" against her will - an instance of character being expressed through dance. Max Steiner's arrangement of this number is glorious, with its 'tacit', and the swelling fortissimos, and a dainty countermelody in the strings. Ginger sings "The Continental" like an angel, nicely ragging the time.

Inconsequential? No doubt. Frothy? Certainly. A joy to watch? Definitely!


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Frequently Asked Questions

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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English | French | Italian

Release Date:

12 October 1934 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Gay Divorcee See more »

Filming Locations:

Santa Monica, California, USA See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$520,000 (estimated)

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$6,253
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

RKO Radio Pictures See more »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

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

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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