7.6/10
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56 user 39 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 »
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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:

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)
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

After Flying Down to Rio (1933), Fred Astaire was reluctant to make a second movie with Ginger Rogers. He had previously been part of a dance duo with his sister, Adele Astaire, but wanted to establish himself as a solo dancer. Astaire sent a note to his agent about Rogers. "I don't mind making another picture with her, but as for this team idea, it's out! I've just managed to live down one partnership and I don't want to be bothered with any more." But when the critics praised the Astaire-Rogers pairing in "Rio," Astaire was persuaded, and he and Rogers made the second film in their partnership, this one. See more »

Goofs

Whilst sitting at the night-club table Guy Holden is playing with a hand puppet which he proceeds to remove. The next shot has the puppet on the table and Guy now has his elbow on the table with his fingers against his head. The following shot has his arm stretched across the table. See more »

Quotes

Guy Holden: [singing and skipping in a circle] The husband is coming! Hooray! Hooray!
See more »

Connections

Referenced in The Cinema Snob: Gayracula (2013) See more »

Soundtracks

Let's K-nock K-nees
(1931)
Music and Lyrics by Mack Gordon and Harry Revel
Song performed by Betty Grable and Edward Everett Horton
Dance performed by Betty Grable, Edward Everett Horton, chorus
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Fred & Ginger's first starring role as a team
5 April 2006 | by blanche-2See all my reviews

After their hit dancing of the "Carioca" in "Flying Down the Rio," RKO gave the teaming of Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers a star role in "The Gay Divorcée" in 1934. With few exceptions, the plots of the Fred-Ginger films were excuses to get to the important part - the dancing - but the story lines were always pleasant and the casting good. "The Gay Divorcée" was based on a Broadway musical (of which the only number retained is "Night and Day") and it appears that a few of its plot devices were adopted in later Astaire-Rogers films as well. One such plot device is that of mistaken identity. In this movie, Astaire (reprising his Broadway role) is mistaken for a professional correspondent hired to help Rogers get her divorce. Another device is that at first, Ginger is never interested in Fred - that goes here, too. And there's a stock cast in these films, namely, Edward Everett Horton and Eric Blore (and of course, he's always the butler and always very funny). Horton plays Rogers' attorney whose major problem is Rogers' aunt (Alice Brady).

What can be said about the dancing except that it's glorious? Fred and Ginger dance to "Night and Day" after Astaire sings it to her. For a supposed non-singer, Astaire could really put over a song - his voice is pleasant and he's so musical - no wonder composers wrote songs for him. Ginger is beautiful and spunky as Mimi, a young woman ducking Fred while she's trying to get a divorce. Betty Grable has a bit that showcases her in the number "Let's K-knock Kneez." There's also "I'm Looking for a Needle in a Haystack" delightfully sung and danced by Fred. Astaire's dancing is fantastic throughout.

It feels as if about half the picture is taken up with the elaborately staged production number, "The Continental." In later films, of course, the dancing would center more around Fred and Ginger, but it's a great part of the movie and certainly solidified these two as a top box office pairing.

For pure enjoyment, there's nothing like watching Astaire & Rogers in these movies.


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