7.6/10
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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

After the car chase when Fred catches Ginger, the sound of someone coughing can be heard. See more »

Quotes

Egbert Fitzgerald: Your life, Mr. Tonetti, must be full of excitement.
Tonetti: Full of excitement, and full of danger.
Egbert Fitzgerald: Oh, yes, of course... from the husbands.
Tonetti: No, from the ladies.
Egbert Fitzgerald: Oh, how interesting!
Tonetti: But, Tonetti, he know what to do. Yes, sometimes, the lady and I have the conversation... somtimes, I play the concertina... sometimes, I play the solitaire... but, mostly, I practice my singing. At home, my wife, he do not like me to sing.
Egbert Fitzgerald: Unquestionably a woman of great perspicacity.
Tonetti: Oh, si, si, signor, you bet!
See more »

Connections

Referenced in The Band Wagon (1953) 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 and Ginger
1 February 2005 | by jotix100See all my reviews

After hearing Fred Astaire put his stamp in a song, it's hard to imagine anyone else attempting to improve in what seems to be the definite rendition of it. That is the case when Mr. Astaire sings Cole Porter's elegant "Night and Day". In pairing Ginger Rogers with Mr. Astaire, Hollywood hit the jackpot as it produced a winning combination that went from film to film with such ease and panache, it will never be imitated.

Mark Sandrich worked with Ms. Rogers and Mr. Astaire in several movies. Somehow, "The Gay Divorcée" is one of their best collaboration. This film is a lot of fun to watch, even after more than 70 years after it was made. It speaks volumes for all the people involved in the production of this movie.

The Great Depression was the right background when movies like this were made. In a way, it was an escape from the harsh realities of the times America was going through. The public went to the movies to see their favorite stars that were shown in such a glamorous roles. How could anyone not admire the great Fred Astaire, always impeccably dressed? Or how could not any woman in the theater envy Ms. Rogers's beauty and easy grace? That era made it right for Hollywood to show the world a sensitivity and sophistication that only few rich types were able to enjoy in real life, while the rest was trying to eke out a life of whatever work they could find.

The musical numbers are amazing. "The Continental" alone, must have blown the budget of the picture. Imagine how much it would cost today to have all those dancers in a sound stage! Not only that, but in that lengthy number, there are at least four changes of costumes for the women. Also, he is delightful singing "Looking for a Needle in a Haystack". A young and radiant Betty Grable makes an appearance singing "Let's K-knock K-knees" in which she shows a bit of her enormous charm and talent.

Ginger Rogers makes a gorgeous Mimmi Glassop. Alice Brady, is perfect as the dizzy Aunt Hortense. Edward Everett Horton plays an excellent Egbert Fitzgerald, the divorce lawyer. Erik Rhodes is one of the best things in the film; his Signor Tonetti injects a funny shot into the movie. Eric Blore, as the waiter, has great moments in the movie.

In setting the film in London and Brighton, a rich texture is added to this winning picture that will remain a favorite that will live forever because of the chemistry that Ginger Rogers and Fred Astaire produced in anything they did together.


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