Showman Jerry Travers is working for producer Horace Hardwick in London. Jerry demonstrates his new dance steps late one night in Horace's hotel, much to the annoyance of sleeping Dale Tremont below. She goes upstairs to complain and the two are immediately attracted to each other. Complications arise when Dale mistakes Jerry for Horace.Written by
Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers frequently denied any major rivalry between them. But because so much of the praise and attention for the quality of the pictures has been focused on him, she was quick to point out she had plenty of input into the dance routines and was known as the "button finder," a show biz term for the person who can come up with just the right last word or finishing touch on a scene or number. She also wasn't innocent of telling a deflating story or two about her co-star. As she relates in her autobiography, Sandrich wanted a little something extra to cap the film and told his two stars to break into a dance as they descended the stairs at the end. They grumbled, preferring never just to start dancing without rehearsal, but they tried it anyway. And as Fred pivoted Ginger around him, his top hat came off and nearly plunged into the "canal" built on the Venice set. Rogers said he yelled "no, no, no!" and kicked the wall of the set hard - twice a reaction she thought uncharacteristically heated of him until she realized the cause of his anger. He had neglected to put his toupee on under the hat. See more »
When Jerry is dancing, it appears that the main room in Horace's Suite is directly over the bedroom of the downstairs suite of Dale. Most hotels are built to an identical pattern on each floor. It is more economical that way. So for the dancing to wake Dale, Jerry should be dancing in one of the bedrooms, especially as his dancing appears to dislodge a ceiling tile in Dale's Suite. See more »
I still feel a little guilty, being here with you while Alberto is out looking for us.
Come on! Let's eat, drink, and be merry, for tomorrow we have to face him.
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I'm only just now beginning to realize how silly the plot and some of the comedy was in this movie. When I watched it, it was perfectly wonderful, and I smiled all the way through. Fred and Ginger, of course, are perfect, whether dancing so memorably to the likes of "Isn't It a Lovely Day" and "Cheek to Cheek" or pitching woo. Edward Everett Horton, Eric Blore, and Helen Broderick kept it moving with their throughly entertaining comedy relief. Even almost 65 years after its premeire, it's still in tip-top condition, both in the print and in its impact, on first viewing, at least. (I'm afraid to watch it again, for fear the impact will be destroyed.)
I've seen almost all of Fred and Ginger's pictures since viewing this. Some are good, some less so, and all have their moments of excellence. But none of them matched this one in my mind for sheer feel-goodness. The ones that came closest were Swing Time, Shall We Dance, and The Story of Vernon and Irene Castle and The Barkleys of Broadway, the last two because they had quite plausible stories, (and in the case of Castle, one based on real life). But still, Top Hat is Fred and Ginger at their best, and hopefully will always stay that way in my mind.
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