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, director Mark 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 Dale and Beddini leave the hotel in London, it is obvious the drivers of the cabs are sitting on the left. The UK drives on the left, so the drivers should have been on the right. See more »
Allow us to introduce ourselves, sir. We are Bates.
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Top Hat is a terrific musical about mistaken identity that pushes the "joke" to the limit but never takes it self very seriously. Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers are perfect as actors, dancers, and pals in this engaging comedy with several great dance numbers.
Astaire does a great solo (with male chorus line) to Top Hat and teams with Rogers in The Piccolino, Isn't It a Lovely Day, and Cheek to Cheek. All excellent. During The Piccolino number they seem to be having so much fun it's contagious and it seems like the entire number is done in ONE TAKE! Co-starring are 4 great actors who all turn in splendid performances. Helen Broderick is Madge, the frustrated and wise-cracking wife. Edward Everett Horton is Horace, the henpecked but conniving husband. Eric Blore is the valet, and Erik Rhodes is Beddini. Each gets his/her turn in the spotlight. Broderick was the perfect "older" woman as sidekick, Horton and Blore are a great comedy team of scene stealers, and Rhodes has a ball fracturing English. Lucille Ball has a bit part as the florist's assistant.
Central of course are Ginger Rogers and Fred Astaire. The Cheek to Cheek number is a classic and is fun to watch the feathers fly off Ginger's dress. My favorite is The Piccolino, especially when it breaks into a swing number and the dancers can really cut loose. Great fun.
One drawback is the UGLY set decorations that are in the same style no matter where they are. It's all that white-on-white stuff with hideous Greek decals and floral sprays everywhere. Even the scenes in Venice are all white right down to the gondolas. And just why are people swimming in the canals?
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