Top Hat (1935) Review

Top Hat (1935)  Director: Mark Sandrich

★★★★☆

The most famous of the Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers musical screwball comedies, Top Hat is a wonderful film. In keeping with the tradition of screwball comedies, it was characterized by a strong and dominant female against a more effeminate man, popular during the Great Depression until the 1940s in Hollywood. In total, Rogers and Astaire made ten musicals together, nine with RKO, and one final film with MGM in 1949. Top Hat was their fourth film and it features a memorable Irving Berlin score amidst the backdrop of art decko set designs. For lovers of musicals, Top Hat is an essential film.

In the film, Astaire plays Jerry Travers who comes to London as a dancer to star in an upcoming performance. While practicing a song and tap dance routine in his hotel room he awakens Dale Tremont below him. He quickly falls in love and trails her all over London, and even follows her to Venice. Through random coincidence, she mistakes him for another man, and slaps him in the face. In Italy, she develops a scheme with the man’s wife, but the plan unravels. In the end, they reconcile in a gondola in Venice and she agrees to a proposal of marriage.

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