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Top Hat

Fred Astaire , Ginger Rogers , Lloyd French , Mark Sandrich    NR (Not Rated)   DVD
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (21 customer reviews)
List Price: CDN$ 24.95
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Even the best Fred and Ginger musicals are merely lavish excuses for some of the most elegant dancing ever put on screen, and Top Hat is no exception. The story is a silly but timeless tale of mistaken identity that compounds itself to extremes. Fred Astaire is the famous American hoofer Jerry Travers, in London preparing for a new show with his befuddled producer Horace Hardwick (the always entertaining Edward Everett Horton) when he falls for Dale Tremont (Ginger Rogers), a lovely, wisecracking American girl as light on her feet as Jerry. Dale believes Jerry to be Horace, the husband of her best friend Madge (Helen Broderick) and rebuffs his advances by marrying her dressmaker Alberto (Erik Rhodes), but in the best tradition of musical comedy, true love finds its own way. Practically the entire cast of the 1934 hit The Gay Divorcee reunites for this frothy confection, along with director Mark Sandrich, designer Van Nest Polglase, and choreographer Hermes Pan. Irving Berlin provides a tuneful score, including "Cheek to Cheek," which provides a classic duet for Astaire and Rogers, and "Top Hat, White Tie and Tails," which remains one of Astaire's finest solo numbers. Polglase outdoes himself with sets both elegant and outrageous and Hermes Pan's choreography is as smooth as ever, but ultimately it's the grace and chemistry of the leads that makes Top Hat top entertainment. --Sean Axmaker

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4.8 out of 5 stars
4.8 out of 5 stars
Most helpful customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars To Watch "Top Hat" Is To Be "In Heaven" April 19 2003
Format:VHS Tape
Ask fans of Astaire and Rogers what their favorite film of their's is with the two. Chances are "Flyin' Down to Rio" may come up even "The Gay Divorcee" but I bet with almost certainty that "Top Hat" will be one you'll hear most of them say. Sure, "Swing Time" is also considered their best among some fans, but, "Top Hat" is my all-time favorite. It's also one of my 10 favorite films. This is Astaire and Rogers at their best with one of the best scores they ever sang and dances to, though "Shall We Dance" is a close runner-up (That movie had "Lets Call The Whole Thing Off", & "They Can't Can't That Away From Me"). Every song in here has become a standard. "Cheek to Cheek", "Isn't It A Lovely Day", "Top Hat, White Tie, & Tails", & "I'm Fancy Free".
This was the team's 4th film and already by now there was plenty of chemistry going on. The two knew how to play off each other. "Top Hat" is the film most people think stealed the deal and made them an offical "team". In their film before this "Roberta" they were reduced to supporting players. And didn't get to sing many songs. Irene Dunne received that honor.
The plot to "Top Hat" has Fred playing Jerry Travers an American dancer who is going to perform in a show put on by Horace Hardwick (Edward Everett Horton). Soon, Jerry meets Dale Tremont (Ginger Rogers). But, Dale mistakes Jerry for Horace after many mishaps occur. Now, this is a bit used often in Astaire & Rogers films. They used it in "The Gay Divorcee", & "Shall We Dance". But, here I think it's used best. Infact, if I could only recommend one movie for someone to see by the team, I would suggest this film. It has all the elements that made the team famous. Wonderful songs, good chemistry, great dancing, and an unbelieveable amount of charm.
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5.0 out of 5 stars I'm... puttin' on my Top Hat... April 28 2002
Format:VHS Tape
What a fantastic movie this is! It features wonderful music by Irving Berlin, wonderful elegance all around, and especially, wonderful Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers, the best team in the history of movies. The movie glides along, and you glide with it, and are swept up in the sheer joy of it all. The plot is absurd: Ginger thinks Fred is her best friends' husband. Fred, of course has no idea of this and pursues Ginger relentlessly. All of this is just an excuse for singing and dancing, and there is plenty of it, to some timeless Irving Berlin songs. It is some of the best you'll ever see. From the first moment when Fred starts puttering around to the tune of "No Strings," you wind up with a big grin on your face and amazement at how good he is. Ginger Rogers was always his best partner, because she was a perfect foil and a great dancer as well. But there was more to it than that. She was also a good actress and had great comic timing and always seemed ready to go along with the silliness of the plot. Here her best moment (and the best dance in the movie) is "Isn't This A Lovely Day." It is set in a sort of gazebo in a rainstorm and it is marvelous- the two wind up moving into a little tap competition- then thunder is heard, Ginger leaps into Fred's arms, they break apart, the music begins getting faster and faster, and suddenly they are whirling around the gazebo in giddy joy. The whole movie is marvelous, in fact. There is not a moment where I was dissapointed. 100 minutes of sheer pleasure.
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5.0 out of 5 stars IN CONCURRENCE WITH AMAZON.COM REVIEWERS: THE BEST! March 11 2002
Format:VHS Tape
The Best! because there seems to be more musical numbers than in the others I have seen, but also this film contains more comedy as well. It could stand on its own as a fine comedy if the music were taken away. And vice versa.
Edward Everett Horton appears more relaxed and as if he is having more fun in this film than in "The Gay Divorcee." And its good to see the other players from this film: Erik Rhodes as the dress designer (Tonetti in "The Gay Divorcee,") and Eric Blore as the valet (the waiter in "The Gay Divorcee"). Helen Broderick is appropriately droll and world-wise as Horton's wife, and I read that Lucille Ball plays the salesgirl in the flower shop. I frankly didn't recognize her (will have to watch it again, something that isn't hard to do!).
As for Fred Astaire, take away his singing, and his acting is supurb. Take away his acting, and his dancing is superb, etc., etc. It's easy to underestimate his talent because he makes it all look so easy. But he was surely our greatest all-around musical star. Ginger Rogers is more subdued in this film, perhaps due to the part. She is strikingly beautiful, and holds her own with Astaire all the way.
The Best! But the others I have seen (about three) are also terrific. You can't go wrong with this team and their wonderful backup players.
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4.0 out of 5 stars A Hollywood Classic March 10 2002
Format:VHS Tape
The film Top Hat, starring Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers, was released in 1935. At this point in time "Astaire - Rogers" were a big item at RKO primarily because they were a top notch dancing team who not only made a lot of money for the movie company but also kept them from going out of business. They complemented one another with their ease of dancing, singing and acting together. They worked well with one another and were 'the' big hit of the '30s.
Top Hat resembled the Gay Divorcee in a number of ways: The plot was similar, the way the romance evolved and the ever present appearance of Edward Everett Horton, Eric Blore and Erik Rhodes. In the movie, Fred Astaire is a dancer who falls head over heels for Ginger Rogers who has no interest in him. She mistakenly believes that he is the husband of her best friend, actress Helen Broderick (of course, we don't understand why she never met her best friend's husband - this could only happen in the movies). Fred Astaire pursues and follows Rogers to Venice. This pursuit is sprinkled with some of Irving Berlin's most excellent songs including "Isn't This a Lovely Day," "Cheek to Cheek," and "Top Hat, White Tie and Tails." No one, since Fred Astaire, has been able to do the latter song justice. In essence, it belonged to him.
A very important characteristic contained in the nine films of Fred and Ginger made for RKO-Radio Pictures was the art deco created by Van Nest Poglase. It was an enchanted world of make-believe where the audience became so engrossed with the movie, they forgot about the real world and the troubles that engulfed their lives as the Depression lingered on.
The film Top Hat marked Irving Berlin's entrance to the world of the Hollywood Musical.
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Most recent customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars TopHatDVD
The DVD was received in a timely fashion and was in excellent condition upon arrival. The DVD was of excellent quality when we viewd it. Outstanding service from Amazon.ca!!!!!
Published on Dec 11 2011 by GlenEdwards
5.0 out of 5 stars rivals swing time
Fred may have danced with other girls, and Ginger may have had other leading men, but together, there were no others. Read more
Published on June 21 2004 by Steven L. Katz
5.0 out of 5 stars Fred & Ginger: Style & Grace in Any Age
Both Astaire & Rogers were in the perfect place at the perfect time. Has there ever been a pair more suited to make exactly these movies at exactly this time in film and... Read more
Published on June 1 2004 by J
5.0 out of 5 stars Top Hat Top Entertainment
This was the first Astaire ROgers film I saw. I saw it on TCM, but only the last ten minutes. Since then, I've not only seen the whole thing, but I've bought it. Read more
Published on May 26 2004 by Steven L. Katz
4.0 out of 5 stars Funny though kitsch
This film is a cult film with Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers. The plot is as light as a feather and the scene is as ritzy, and unluckily kitsch, as a Riviera hotel in Venice. Read more
Published on Sept. 29 2003 by Jacques COULARDEAU
5.0 out of 5 stars "Heaven, I'm in Heaven..."
In my personal opinion, this is one of the best fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers movies. The singing and dancing is fantastic and gives you the true essence of Astaire and Rogers. Read more
Published on Sept. 23 2003
5.0 out of 5 stars A Dance-Filled dream of a musical!!
That magic of Astaire and Ginger Rogers lives here, as dynamic and exciting to watch today as they were years ago. Read more
Published on April 5 2003 by Gregory Nyman
5.0 out of 5 stars one of the half-dozen funniest movies you will ever see
This isn't just another Hollywood classic.
This isn't just another showcase for the fancy footwork of Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers, or anyone else. Read more
Published on June 12 2002
5.0 out of 5 stars Fred and Ginger's Best!
It has often been deliberated and discussed which of Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers' films is the best. Read more
Published on Feb. 16 2002
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