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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)
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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 TopHatDVD Dec 11 2011
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!!!!!
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5.0 out of 5 stars rivals swing time June 21 2004
Format:VHS Tape
Fred may have danced with other girls, and Ginger may have had other leading men, but together, there were no others. (despite what the plot suggests, we know they'll end up together) Ginger is absolutely gorgeous in every scene, and in the cheek to cheek scene, she looks like a porcelain doll. Fred of course is unbeatable, just watch top hat white tie and tails to see what I mean. They go beyond chemistry in this film, they are the greatest dancing team in history for a reason. We can't imagine them with anyone else. In KITTY FOYLE, for which Ginger won the oscar, she had to choose between 2 men. If Fred had popped in, she wouldn't have given it a second thought. In TOM DICK AND HARRY the following year, Gin has to choose between 3 men. Had Fred been one of the choices, the movie would have been and hour shorter. In TOP HAT, we can't imagine them in any other movies, for they are just ASTAIRE AND ROGERS, and to quote Shall we Dance "they can't that away from me."
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5.0 out of 5 stars Fred & Ginger: Style & Grace in Any Age June 2 2004
By J
Format:VHS Tape
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 American history? They both graduated from the stage to film at just the time talkies took over Hollywood in the early 30's. They provided the safe slightly risque and mildly clever fare the public crowded the theaters to see. Ginger was so beautiful & talented; she might have made it in mainstream dramas and musicals. Fred, on the other hand, owed his livelihood to a top hat, coattails & a bow tie. He fit perfectly into the smallest of niches: the former vaudeville sing & dance star turned into a popular Hollywood old fashioned sing & dance star. Freed from the constraints of the stage, Fred & Ginger used the real world as their dancing backdrops & props. They define grace.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Top Hat Top Entertainment May 26 2004
Format:VHS Tape
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. GInger was never cuter than in Lovely Day, the team was never more seductive then inCheek to Cheek, with Ginger looking as light as a feather. (NIght and Day is a close second) Ginger's rendition of the Piccolino would run the depression out of an undertaker. I love it!
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4.0 out of 5 stars Funny though kitsch Sept. 29 2003
Format:VHS Tape
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. It is all based on a quiproquo that each character uses as much as possible to entertain us with some light comedy. But the real and maybe only interest of this film is of course tapdancing. The only new element is that it is used as a dramatic spring to exacerbate the irritation of the young lady and develop the quiproquo. For once the tapdancing is not a decoration but a dramatic item. That's probably why this film has definitely survived oblivion. We must admit that the valet is by far also a good asset with his humor and impertinent remarks and we find it justified and funny for him to get a ticket, and even be arrested, for disguising as a gondolier, which is a national crime of the utmost magnitude in Venice.
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5.0 out of 5 stars "Heaven, I'm in Heaven..." Sept. 23 2003
By A Customer
Format:VHS Tape
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. The plot is rather similar to "The Gay Divorcee" 1934, but it still keeps you interested. It is also humorous. 'Cheek to Cheek' or the "feathers" number as some people call it is brilliant and beautiful, as is "Isn't This A Lovely Day to Be Caught In The Rain?", "No Strings", "Top Hat", and "The Piccolino". A must see for any musical or Fred and Ginger fan.
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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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