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USA 1934
Directed by
Mark Sandrich
107 minutes
Rated G

Reviewed by
Bernard Hemingway
2.5 stars

The Gay Divorcee

The Gay Divorcee established the Astaire and Rogers filmic template, one which was given fine treatment in next year's superior Top Hat, with virtually all the same principals (Helen Broderick would replace Alice Brady as the aunt) and a similar "mistaken identity" plot. The 17-and-a-half minute big production number "The Continental", which won an Oscar for Best Song (the first to do so), and a nice song-and-dance rendition of Cole Porter's "Night and Day" stand out but needles to say, Fred and Ginger provide plenty of marvellous dancing though remarkably for this their second screen pairing (the first was in Flying Down To Rio), Astaire didn't want the female lead to go to Rogers.

The name of the play on which this was based, The Gay Divorce, was changed by demand of the Hays Office which feared that with a title like that social breakdown would result from the audience rushing out to break their matrimonial chains.




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