All through the picture there's charm, romance, gaiety and eclat. There's a dash of Continental spice in the situation of the professional male co-respondent who is to expedite Ginger Rogers' divorce.

All through the picture there’s charm, romance, gaiety and eclat. There’s a dash of Continental spice in the situation of the professional male co-respondent who is to expedite Ginger Rogers’ divorce.

The manner in which Fred Astaire taps himself into an individual click with ‘Looking for a Needle in Haystack’, a hoofing soliloquy in his London flat, while his man hands him his cravat, boutonniere and walking stick, is something which he alone elevates and socks over on individual artistry.

‘The Continental’, is the smash song and dance hit. Cole Porter’s ‘Night and Day’, from the original [1932] show [Gay Divorce, book by Dwight Taylor], is alone retained and worthily so, especially as Astaire interprets it. After having done it for months on New York and London stages it’s natural that his celluloid translation must be enhanced by much personable business and lyric mannerisms.

Rogers is also excellent, but the performances don’t end there. Alice Brady and Edward Everett Horton, as the sub-team, are more than just good foils. Erik Rhodes and Eric Blore, both from legit, also impress in no small manner.

Mark Sandrich rates all sorts of bends on the direction. He’s colored the story values with a flock of nifty business. His terp stager, Dave Gould, displays considerable imagination with the dance staging.

1934: Best Song (‘Continental’).

Nominations: Best Picture, Art Direction, Score, Sound

The Gay Divorcee

Production

RKO. Director Mark Sandrich; Producer Pandro S. Berman; Screenplay George Marion Jr, Dorothy Yost, Edward Kaufman; Camera David Abel; Editor William Hamilton; Music Max Steiner (dir.); Art Director Van Nest Polglase, Carroll Clark

Crew

(B&W) Available on VHS, DVD. Extract of a review from 1934. Running time: 107 MIN.

With

Fred Astaire Ginger Rogers Alice Brady Edward Everett Horton Erik Rhodes Eric Blore
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