Top Hat: A favorite classic movie
Top Hat: Fred Astaire & Ginger Rogers.
When I was a little girl, I wanted to be Ginger Rogers. I think it was the frocks. Well, the clothes, the music, the dancing, the Art Deco sets ... everything is perfect.
The music, the charm and the total elegance of times gone by
I must have watched Top Hat at least a dozen times, possibly more. The story line, admittedly girl-meets-boy, is still fresh and full of twists and turns. The music is magnificent.
It makes me laugh. Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers seemed to have a special chemistry and not only when they were dancing. The movie features some other amazingly strong characters but Fred and Ginger still steal the show.
Rainy Sunday afternoons
I was first introduced to these films by my grandmother. This would be back in the 1960s. I would often visit her on Sunday afternoons and, this being England, it was often cold or raining. So she'd bank up the coal fire, make a pot of tea and invariably, there'd be a Fred and Ginger film on TV. We'd use the coal fire and make real toast with a toasting fork and even if the rain did 'pitter-patter' we'd have a 'lovely day'. (See the video section below!)
I once read that although Fred Astaire was classed as the dancer of the pair, it's important to remember that Ginger Rogers did everything he did - but in high heels. Remember that when you watch the video clips below. Sitting there in Yorkshire, with my cup of tea and buttered toast, I couldn't imagine anything more glamorous than an Astaire / Rogers film.
Your movie collection
I know that today we have a lot of technology that lets us watch movies on demand, but to me, there's nothing like having your own collection of DVDs. Browsing through them and deciding what to watch is part of the fun. And a good selection of Astaire / Rogers movies is a must for any collection. See the video clips.
Forget today - travel back in time to 1935 and enjoy
In the first video clip, you'll see one of the most famous Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers dance routines.
It's said that Ginger Rogers had designed this dress herself. It certainly looks wonderful as it moves with her body as she dances.
If you look carefully though,you'll see that slowly, the tiny feathers are detaching themselves from the garment.
Enjoy this wonderful selection of videos.
After seeing every single film by this famous duo - more than once - I eventually concluded that this is my very favourite song and dance scene.
See the official trailer for Top Hat.
Without doubt, one of the outstanding characters in this film was that of Alberto Beddini. He is a fashion designer who is Fred Astaire's rival - he is also trying to win Ginger Roger's hand.
The part was played by the completely under-rated and now largely forgotten Erik Rhodes.
More for your collection
This movie was made the following year. The music, by Jerome Kern, includes one of my all-time classic favorites - 'The Way You Look Tonight'.
One of the great scenes is shot in the snow and Ginger sings another classic - 'This is a Fine Romance'. Again, this is a lovely boy-meets-girl story.
Moving along a further year, this movie was made in 1937. This time, we have George and Ira Gershwin to thank for the music.
Which is my favorite song? Well, it could be 'They Can't Take That Away from Me', or maybe 'Let's Call the Whole Thing Off'. I can't decide...
Although the names of Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers will be forever linked, they only actually made a total of nine films together.
The ones on this page are undoubtedly my personal favourites.
Photo GalleryClick thumbnail to view full-size
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