Bil’s rating (out of 5): BBBB.5.
USA, 1934. RKO Radio Pictures. Screenplay by George Marion Jr., Dorothy Yost, Edward Kaufman, musical adaptation by Kenneth S. Webb, Samuel Hoffenstein, based on the musical The Gay Divorce by Dwight Taylor. Cinematography by David Abel. Produced by Pandro S. Berman. Music by Max Steiner. Production Design by Carroll Clark, Van Nest Polglase. Costume Design by Walter Plunkett. Film Editing by William Hamilton. Academy Awards 1934.
One of Astaire and Rogers’ best musicals is this starlit charmer about a recently divorced woman (Ginger Rogers) who visits a posh resort and falls in love with a dancing stranger (Fred Astaire). The central musical number “The Continental” is a knockout and went on to win the first Academy Award for Best Original Song, while Edward Everett Horton also stars in one of his many supporting eunoch-dandy roles. The original title of the story upon which this film is based was “The Gay Divorce”, but RKO studio chiefs decided that there was nothing happy about divorces and so insisted on changing it; the creative team simply added an extra letter and everyone was satisfied.