‘The Gay Divorcee’ (Film)


Please feel free to comment on my review.

Fred and Ginger Dazzle with ‘Continental’ Appeal

It’s time for the second film of the ‘Astaire and Rogers’ collection – ‘The Gay Divorcee’! And that’s ‘gay’ as in meaning to be happy. Not ‘gay’ as in homosexual. This Astaire/Rogers film is my favourite one.

I enjoyed the romantic comedy plot featured throughout this movie. The movie is so quaint and easy to get into. Also, the chemistry between Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers is great to watch throughout.

This film has Fred Astaire as Guy Holden, an American dancer, meeting Ginger Rogers as Mimi Glossop. She wants to get a divorce from her geologist husband. The two go through the usual tensions together.

Rogers’ character isn’t interested in Astaire’s, whilst Astaire is doing his best to find her and win her heart. It’s funny how it gets played out in the movie, especially since he’s unaware of her situation.

Mimi, with her Aunt Hortense, seeks help from an English lawyer named Egbert Fitzgerald, who happens to be a friend of Guy’s. The comedy antics play out seamlessly. It makes the film enjoyable.

It’s intriguing that this film mostly takes place in London and Brighton in the UK rather than in the USA. It’s also quite ironic that American characters such as Guy, Mimi and Hortense interact in the UK.

It was fun to have the second half of the story take place at a hotel in Brighton (which, incidentally, I’ve been to for a ‘Doctor Who’ convention in November 2014). Seeing Brighton made me feel nostalgic.

Fred Astaire as Guy Holden exudes charm as well as dance in the movie. 😀 I like how he tries to win the heart of Ginger as Mimi. The interaction between them is fun, especially when they fall in love in the film.

Ginger Rogers is equally sensational as Mimi. It’s funny how she doesn’t like Fred’s Guy at first – those “Porter!” calling moments are funny – before she eventually comes round to liking him in the film. 🙂

One of my favourite moments in the film is where Fred as Guy says the line “Chance is a fool’s name for fate!” Ginger as Mimi mistakes Fred’s Guy for being her co-respondent in a set-up for her hubby.

This is because Egbert Fitzgerald arranged to have Ginger as Mimi seen in an adulterous relationship with another man to get a divorce from her husband. What Fred’s Guy said happened to be the password!

Once you’ve seen the film throughout and comprehend the misunderstandings going on between the characters, it’s amusing to watch. The supporting characters in the film help to add to that effect as well.

As well as Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers, there’s also Alice Brady as Hortense Ditherwell, Mimi’s aunt. She’s quite a scatterbrain and quite domineering. She’s also fun to watch, being Mimi’s aunt in this. 🙂

There’s Edward Everett Horton as Egbert Fitzgerald, Guy’s lawyer friend in the film. He’s quite a bumbling character and it’s revealed that he had a relationship with Hortense once. She wins him over in this film. 🙂

The film also has Erik Rhodes as Rodolfo Tonetti, a professional co-respondent who’s meant to be caught in an adulterous relationship with Ginger’s Mimi. He’s quite incompetent and quite funny as an Italian. 😀

And there’s Eric Blore as the eccentric waiter who works at the Brighton seaside hotel. Eric Blore appears in quite a number of these Astaire/Rogers films. He’s very funny as the waiter in this film. 🙂

The film also features William Austen as Cyril Glossop, Mimi’s husband, who appears briefly in one scene by the film’s conclusion. Thankfully, Eric Blore’s waiter helps out in getting Mimi’s divorce from him.

The musical numbers that feature in this film are as follows. They’re ‘Don’t Let It Bother You’ with Fred dancing; ‘Let’s K-nock K-nees’ with Edward Everett Horton singing and ‘Needle in a Haystack’. 🙂

The most well-remembered song and dance number of the film is ‘The Continental’. It won the first Academy Award for Best Original Song and it lasts for 20 minutes in terms of a dance sequence by the film’s end.

There’s also the song ‘Night and Day’, which is sung by Fred Astaire and features a dance between him and Ginger Rogers. It’s a lovely song and dance number, especially when Guy finds Mimi at the Brighton hotel. 🙂

‘The Gay Divorcee’ is a very good Astaire and Rogers film. I love the comedy featured throughout the film as well as the chemistry between Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers. It’s certainly worth watching.

The DVD special features are as follows. On ‘The Gay Divorcee’ DVD disc in ‘Astaire and Rogers: The Complete Film Collection’ DVD box set, there are two vintage musical shorts, including ‘Show Kids’ and ‘Star Night at the Cocoanut Grove’. There’s also the classic cartoon ‘Shake Your Powder Puff’, the audio-only bonus ‘Hollywood on the Air’ radio promo and a theatrical trailer of the film.

‘The Gay Divorcee’ rating – 9/10

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