Wednesday, March 10, 2010

TOP HAT (1933)



Top Hat was the most successful picture of Astaire and Rogers' partnership and Astaire's second most successful picture after Easter Parade. While some dance critics believe that Swing Time had better dance routines,Top Hat still to this day, the pair best-known work.

Wardrobe: The "feathers" incident

Although Bernard Newman was in charge of dressing the stars, Rogers was very interested in dress design and make-up. For the "Cheek to Cheek" dance routine, she wanted to use her own creation. Astaire who normally approved his partner's gowns and suggested modifications if necessary during rehearsals saw the dress for the first time on the day of the shoot, and was horrified at the way it shed, recalling later: "It was like a chicken attacked by a coyote, I never saw so many feathers in my life." Astaire lost his temper and yelled at Rogers, who burst into tears, where her mother,"came charging at him like a mother rhinoceros protecting her young. "An additional night's work by seamstresses fixed the problem. Later, Astaire presented Rogers with a gold feather for her charm bracelet, and serenaded her with a parodying Berlin's tune:

Feathers — I hate feathers

And I hate them so that I can hardly speak

And I never find the happiness I seek

With those chicken feathers dancing

Cheek to Cheek.

Astaire nicknamed Rogers "Feathers".

Soundtracks:

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"No Strings (I'm Fancy Free)"
Words and Music by Irving Berlin
Song and Dance performed by Fred Astaire

"Isn't This a Lovely Day (to Be Caught in the Rain)?"
Words and Music by Irving Berlin
Song performed by Fred Astaire
Dance performed by Fred Astaire, Ginger Rogers

"Top Hat, White Tie and Tails"
Words and Music by Irving Berlin
Song performed by Fred Astaire
Dance performed by Fred Astaire, mens chorus

"Cheek to Cheek"
Words and Music by Irving Berlin
Song performed by Fred Astaire
Dance performed by Fred Astaire, Ginger Rogers

"The Piccolino"
Words and Music by Irving Berlin
Song performed by Ginger Rogers, chorus
Dance performed by Fred Astaire, Ginger Rogers, chorus

"The Piccolino"
Instrumental reprise
Dance performed by Fred Astaire, Ginger Rogers

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