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Top Hat (1935)


Average Rating: 8.6/10
Reviews Counted: 37
Fresh: 37 | Rotten: 0

Critics Consensus: A glamorous and enthralling Depression-era diversion, Top Hat is nearly flawless, with acrobatics by Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers that make the hardest physical stunts seem light as air.

Average Rating: 7.9/10
Critic Reviews: 8
Fresh: 8 | Rotten: 0

Critics Consensus: A glamorous and enthralling Depression-era diversion, Top Hat is nearly flawless, with acrobatics by Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers that make the hardest physical stunts seem light as air.


Average Rating: 4/5
User Ratings: 9,540



Movie Info

One of the best of the Fred Astaire-Ginger Rogers musicals, Top Hat centers on a typical mistaken-identity plot, with wealthy Dale Tremont (Rogers), on holiday in London and Venice, assuming that American entertainer Jerry Travers (Astaire) is the husband of her friend Madge (Helen Broderick) -- who's actually the wife of Jerry's business manager Horace Hardwick (Edward Everett Horton). Complicating matters is Dale's jealous suitor Beddini (Erik Rhodes), whose motto is "For the woman the kiss -- … More

Romance , Musical & Performing Arts , Classics , Comedy
Directed By:
Written By:
Allan Scott , Dwight Taylor
In Theaters:
Aug 16, 2005
Turner Home Entertainment



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Critic Reviews for Top Hat

All Critics (37) | Top Critics (8) | Fresh (37) | Rotten (0) | DVD (8)

Finally, thanks more to Fred Astaire than any other single influence, the character of musicomedy in the cinema has now completely changed.

Full Review… | April 24, 2009
TIME Magazine
Top Critic

This one can't miss and the reasons are three -- Fred Astaire, Irving Berlin's 11 songs and sufficient comedy between numbers to hold the film together.

Full Review… | January 11, 2008
Top Critic

This 1935 musical finds Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers at the top of their form.

Full Review… | January 11, 2008
Chicago Reader
Top Critic

The third Astaire-Rogers movie and one of the best.

Full Review… | February 9, 2006
Time Out
Top Critic

Because we are bound by gravity and the limitations of our bodies, because we live in a world where the news is often bad and the prospects disturbing, there is a need for another world somewhere, a world where Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers live.

Full Review… | January 20, 2006
Chicago Sun-Times
Top Critic

The plot is involving, especially as it builds to its seemingly impossible-to-solve finale.

September 7, 2005
Hollywood Reporter
Top Critic

Most of what I liked about Top Hat centers around its two stars: full of energy and grace, they breathe life into the film whenever it threatens to lose its luster.

Full Review… | April 6, 2010
Film and Felt

Arguably the classiest and funniest of the RKO Astaire-Rogers musicals.

Full Review… | April 24, 2009

If you want only one Astaire-Rogers musical, Top Hat is obligatory.

Full Review… | April 24, 2009
Empire Magazine

The fourth pairing of Astaire-Rogers is one of their best and RKO top grosser of the year.

Full Review… | March 21, 2008

Top Hat does not glorify wealth or upper class status - if anything it continually pokes fun at it.

Full Review… | June 24, 2006

...even after seventy years, the same elements delight us all over again. Good songs, good dancing, and good stars never go out of style.

Full Review… | August 3, 2005
Movie Metropolis

Every musical number works, and the mistaken identity plot is pleasant enough, even if there's too much emphatic dithering from the supporting players towards the end.

Full Review… | August 1, 2005
Slant Magazine

One of the best of the Astaire-Rogers best.

December 28, 2004
Kansas City Kansan

Fred and Ginger's best.

December 21, 2004
Greenwich Village Gazette


September 17, 2004
Movie Mom at Yahoo! Movies

The quintessential Fred-and-Ginger vehicle… typically escapist Depression-era fare… [but] whenever Fred and Ginger are in motion, the magic is timeless.

Full Review… | December 26, 2003
Decent Films Guide

A beguiling Rogers-Astaire pairing, if not resolutely their best.

August 14, 2003
Nick's Flick Picks

Além do carisma de Astaire e do charme de Rogers, o filme conta com números musicais inesquecíveis, direção de arte magnífica e uma hilária participação de Edward Everett Horton.

May 31, 2003
Cinema em Cena

Audience Reviews for Top Hat

"Heaven, I'm in heaven". The fourth film to pair up legendary duo Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers, "Top Hat" features some legendary songs by Irving Berlin ("Top Hat, White Tie and Tails", and "Cheek to Cheek") and some very charming dance sequences by the two stars. When Horace and Madge (Edward Everett Horton, Helen Broderick) seek to set up their two friends on a date, the woman, Dale (Rogers) mistakes Jerry (Astaire) for Madge's husband, Horace. As Jerry woos Dale, she can only resist as a good friend should when said friend's husband is making plays for her. Dale's friend, Alberto Beddini is a fashion designer with eyes on his model, but she doesn't take him seriously. Then there's Bates, the butler of Horace who always refers to himself as a small group ("we will take your hat for you, sir") and lives to antagonize his boss. It's a light romantic comedy to be sure, but between all the nonsense there's some amazing dance numbers. There's something so familiar to the Astaire/Rogers asthetic that it may as well be ingrained in our collective subconscious. It is elegance and class personified, a depression-escaping fantasy to be sure, but it is beauty and art, both basic and complex. That these two still resonate so deeply within our hearts and minds, nearly eighty years later, is a testament to just how great they really were.

Mr Awesome
Devon Bott

Super Reviewer

Probably a classic in it's genre, but this rating is purely based on my personal taste.
The balance between movie and music is excellent, the chemistry between Fred and Ginger is great. But I just didn't feel it.
The decor and the clothing were hideous, and the movie a little too theatrical for my taste. This is my first and probably my last dance movie.

Saskia D.

Super Reviewer

This is a funny movie of mistaken identity, starring Fred and Ginger, and including some dance numbers as usual, but I liked the comedy best.

AJ Verser

Super Reviewer

It's all about the dance, and oh what a dance it is! Astaire and Rogers and choreography that defies gravity. Classic.

Randy Tippy

Super Reviewer

Top Hat Quotes

Bates: Where do you want it, sir? Horace Hardwick: Want what, Bates? Bates: The steak, sir. Horace Hardwick: On my eye.
– Submitted by Monica K (2 years ago)

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