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Top Hat is one of the all time great musicals of the 1930s and is the epitome of the RKO productions of the time and of the films of Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers It had a familiar cast and plot structure Astaire as an entertainer who stumbles upon love which called for many to consider it as simply a remake of their earlier film The Gay Divorcee 1934 It was one of the nine films that Astaire and Rogers made for RKO and was probably the best if not the most successful in financial terms It is a fully integrated musical it flows from action and dialogue to the numbers with complete ease this is unlike arrogated musicals such as Gold Diggers of 1933 1932 The narrative structure of the films all followed a similar path we see a recycling of the theme of a romantic young couple and their exploits which lead to their falling in love usually paired up with older couple that usher in the comedy and misunderstandings as we have seen in Top Hat with Fred and Ginger alongside the Horace and Madge characters A second structure seen is that of a young comic couple and their pairing with a similarly aged couple who are an opposite of them Like most of the Astaire and Rogers films it is also a comedy and uses many generic traditions to achieve the comic goal The film begins in London with Fred arriving to perform in a show we are placed in a gentlemans club that is a full on satire of the upper class The young stylish excitable American surrounded by a group of stuffy old men whose need for silence is laughable We then move onto the hotel which brings a number of familiar stereotypes the design is of an art deco style Lavish white on white sets were a constant in these films most were shot during the depression of
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