1953. USA. Dir: Vincente Minnelli. With Fred Astaire, Cyd Charisse. 112 min. 35mm print.
A fading musical star seeks to remedy his career woes by putting on a show, and, boy, does he put on a show! Minnelli’s delightful, nostalgic showbiz film a? clef reveals MGM’s Freed production unit at the height of its art, resulting in some of the silver screen’s sheerest kinetic bliss. As the song goes: “that’s entertainment!”
Join us for an old-fashioned night at the movies: a 35mm screening of the 1935 Fred Astaire & Ginger Rogers picture Top Hat, preceded by a newsreel, short, and cartoon from the era — just like it would have been seen in its original release.
The most successful of the Astaire-Rogers films, Top Hat sees the two singing and dancing, flirting and bickering, as comedic and romantic mix-ups take them from London to an exquisite Art Deco rendering of Venice (as only Hollywood could build it). The score boasts a wealth of hummable Irving Berlin favorites, including “Cheek to Cheek” and “Isn’t This a Lovely Day (To Be Caught in the Rain).”