The Gay Divorcee

The Gay DivorceeGay Divorcee DVD
Directed by Mark Sandrich
RKO Radio Pictures

Umpteenth viewing



Aunt Hortense: Be feminine and sweet. If you can blend the two.

Fred Astaire plays Guy Holden, an American dancer returning to London. He meets Mimi (Ginger Rogers) when she suffers a wardrobe malfunction at London customs. He isn’t too helpful and she gives him the brushoff. She meets him again at an English seaside resort where she has gone to sham an adulterous affair so that her husband will discover it and divorcer her.  A misunderstanding leads her to believe that Guy is the hired correspondent.

"The Continental"

“The Continental”

All this is just a good excuse for the dance numbers which are the whole point. The “Night and Day” ballroom dance is so elegant and sublime that this movie would rank high with me even if that was all it contained. However, we have the almost equally delightful “The Continental” number and a nice tap solo for Fred to “A Needle in a Haystack”.

I find Alice Brady annoying but the always reliable Edward Everett Horton is along as Mimi’s lawyer,  Eric Blore shows why he was the most popular comic butler in Hollywood and Erik Rhodes is hilarious as the egotistical family-man correspondent.  I am crazy for Fred and Ginger.  Lately, I have taken to watching Ginger’s face while they dance.  She was quite an actress and puts her whole self into it.

“Night and Day”

4 thoughts on “The Gay Divorcee

  1. Hi

    It’s a really nice-looking and interesting blog you have here. I made a post about it over at my place, hope that’s ok with you.

    Keep up the good work, as they say!

    best regards/nicolas krizan

  2. The Gay Divorcee is so delightful that I have watched it way too many times if that is possible.. One of the great funnies in the dialogue is Erik Rhodes trying to keep the phrase “Chance is a fool’s name for fate” straight. And who is more delightful than Eric Blore with his “whimsical or whumsical” lines to Alice Brady.
    Don’t hit me over the head when I say that I think “The Continental” is too long……I didn’t need all those extra dancers. Just let Fred and Ginger do their thing and leave the chorus line in the wings. Of course, there are no words to express the beauty of “Night and Day”……..thrilling comes to mind.

    • The crew of supporting players is just primo in both this and Top Hat. I’d give Top Hat the slight edge as I prefer Helen Broderick to Alice Brady. There’s just something about her tittering that gets on my nerves. I’m with you that “The Continental” could have ended after Fred and Ginger’s solo. That would have been OK by me. Or the pair could have gone on dancing forever, that would have been OK too.

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