Top Hat by Mark Sandrich and Go into Your Dance by Archie mayo are some of the greatest Hollywood musicals produced in 1935. The attires worn by the characters in both movies as well as the classical music played reflect the period in which the movies were released. The Top Hat film contains some wonderful legendary dances at the peak of Astaire’s and Rogers’ teaming where their charm and sophistication mingles in a very nice way (Green & Schmidt, 1999). Top Hat which was produced during the Depression Era is also full of materialistic and elegance which are portrayed by sumptuous backgrounds and gleaming surroundings. Use of tuxedos with top hats and tails reveal a lot about the old clothing style in the film. During depression era, musicals were mostly addressing issues of escapism and fantasy and that is exactly what the film addresses.
Go into Your dance also involves some clothes that were only worn in the olden days as well as classical music that are not popular in the recent times. Both films are marred with popular fantastical and escapist characters such as the opening of a nightclub by Jolson. Sound film was also evident in these movies as well as some old structures that could be related with time of release. The producers and some of the characters such as Jolson are old producers whose appearance on a movie would definitely reflect the time of production. These films also contain some fabulous musical extravaganzas which dominated Hollywood films in the 130s (F.S. N., 1935).
Hollywood musicals are linked with high budget as well as high class visual qualities as well as art that tends to alienate the audience because of its distant relationship with folk art or the traditional performance. This natural genre involves some mechanical reproduction as well as mass distribution as well as stage performance prior to film. The stage performance made the audience to take the films as realistic as well as with high degree of imminence since they (audience) are put at a reasonable distance with the screen through the acknowledgement of the gap between producers and the audience (Grant, 2012).
Generally, the producers ensure that they value spontaneity instead of engineered effects, mask the choreography and rehearsals, create offstage and backstage components to the musical production and finally create amateur entertainment to eliminate professionalism. Hollywood musicals are associated with very high production values that may make the musical performance be exploited due to possible financial incentives. Actually, Hollywood musicals have financial benefits, are popular and critical acclamation are what characterize it. Hollywood musicals also involve the sound film era, color film and some aspects of comedy which were really incredible (Green & Schmidt, 1999).
I was really moved by the Top Hat whose virtues were really impressive to me. The film has very interesting support cast, funny dialogue as well as very nice songs that are really lifting anyone’s spirit. The dancing has great pacing and the pairing of Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers is really amazing. Fred in his tuxedo suit makes dancing elegant and the movie lively. Dancing cheek to cheek and the general setting of the film which includes polished, powdered and elegant things represents some elegance and happiness that everyone seeks in life. The film is simply amazing and wonderful (Green & Schmidt, 1999).
The component that is very important in this genre is soundtrack which dominates this journey. The music background creates a convincing atmosphere that makes an audience want to watch more. Music impacts and arouses the audience in a film by allowing them to connect emotionally to characters and situation as well as helping the filmmaker to reinforce their message. The music in this genre also helped in creating a more convincing atmosphere regarding time of the music production which is essential in enhancing ambiance. Generally, music makes a film more attractive and successfully communicates the theme of the film (Grant, 2012).
The actors in these two films are really interesting especially in the Top Hat. The dancing cheek to cheek dance by Fred Astaire and ginger Rogers is really interesting and seems to be one of the greatest achievements in the film. The love triangle between Ginger and Fred is brings out the impossible misunderstanding in a very funny way. Also, it is comedic to see married couples (Madge and Horace) living in a separate but luxurious way. It is also amazing to see some contradictory opinions given to Jerry by Horace and Astaire (Green & Schmidt, 1999).
Astaire insists that there is a lot of joy when someone stays bachelor and is not attached to anyone while Horace advises him on the pleasures in marriage yet he (Horace) does not even live together with his wife. On the other hand, Jolson’s efforts of making a comeback in music with the help of dancer Keeler is full of comedy and elegance (F.S. N., 1935). Spending all the money in gambling as Jolson does is such an unusual act. Go into Your Dance which touches on real life married couple are well represented by crime drama.
F.S. N. (1935, May 4). Go Into Your Dance (1935), At the Capitol. The New York Times, pp. 1A, 2A.
Grant, B. K. (2012). The Hollywood Film Musical. Hoboken: John Wiley & Sons.
Green, S., & Schmidt, E. (1999). Hollywood musicals: Year by year. Milwaukee, Wis: Hal Leonard.