That is a fact.
And here is the proof:
Besides the happy-go-lucky smile, of course, Astaire is also equipped with an abundance of talent for which he’s renowned. I recently stumbled across the Astaire & Rogers collection of films, and the first one I happened to watch was “Top Hat” – which according to IMDB is their most successful venture together.
It tells the romance of Jerry Travers and Dale Tremont. One night Jerry happens to be showing some of his dance steps to his friend and employer, Horace Hardwick. Little do they realize that Jerry’s enthusiastic tap dancing has disturbed the resident below – the beautiful and highly annoyed Dale, who promptly storms upstairs to make a complaint.
Dale Tremont: I dropped up from the room below where I’ve been trying to get some sleep!
Jerry Travers:Oh, I’m sorry! I didn’t realize I was disturbing you. You see, every once in a while I suddenly find myself… dancing.
Dale Tremont: Oh, I suppose it’s some kind of an affliction.
The attraction between the two (Jerry & Dale) is pretty much instantaneous. However things become a little entangled when Dale makes the mistake of thinking that Jerry is in fact Horace – who also happens to be married to her friend Madge. Poor Dale is conflicted between her growing feelings for ‘Horace’/Jerry, loyalty to Madge and the anger which she directs at the clueless and unsuspecting Jerry.
What follows is pretty much a farcical comedy of mistaken identities. I absolutely adore mistaken identities. The mess they can create is equally calamitous and hilarious – probably one of the reason why I also love a lot of Shakespeare’s comedies.
Musicals are obviously an extinct form in the present day and I don’t know many people who can sit through a whole musical and enjoy it for its lightness and slapstick. People seem far too concerned with the fact that musicals are far too corny and not realistic enough. But sometimes fluff is the perfect medicine for reality. And that’s not taking into consideration the enormous amount of talent that clearly went into these films. Astaire’s tap-dancing alone usually leaves me having to pick my jaw up from the floor after each film. Then there’s the music, composed here by the great Irving Berlin. It’s full of songs that left me whistling the melodies for days afterwards.
I’ll leave you with my favorite song from the film. It’s called “Top Hat, White Tie & Tails”. The choreography’s both comical and elegant. And Astaire is. . . Astaire is alluring. I haven’t seen the word ‘alluring’ used in reference to a male before, but he is alluring. He will lure you with his singing, his dancing and his smile. Go ahead, be lured.You won’t regret it.