The Gay Divorcee Overview:

The Gay Divorcee (1934) was a Comedy - Musical Film directed by Mark Sandrich and produced by Pandro S. Berman.

The film was based on the musical Gay Divorce written by Dwight Taylor performed at the Ethel Barrymore Theatre, NY & Shubert Theatre, NY from Nov 29, 1932 - Jul 1, 1933.


A lively adaptation of the stage musical, which featured Astaire and his sister, Adele, and the first film in which Astaire and Rogers actually received star billing. While vacationing at an English seaside resort, a soon-to-be-divorced woman mistakes a lovestruck song-and-dance man for her paid correspondent. As usual, the plot's not important when you see these two and hear classics like Cole Porter's "Night and Day."

(Source: available at Amazon AMC Classic Movie Companion).


Academy Awards 1934 --- Ceremony Number 7 (source: AMPAS)

Best Art DirectionVan Nest Polglase, Carroll ClarkNominated
Best Music - ScoringRKO Radio Studio Music Department, Max Steiner, head of department (Score by Kenneth Webb and SamueNominated
Best Music - SongMusic by Con Conrad; Lyrics by Herb MagidsonWon
Best PictureRKO RadioNominated

BlogHub Articles:

Silver Screen Standards: The Gay Divorcee (1934)

By Jennifer Garlen on May 11, 2021 From Classic Movie Hub Blog

Silver Screen Standards: The Gay Divorcee (1934) The Gay Divorcee (1934) I knew I wanted to write about Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers for this month?s column, but with ten movies to choose from the hard part was deciding which one I particularly wanted to watch again. Top Hat (1935) and Swing... Read full article

The Gay Divorcee (1934): The Astaire & Rogers Foolproof Formula

By 4 Star Film Fan on May 5, 2020 From 4 Star Films

The plots to the Astaire and Rogers musicals are usually deceptively simple. Thus, thanks be to their dancing transcending it all. The affair opens in some posh corner of Europe where the always dithering Edward Everett Horton is sitting with Fred Astaire who has to prove his identity to get out of ... Read full article

Musical Monday: The Gay Divorcee (1934)

on Feb 27, 2017 From Comet Over Hollywood

It?s no secret that the Hollywood Comet loves musicals. In 2010, I revealed I had seen 400 movie musicals over the course of eight years. Now that number is over 500. To celebrate and share this musical love, here is my weekly feature about musicals. This week?s musical: “The Gay Divorcee̶... Read full article

The Gay Divorcee (1934)

By smumcountry on Dec 30, 2016 From Smum County

December 30, 2016 by smumcounty With the recent release of ?La La Land? (2016) in theaters, the first big budget musical in many moons, it got me thinking about what makes a great musical and what attracts people to them, or, at least, used to attract people to them. With this in mind, let?s look at... Read full article

The Gay Divorcee (1934)

on Jul 27, 2015 From Journeys in Classic Film

The final week of The July Five is upon us. But don’t be too sad…we’re gonna end ?the month dancing with the illustrious duo, Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers! I’ve included several of their films on previous TCM Top Ten lists, but have only seen one, The Barkleys of Broadway (... Read full article

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Quotes from

Guy Holden: [singing] It's just like looking for a needle in a haystack. Searching for a moonbeam in the moon. Still I've gotta find you. It's just like looking for a raindrop in the ocean. Searching for a dewdrop in the dew. Still I've gotta find you. I'll roam the town in hope that we'll meet. Look at each face I pass on the street. Sometimes I feel the beat of your feet. But it's just imagination. Though it's like looking for a needle in a haystack. Still I'll follow every little clue 'cause I've gotta find you.

Mimi Glossop: He seemed so different.
Aunt Hortense: Oh there's nothing different about any of them -- except their neck ties.

Egbert Fitzgerald: Guy, you're not pining for that girl!
Guy Holden: Pining? Men don't pine. Girls pine. Men just... suffer.

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Facts about

The original musical on which this movie was based was called "The Gay Divorce", but because of objections from the censor, the title of the film was changed to "The Gay Divorcee" (one 'e' added).
Although "Night and Day" is the only song retained from the show "Gay Divorce" (on which the movie is based), the plotline remained basically the same on stage and film.
The musical number "The Continental" lasts 17 1/2 minutes, the longest number ever in a musical until Gene Kelly's 18 1/2-minute ballet at the end of An American in Paris 17 years later.
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Best Music - Song Oscar 1934

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Also directed by Mark Sandrich

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Also produced by Pandro S. Berman

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