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TCM Greatest Classic Film Collection: Astaire & Rogers (The Gay Divorcee / Top Hat / Swing Time / Shall We Dance)

204 customer reviews

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Frequently Bought Together

TCM Greatest Classic Film Collection: Astaire & Rogers (The Gay Divorcee / Top Hat / Swing Time / Shall We Dance) + TCM Greatest Classic Film Collection: Astaire & Rogers Volume Two (Roberta / Follow the Fleet / Flying Down to Rio / The Story of Vernon and Irene Castle) + TCM Greatest Classic Films Collection: Broadway Musicals (Show Boat / Annie Get Your Gun / Kiss Me Kate / Seven Brides for Seven Brothers)
Price for all three: $29.65

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

THE GAY DIVORCEE (1934) Oscar winner* The Continental revels in precision-dance joy, Cole Porter’s Night and Day sways with timeless grace and Fred and Ginger’s first top billing sets the tone for more film hits to come. SHALL WE DANCE (1937) A George and Ira Gershwin score has Fred tapping to Slap That Bass rhythms of a ship’s engine room and the duo’s Let’s Call the Whole Thing Off skate routine. Pure bliss! SWING TIME (1936) One of the team’s greatest! The Jerome Kern/Dorothy Fields score goes from jubilant (Pick Yourself Up, Bojangles of Harlem) to sublime (the Oscar-winning** The Way You Look Tonight, A Fine Romance). TOP HAT (1935) The pair’s best-remembered film features Fred’s signature Top Hat, White Tie and Tails, the incomparably romantic Cheek to Cheek and more in Irving Berlin’s tip-top score. DISC 1: SIDE A ~ THE GAY DIVORCEE INCLUDES: • 2 Shorts – Show Kids and Star Night at the Cocoanut Grove • Cartoon Shake Your Powder Puff • Audio-Only Bonus: Hollywood on the Air Radio Promo • Theatrical Trailer SIDE B ~ SHALL WE DANCE INCLUDES: • Commentary by Songwriter Hugh Martin and Pianist Kevin Cole • Featurette The Music of Shall We Dance • Musical Short Sheik to Sheik • Cartoon Toy Town Hall DISC 2: SIDE A ~ SWING TIME INCLUDES: • Commentary by John Mueller, Author of Astaire Dancing • Featurette The Swing of Things: Swing Time Step by Step • Musical Short Hotel a la Swing • Cartoon Bingo Crosbyana • Theatrical Trailer SIDE B ~ TOP HAT INCLUDES: • Commentary by Fred Astaire’s Daughter Ava Astaire McKenzie and Film Historian Larry Billman • Featurette On Top: Inside the Success of Top Hat • Comedy Short Watch the Birdie with Bob Hope • Cartoon Page Miss Glory • Theatrical Trailer All 4 Movies – Subtitles: English, Français & Español (Main Feature. Bonus Material/Trailer May Not Be Subtitled).

Amazon.com

Turner Classic Movies' Greatest Classic Films Collection: Astaire & Rogers collects four movies on two double-sided discs, with the bonus features that appeared on the single-disc versions of the movies. The Astaire-Rogers films mix light romantic comedy (usually centered around mistaken identities and ending, inevitably, in blissful wedding promises) with elegant dinner wear and surreal sets intended to transport '30s audiences away from the Depression to such locales as Rio, Paris, and Venice. The two stars are also aided by a recurring stable of RKO players such as Edward Everett Horton (master of the double-take), Eric Blore, and Helen Broderick. And then there's that sensational dancing set to great songs by the likes of Irving Berlin, George and Ira Gershwin, and Jerome Kern, numbers that are not merely entertaining but also innovative for their time in that they reveal character and advance the plot. Add it all up, and you have a recipe for an irrepressible joie de vivre that practically defines the movie musical.

The Gay Divorcee (1934) is their best early picture, a loose adaptation of Astaire's stage show, 'The Gay Divorce.' The only song retained for the movie is Cole Porter's smash hit "Night and Day," which is the setting for a sublime pas de deux between Fred and Ginger. The closer is the sprawling 17-minute ensemble number "The Continental." With a score by Irving Berlin, Top Hat (1935) is most famous for two numbers, Astaire's definitive tuxedo setting "Top Hat, White Tie, and Tails" and the feathery duet "Cheek to Cheek." But other joys include Astaire's "Fancy Free" declaration, "Isn't It a Lovely Day," and the grand finale "The Piccolino." Maybe their most enjoyable picture, Swing Time (1936) features the set-piece "Pick Yourself Up," in which Rogers "teaches" Astaire to dance before they break into a spectacular number; the farewell ode "Never Gonna Dance," and the Oscar-winning "Just the Way You Look Tonight," from the team of Jerome Kern and Dorothy Fields.

Shall We Dance (1937) has a complex plot that has Astaire and Rogers actually getting married before the final credits roll, and turns George and Ira Gershwin's brilliant "They Can't Take That Away from Me" into a heartbreaking ode. Other great songs include "Slap That Bass," "They All Laughed," and "Let's Call the Whole Thing Off," unforgettably performed on roller skates. Bonus features include commentaries on the last three films, featurettes, and vintage shorts and cartoons. --David Horiuchi


Special Features

  • Includes:
  • The Gay Divorcee (1934)
  • Two vintage musical shorts: "Show Kids" and "Star Night at the Cocoanut Grove"
  • Classic cartoon: "Shake Your Powder Puff"
  • Audio-only bonus: "Hollywood on the Air" radio promo
  • Theatrical trailer
  • Shall We Dance (1937)
  • Commentary by songwriter Hugh Martin and pianist Kevin Cole
  • New featurette: "They Can't Take That Away from Me: The Music of Shall We Dance"
  • Musical short: "Sheik to Sheik"
  • Classic cartoon: "Toy Town Hall"
  • Swing Time (1936)
  • Commentary by John Mueller, Author of Astaire Dancing
  • New featurette: "The Swing of Things"
  • Musical short: "Hotel a la Swing"
  • Classic cartoon: "Bingo Crosbyana"
  • Top Hat (1935)
  • Commentary by Fred Astaire's daughter, Ava Astaire McKenzie, and film dance historian Larry Billman
  • New featurette: "On Top: Inside the Success of Top Hat"
  • Comedy short: "Watch the Birdie with Bob Hope"
  • Classic cartoon: "Page Miss Glory"

Product Details

  • Actors: Fred Astaire, Ginger Rogers
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Black & White, Full Screen, NTSC, Subtitled
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 1.0)
  • Subtitles: English, French, Spanish
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 2
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Turner Classic Movie
  • DVD Release Date: November 2, 2010
  • Run Time: 418 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (204 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00406UJZG
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #723 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "TCM Greatest Classic Film Collection: Astaire & Rogers (The Gay Divorcee / Top Hat / Swing Time / Shall We Dance)" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

71 of 72 people found the following review helpful By calvinnme HALL OF FAMETOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on December 4, 2010
Format: DVD
I'd say if you're a newbie at classic films and want to see what has made this team remembered over the years, these are their four best joint efforts. There are two collections of Astaire and Rogers films already being sold by Warner Brothers that have all of their films, if you're interested. However, the films at the beginning and end of their partnership aren't nearly as good as these. At the beginning of their careers you have two films - "Flying Down To Rio" (1933) and "Roberta" (1934) that don't even star the pair. Instead they are supporting players trading smart remarks and only doing a couple of numbers. Their last film at RKO "The Story of Vernon and Irene Castle" is rather ironic because today if people remember the Castles at all it is because Astaire and Rogers played them. The two are a close happily married couple throughout and it is just missing something without the sexual tension and comic mix-ups of their other films. Their last pairing "Barkleys of Broadway" is actually an MGM musical in the MGM tradition, so it is not really typical of what the two did at RKO either.

I'd recommend this set if you're not an Astaire/Rogers completist nor think you may become one.
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37 of 38 people found the following review helpful By Bobby Underwood VINE VOICE on September 11, 2010
Format: DVD
This new boxed set from TCM is a fantastic way to begin collecting the films of Fred and Ginger for those who have yet to experience the magic of Fred and Ginger. It was the touch of finger tips, a hand on the waist, a longing look and a smile, and a graceful spin; it was Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers, making love while they danced into our hearts and stayed there. It was elegance and charm, a romantic screen teaming like no other. Fred and Ginger gave the country a boost and a bit of hope in dire times, and made a collection of funny and romantically elegant dance musicals that have never been surpassed as film entertainment. There was magic when they danced, and charm when the talked to each other. Here are four great ones for you to enjoy.

THE GAY DIVORCEE

Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers gave everyone something to smile about for a couple of hours during the depression with a special blend of magic that can never be repeated. Their films were sophisticated and charming, elegant and romantic, and most of all, funny. The Gay Divorcee is a gorgeous production from Pandro S. Berman. A fine screenplay from George S. Martin, Dorothy Yost and Edward Kaufman, based on the novel by Dwight Taylor, helped this wonderful film garner 5 Academy Award Nominations, including one for Best Picture.

The chemistry between Astaire and Rogers lights up the screen during their dance numbers, a romantic yet innocent longing to fall in love in each graceful step and touch. A great supporting cast that includes Alice Brady, Edward Everett Horton, Eric Blore, and Erik Rhodes add many laughs to this Mark Sandrich directed screen classic. Cole Porter's, Night and Day, is one of the most popular songs ever recorded.
Read more ›
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20 of 21 people found the following review helpful By Jeff from Denver on February 9, 2012
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
I got this as a Christmas gift. One of the two DVDs had broken loose from its mount in the box and was damaged enough that one of the four movies would lock up in the DVD player. Amazon accepted the return and gave me a credit because it appeared that this item was out of stock. I was able to see it on the web site so ordered a replacement. The new copy had exactly the same packaging but contained 4 individual DVDs instead of two 2-sided DVDs as stated on the box, and a different way to mount the DVDs inside. I prefer the new packaging since each DVD has artwork that makes it easy to see which movie is which. I don't know how you can tell what packaging you'll get, but either way the movies are great.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Kindle Customer on September 5, 2011
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
TCM has done it again with this wonderful package of four great class Astaire and Rogers films...What is to go wrong here? It is very convenient and space saving to have these packaged like this and all great titles to boot. I cannot say enough good things about these. I only wish they would have had these out when I started buying up some of the titles they offer....
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By T. Kyle on September 24, 2012
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Funny, well written, well played, and who wouldn't like Ginger Rogers and Fred
Astaire? They are not just a great dance team, but they play good together. The
support cast in each of the movies could not have been better. Tho story lines
and themes are closely related, each is so much fun to watch. In my case, that
means several times, over and over. Fred Astaire is probably the best dance and
song man, in that order, to come out in movies. Lots of better singers, but
the dancing part can't be beat. Ginger Rogers can out sing OL' Fred, but all of
her dancing is done backwards. With the two of them together, it's great home
entertainment tonight. You may have to explain to the kids, what happened to all
the color. Enjoy......
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By says 'nick' on January 26, 2011
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Astaire & Rogers are shear delightful to watch. Dancing of this
nature will never be seen again on film. The story lines are fairly
simple and easy to take. A time when movies entertained and not
embarrass. These films can be watched many times over. I just up-dated from VCR collection to DVD. Their films are just too entertaining to be lost in time.

This is an Amazon Verified Purchase review.
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