Top Hat (1935)
Academy Award for Best Production Design (Van Nest Polglase)Award details: (details at IMDb)
Top Hat is a 1935 screwball musical comedy film in which Fred Astaire plays an American dancer named Jerry Travers, who comes to London to star in a show produced by Horace Hardwick. He meets and attempts to impress Dale Tremont to win her affection. The film also features Eric Blore as Hardwick's valet Bates, Erik Rhodes as Alberto Beddini, a fashion designer and rival for Dale's affections, and Helen Broderick as Hardwick's long-suffering wife Madge. The film was written by Allan Scott and Dwight Taylor. It was directed by Mark Sandrich. The songs were written by Irving Berlin. "Top Hat, White Tie and Tails" and "Cheek to Cheek" have become American song classics. It has been nostalgically referred to — particularly its "Cheek to Cheek" segment — in many films, including The Purple Rose of Cairo and The Green Mile. Top Hat was the most successful picture of Astaire and Rogers' partnership, achieving second place in worldwide box-office receipts for 1935. While some dance critics maintain that Swing Time contained a finer set of dances, Top Hat remains, to this day, the partnership's best-known work.