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DAILY DOSE OF DELIGHT #4 (FROM TOP HAT)

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I don’t  see this as battle of the sexes at all. I just see this as “the woman” being able to keep up with “the man”. At some point, the woman is even leading the man. Very interesting to see in the dance. 

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1. She seems to be just copying him although it does feel like she is trying to out do him in his own moves.

2. As far as I’m concerned, it’s a lovely day is one of the song lyrics so to me this reflects what we’ve already seen throughout the depression era musicals. As most say everything is fine in song and dance numbers. Also one of the other things is how Ginger is dressed which is more masculine than what we have previously seen.

3. As eras progress so do how characters are depicted, and I think with screwball comedy most characters are in a wild situation. By having Ginger in a more masculine costume almost to the point where she is following him in the scene that we just watched. She’s copying him but then again trying to out due him.

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1. Other aspects of battle of the sexes indicated in this clip extend not only to the clothes they wear, a metaphor for equal standing with men women were fighting for and granted in some aspects of society, and the dancing, competitive to prove women and men could perform the same tasks, but also in the smaller details, like Rogers rebuffing Astaire until he invites a playing field for her to be a part of or the handshake at the end or how they are constantly staged in such a way that they are right beside each other and always in step, even jumping off the gazebo together, a demonstration of a move towards equality. 

2. Just based off this clip, Top Hat is a different kind of Depression-era musical in that it isn't focused on escapism the way Love Parade or other costume dramas were. The characters are not part of the wealthy and privileged and wear clothes of the day (Rogers' outfit is more modern than anything worn by women in other musicals) instead of lavish outfits. Their concerns are on their professional standings, not merely the relationships they have with others. 

3. The Depression changed society's view of women almost completely out of necessity: having so little space, money, and, well, anything, to go around meant that women took on far more responsibility and even worked to bring money/food into the household. It was a social upheaval that everyone had to deal with and by examining those changes in a comedic format, allowed audiences a lighter venue to deal with such changes head-on.

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1. I can definitely see the battle of the sexes in this dance scene. In every move Astaire makes Rodgers tries to one up him on all fronts. It's all kinds of cute and fun and shows the shift that is coming where women are starting to get the sense that may just be equal to if not better than their male counterparts regardless of what society was telling them at the time.

2. Top hat is set in a much less opulent world as opposed to the early films we have seen with their sumtous costumes and locals.

3. Woman on the whole in the 30's while not nearly as liberated as they would become later are starting to be see more as equals to their male love intrest and less as a thing to be gotten. 

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I didn't observe any battle of the sexes. I am surprised at how lovely the dance costuming was Ginger looked like she was floating during her numbers. Musicals produced during the depression were intended as an escape from the start reality of living..  I think the happy endings gave release for many from the bleak reality of life

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Daily Dose #4

  • What other aspects of battle of the sexes do you see indicated in this clip or in the film Top Hat? All I could say is that this was the fun-filled “Battle Royale” between Mr. Astaire and Miss Rogers. It was a small competitive show off which ended with a friendly handshake.                                                              

 

  • How does this film distinguish itself from other Depression era musicals we have watched or discussed this week? From the clips and daily doses which I viewed, This movie stands out. It is due to the fact that in this particular scene, we could see our heroine wearing a formal manly attire which shows that the character is free-willed, independent and feisty. 

 

  • What possible reasons might there be for the changes in roles between men and women depicted in these screwball comedy musicals that distinguish themselves from earlier musicals in the 1930s? Screwball comedy defines as a type of comedy with a plot involving an affluent woman along with a working man. Thus, it shows equality but only on-screen. Literally, it was a movie made during the “Great Depression”. So, it was an escape through a wonderland by keeping one’s troubles at bay.       

 

 

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  1. What other aspects of battle of the sexes do you see indicated in this clip or in the film Top Hat?
  2. How does this film distinguish itself from other Depression era musicals we have watched or discussed this week?
  3. What possible reasons might there be for the changes in roles between men and women depicted in these screwball comedy musicals that distinguish themselves from earlier musicals in the 1930s?

1..  I don’t think I really saw additional “battle of the sexes” within this clip.  For it’s time period,I think this was unusual to even see a battle of the sexes within a dance and with the female dancer dressed in pants and pairing off as an equal to a man, so in itself, this was unusual and delightful.  I suppose as this period, it also had a light playful touch to the subject.

2.  This movie is different from the other earlier movies, in that this particular scene is not depicted in a theater nor attempting to look like a Broadway show on film.

3.  Although women were allowed to vote in around 1920, I think there was and still is a movement for recognizing women with the same abilities as men. I could not speculate on the motivation to add this into this movie, but I think this subject would have been very unique in 1936. 

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1. "Battle" is a pretty broad term for what we're seeing in this clip. This is a lot more playful, so the so-called battle is a lot more subtle. As some have said, yes, Ginger is largely following Fred's lead. But there are little moments where she inserts her own steps into the routine, separate from what Fred is doing. The biggest, most obvious gender-bending twist is Ginger's manly garb, as well as a more manly swagger in some of her moves.

2. Only five years into movie musicals, there is a lot more polish in "Top Hat" than what we saw in "Broadway Melody" or "Hallelujah!" This scene, in particular, has the look of an actual gazebo (unlike the apartment scene where Fred Astaire appears to live in a Manhattan mansion.

3. The biggest thing is the Code. Prior to 1934, movies could be sexier and explore more deeply the relationships between men and women. The morality imposed by the Code forced Hollywood to become more subtle in that exploration and to walk a finer line with such things as sexuality.

 

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1. She is playing coy while he is telling her the rain has led them together. The intro to the song was word play. She sits bored, during this. She sits on the side of his heart. Dance off or dance play, tap off and she tops him one time, he does not answer that continues to dance. 

2. Ginger is more like on his level or above it. Most depression era women needed their men. Here the man needs her and his working on her to sway her to his way of thinking. She is independent. 

3. Women had to change their role, since men lost everything. So the role change made women strong and not totally helpless. When the depression hit, everyone had to pull together and work to put food on the table and pay the bills. You had to grow up and be responsible for yourself. Thus you see women has hardworking and intelligent, self sufficient. 

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1.     What other aspects of battle of the sexes do you see indicated in this clip or in the film Top Hat?

The rainy weather with the thunder and lightning is another aspect of the battle, along with the crop in her hand. Then there is her little dance step alone after their first steps together, a challenge to say see I can start one too. The clothing that both are wearing, pants and tailored jackets. What is amusing is that she is wearing the hat in an age when men always wore hats.

2.    How does this film distinguish itself from other Depression era musicals we have watched or discussed this week?

This doesn’t have the amount of grand costumes and thousands of back-up dancers in huge halls.

3.     What possible reasons might there be for the changes in roles between men and women depicted in these screwball comedy musicals that distinguish themselves from earlier musicals in the 1930s?

One reason is the code board cleaning up what they thought of aas racy films. As we headed into the late 30s the news from Europe wasn’t good. The world knew of the rise of Hitler and the things he was promoting. They weren’t always paying heed but they knew. America may have wanted to stay out of a war if one started but many Americans still had close family in Europe and there was fear for the future. This also was a reason to depict a stronger rols for women who might soon have to carry on while their men were at war.

 

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DailyDose#4:

1.  I think typically of this era it shows pursuit of the man to the woman.  It starts slow. Fred is met with some hesitation of Ginger.As he sings further you can see the change of Gingers face from disinterest to “maybe” to “I think I will”.  She is happy their dance starts slow as he shows her the first steps. She is not awkward at all. They dance faster and it is at this point they are true equal partners!

as far as the rest of the movie the best comical point is of the actor portraying Alberto. He is truly the play of conceit...”...marry me...I’m rich...I’m pretty...

Mr Bates the valet portraying the priest to marry Ginger and Erik is not played in front of the audience. I think if the audience “saw” them “married” they might not approve of Fred actually pursuing Ginger. 

The relationship of Horton -Broderick  thinks her husband may be a philanderer but is taking it with non- chalantness- putting the perfect words for a comedic take on the husband’s possible infidelity. Although she is jealous it doesn’t  seem like she really cares.she trusts her friend Ginger and her husband less but it is presented comically rather than seriously- for example to the couple that would REALLY have serious dialogue!

 

2. It is more comedic...”screwball comedy” and the music goes right along with the dialogue.

3.  These movies are more upbeat. They are not as centered on beautifully moving sets like a theatrical setting would be or earlier movies. It was a classy style show. That’s not to say that the outfits in Born to Dance or 42nd street in their main dances weren’t. 

Both women in Born to Dance  and Top Hat  set a new precedent by wearing trousers. And that wearing them was OK. Many women of the era didn’t approve or want to wear them.

i also think the men depicted in Born to Dance were more equally dressed to equal the audiences than Top Hat.

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What other aspects of battle of the sexes do you see indicated in this clip or in the film Top Hat?

First of all, I love TOP HAT. In fact, I own this movie and have watched this movie countless times. I have always like this number due to the settle battle they are having with their taps. Fred Astaire tries to egg on Ginger Rogers. He is trying to make her tap so that he can wow her and show her how good he is.  She kinda surprises him...He taps then she taps. This goes back and forth and they try to get a little more intense each time. They keep in constant eyesight of each other or they look at each other straight on dancing the same steps. Also, I notice that when he puts his hands into his pockets then she does it after him as if to say "anything you can do I can do better" !!

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1)  What other aspects of battle of the sexes do you see indicated in this clip or in the film Top Hat?  I am not sure I saw anything additional.  The dancing was the same except for when each of them did a few extra little steps to up on each other.  At which the other person did not duplicate the same dance but added something of there own.  The clothing was very close to the same but with subtle differences.  Rogers pants had the flaps on the thighs.

2)  How does this film distinguish itself from other Depression era musicals we have watched or discussed this week?

The singing and dancing was telling a story as it was going on. The words, tone and movements told the love story.   Some of the other movies will add a scene in with a Broadway style number.  It will try to be included into the plot of the movie but most times it doesn't flow smoothly.

3)  What possible reasons might there be for the changes in roles between men and women depicted in these screwball comedy musicals that distinguish themselves from earlier musicals in the 1930s?  Women had been for many years trying to make there place in the working world.  In this movie I feel the director is trying to show the female perspective and show that women are making a niche' for themselves.

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  1. What other aspects of the battle of the sexes do you see indicated in this clip or in the film Top Hat?
    Ginger challenges Fred with dance moves and facial expressions. She does not give in to his advances and lets him know he has to work hard to earn her affection.
  2. How does this film distinguish itself from other Depression-era musicals we have watched or discussed this week?
    Ginger is not helpless or need saving from Fred. In the other films like Rose Marie, there is a scene where she is singing and seems in need of saving. She could not hold her own there, and its the complete opposite in Top Hat.
  3. What possible reasons might there be for the changes in roles between men and women depicted in these screwball comedy musicals that distinguish themselves from earlier musicals in the 1930s?
    I feel like comedy musicals would be perfect for a change in roles because the world was very serious at this time. Gender roles were definitely in place so a getaway would definitely be available in a comedy musical. It would shed some type of hope in real societal gender role changes.

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1.  This does not necessarily appear to be a "battle" between the dancers.  At times Rogers almost seems to be Astaire's shadow and vice versa.

2.  The songs have dance with them and both are more a part of the plot instead of stage numbers.

3.  The roles of men and women were changing in real life and this film reflects that through a stronger more equal heroine and a man who is comfortable with that change.  Men and women were both looking for work since a breadwinner was needed and it did not matter as much as it had previously which person was the provider.

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What other aspects of battle of the sexes do you see indicated in this clip or in the film Top Hat?

  • I see it as not so much a "battle" but closer to the time-honored ritual of sizing each other up in a "let's see what you've got" kind of way. As they start to move, they are watching each other's steps (and probably a few other things) and in a way getting to know each other better. By the time they shake hands at the end, it's just a matter of sorting out who's who and then getting together.

How does this film distinguish itself from other Depression era musicals we have watched or discussed this week?

  • Despite all of the screwball shenanigans, it is very focused on "these two." The camera stays on them when they're dancing and doesn't "visit" anywhere near the number of places you would go if this was a Busby Berkeley film. There's also the opulence of the settings. This a film to see to escape your troubles and dream about your own Mr. or Ms. Right. 

What possible reasons might there be for the changes in roles between men and women depicted in these screwball comedy musicals that distinguish themselves from earlier musicals in the 1930s?

  • For one, women had won "the vote" roughly 10 years earlier and all media -- newspapers, magazines, movies, etc. -- were looking for ways to "exploit" the female audience. Empowering them with the "appearance" of greater equality was one way to do this. 

 

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The battle is shown in the dancing duel.  It's a matter of  "anything you can do I can do better".  

This is different because she was not the proverbial damsel in distress.  It is not on stage or a group trying to put on a show.  It's also not a look and the lives of the rich and famous.

This particular movie is showing a more real life Depression era scenario .  The woman had to work too to survive.

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  1. While I enjoyed both Astaire and Rogers dancing as a compliment through the rainy day, I actually don't see much of the battle of the sexes in how the scene was set up. It's mostly Fred's character leading the way for Ginger's character to engage in his wooing which is what it was at that time for men and women's roles before diverse gender roles would play out now. She mostly feels shy during the song number and has to determine if he's a good fit through his singing and dancing than to be negative and annoyed by his intended generosity when her day just wasn't going the way she planned. But that being said, I think the battle of the sexes plays out on their dance routine as it can be interpreted as its stand alone routine (which most song and dance numbers of that time are made that way whether it connects to the plot or not). The dance moves do compliment each other and sometimes get into it to see if they can mimic the steps correctly, or out do one another. And it has subtle pointers like Ginger's men type fashion, wearing a horse rider clothes with long pants without a dress common in everyday wearing in the 30s. But it's a special case given that she has some interests in horseback riding where she would show that any woman can be into these activities usually popular by men in that time. And her horseback suit does mimic similar with Fred's regular suit in how she's not just a supporting type person and has her own strong attitude or something like that. But even then, they're just their own traditional roles but still for the time, they do balance their skills and roles in some parts that make it unique.
     
  2. Previous musical films were mostly on the backstage setting where a variety of performances were staged and usually on point used as like a pausing point in between the stories for the most part. This film focuses on the story with song and dance numbers driving up the progression of the story and character development with occasional pauses in a stage performance or Busby Berkeley like spectacular. The couples dance are play out equally, unlike a male or female dancer leading more often or one just dancing around one's love interest. Genres like romance and screwball were meshed together that involves a new trend of romantic misunderstandings of who is which love interest, the "will they, won't they?" moments, or also transformed tropes that would be later used in modern romantic comedy films.
     
  3. I think I already brought up Ginger's horseback suit in the first question, but to expand on it, the 30s screwball comedy looked into some realistic situations of the Great Depression for regular middle class citizens where men are having a hard time finding work, and women taking on jobs or positions usually owned by men. They take inspiration from them, but still warp them into a fantasy high middle to rich class setting to stick to the goal of entertaining people looking to escape from reality. So it makes sense to have women take on progressive roles of having traits of proactive and independent senses (as evident in Ginger Rogers slowly developing her acting skills from comedy to eventually dramatic roles in the 40s and 50s), while men would have traits of clumsiness or vulnerability than just a strong man saving the day. Though men still have masculinity to court the love interest or save the day, and women still have feminine traits to be supportive and dependent in this timeframe, the unique traits written for them to have certain equal characteristics make them have a sense of relatability.

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1. What I observe is more of an awareness by Rogers' character that Astaire's character is making advances toward her.  Rogers' facial expressions are as important in this clip as her dance expressions.  She isn't as "innocent and sweet" as female characters in earlier musicals. The viewer can ascertain that this woman has had charge of her life, and she plans to continue to do so.

 

2.  In "Top Hat" life, overall, is more sophisticated, carefree and affluent than in earlier musicals.  The female characters are more independent and confident.

 

3.  Musicals made during the early years of the depression were largely comic, almost vaudevillian, diversions for a downtrodden audience.  Musicals produced during the later years of the depression reflect monetary and social improvement, female confidence and independence and an easing of the plight of the population.

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Top Hat is one of my favorite movies. I love that Ginger gets to wear pants and low heeled shoes. I always see Fred and Ginger as being equals. Sometimes one of them gets the best of the other, but it always ends up well. They both have terrific personalities that shine.

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1. What other aspects of battle of the sexes do you see indicated in this clip or in the film Top Hat?

Up to this point, he has been wooing and she has been ignoring his romantic advances. In this scene, he begins singing to her back, but eventually, she goes toe to toe with him dancing and proves she is equal. I think its funny that at the end they shake hands. It seems important to everyone that she was wearing pants. Maybe in that time period of the 30's, it was. Maybe it did put her on an equal footing with him. Today, we are more inclined to say that women are not only equal but perhaps a little superior. After all, as it has been said, "Rogers did what Astaire did only backwards and in heels!" 

2. How does this film distinguish itself from other Depression era musicals we have watched or discussed this week?

I'm not sure it does distinguish itself from other Depression era musicals other than the fact that Ginger is showing more independence. They all are opulent with beautiful costumes and sets. Rich people living the good life.

3. What possible reasons might there be for the changes in roles between men and women depicted in these screwball comedy musicals that distinguish themselves from earlier musicals in the 1930s?

Screwball comedies are characterized by a female that dominates the relationship with the male central character whose masculinity is challenged as they engage in a humorous battle of the sexes. In earlier musicals (i.e. 42nd Street, Follow the Fleet), the men dominate and the women are shown as pretty submissive to the man's attention. Some of their reactions to situations are even a little embarrassing. Ginger is getting a mind of her own. This is probably a product of the times because during the Depressions years, women were becoming more independent.  

 

 

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1.  The battle of sexes could be not only seen in the dancing but can be heard in the music itself.  The dance starts out slow and easy and Ginger does not seem to be that into it.  Then the crescendo starts happening.  The dance gets a bit faster and she is definitely performing stronger dance steps.  Ginger is now keeping up with Fred and the music and dance steps are not at a faster pace then slowly they both come to a slower dance until the last steps quietly come together.

2. This film distinguishes itself from the depression era musicals with it's soft scenes.  Though in black and white obviously, I think there is a soft hue around Ginger and Fred especially when they are in a scene together.  The glamour is in the dress; the tuxedo, the lavish gazebo scene.  Again, money and glamour depicted in a background of uplifting dancing, singing, and love.

3.I think the changes came because the times were changing.  The economy was improving.  Society was encouraging the social life of drinking, dances, and movie-going.  Women had to leave the home in most instances to get work and get themselves out of the depression.  So  now women had money to contribute to the slow economy.

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