Watch Fred Astaire, Ginger Rogers

'Top Hat,' one of 10 films the famed duo made together, continues the series of movie musicals in the Barrington library auditorium.

Librarian, film enthusiast and Patch blogger Doug Swiszcz presents today at 1 pm the second movie in his latest film lecture series, "Gotta Sing! Gotta Dance!: The Evolution of Movie Musicals."

The 1935 movie, Top Hat, is one of 10 musicals that Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers made together, said Swiszcz. It will play in the theater-like auditorium.

Here is how Swiszcz describes the film:

"A farcical storyline involving mistaken identity provides the narrative framework, but it is Fred and Ginger dancing to a wonderful Irving Berlin score that is the film’s raison d’etre.

"Dance as a means of courtship between a man and woman—remember those times?

Fred advances, Ginger demurs, but in the end we know that the pair will end up in each other’s arms. The dances were filmed as nearly as possible in complete takes to convey the performances as an organic whole.

"The black & white film runs for 101 minutes. It is unrated, and free and open to all."

The remaining films in the 6-week series:

Oct. 10: Meet Me in St. Louis (1944)

Vincente Minnelli directed Judy Garland and little Margaret O’Brien in this affectionate look at one family’s life in the months leading up to the 1904 World’s Fair. Color; 113 minutes; unrated.

Oct. 17: Singin’ in the Rain (1952)

Gene Kelly, Donald O’Connor, and Debbie Reynolds in a parody of the transition from silent films to talking pictures. Color; 103 minutes; unrated.

Oct. 24: Fiddler on the Roof (1971)

Film version of the Broadway smash about a poor Jewish milkman raising five daughters in pre-revolutionary Russia. Color; 181 minutes; rated G.

Oct. 31:  Chicago (2002)

Director Rob Marshall's freshly cinematic adaptation of Kander and Ebb's Broadway show about society's infatuation with notoriety in the Windy City during the Roaring 1920s. Color; 113 minutes; rated PG-13, for sexual content and dialogue, violence, and thematic elements.

For more details, you can check out Swiszcz’s classic film blog.


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