Top Hat

Today in Movie History: August 29

Just time for two quick mentions today, both featuring performers very light on their feet. Top Hat doesn’t stand up well in terms of story, but with songs by Irving Berlin, and the incomparable Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers flashing their chops, its joys come from other places. It premiered today in 1935.

For footwork of an entirely different type, there’s Jackie Chan’s The Big Brawl, the performer’s first real effort to break into the American market. The film failed — mostly because it forced him to use American shooting techniques instead of his preferred Hong Kong-style fight choreography — and Chan had to wait until 1995’s Rumble in the Bronx to finally crack the box office code in the U.S. The Big Brawl opened today in 1980.


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