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December 27, 2013

Idiot Plot

In Top Hat, Ginger Rogers shuns the ardent Fred Astaire
because she thinks he’s her best friend’s husband. How she could persist in this belief for any length of time is never explained — the misunderstanding drives the whole story. This is an “idiot plot,” defined by Roger Ebert as “a plot which is kept in motion solely by virtue of the fact that everybody involved is an idiot.” Fools’ Play – Futility Closet

Posted by gerardvanderleun at December 27, 2013 9:49 AM. This is an entry on the sideblog of American Digest: Check it out.

Your Say

See "Three's Company".

Also, people with Obama bumper stickers STILL on their cars.

Posted by: tim at December 27, 2013 10:17 AM

It was a middle of the Depression. People wanted a respite not reality. Besides featuring some of the greatest popular music ever written and sung by a master, these movies were perfection.

I guess we could say the same thing about Roger Ebert's script "Beyond the Valley of the Dolls." Of course that requires we were on drugs.

Posted by: bonny kate at December 27, 2013 11:13 AM

There's a lot of that in movies. The big stupid one they use still to this day is falling in love with the personality-free girl just because she's hot.

Posted by: Christopher Taylor at December 27, 2013 12:00 PM

I recall seeing that movie without realizing there WAS a plot. Folks, people wanted to see Fred and Ginger dance. It was the same with Donald O'Connor's musicals. The plot was usually thin, but we got to see the great O'Connor in action - well worth it.

Regarding the late Roger Ebert, I guess we could watch him devour a pizza and a box of donuts.

Posted by: Lorne at December 27, 2013 1:09 PM

WOW. I mean: GOD FORBID that people ASSUME that adults are MARRIED...*and* to people of the OPPOSITE SEX!!!

(pardon while I simultaneously cry and barf)

Posted by: Czar of Defenestration at December 27, 2013 1:46 PM

No problem. Here's a Kleenex and a bucket.

Posted by: vanderleun at December 27, 2013 2:39 PM

Well, the plots of those old movies all require a certain "suspension of disbelief".
However, with all their flaws, I would rather watch Fred and Ginger in anything than about 90% of the current crop of movie offerings.
And, of course, Ginger is drop dead gorgeous.

Posted by: orcadrvr at December 27, 2013 4:48 PM

I hear ya orcadrvr.
We got rid of the satellite last year due to lack of use - all 400 channels were bullshit. Now we rent TV series from the 50's and early 60's from Netflix for viewing while eating supper and old 40's and 50's movies occasionally on the weekend. The rest of the time we do things other than TV.

Ginger did everything Fred did, but in heels, and backwards.

Posted by: ghostsniper at December 27, 2013 5:25 PM

Want a visual treat? GOOGLE "rita hayworth staying alive" and enjoy. Rita Hayworth was a dancer of equal ability to Ginger Rogers. However, seeing a few clips of Fred Astaire shows that he is the true master.

Dan Kurt

Posted by: Dan Kurt at December 27, 2013 6:12 PM

It's impossible to watch Fred Astaire when he's dancing with Ginger Rogers. When she's dancing, she's incandescent, and you can't take your eyes off her. You notice him more when he dances with other partners, later in his career.

It's also impossible to watch Fred when he's dancing with Eleanor Powell. He did it once in a movie, and never appeared with her again. She succeeded in making him look average.


The Nicholas Brothers do that as well.


Posted by: ahem at December 27, 2013 9:52 PM

Is this a metaphor for our times, or what?

Posted by: Terry Kirkpatrick at December 28, 2013 6:35 AM

Is this a metaphor for our times, or what?

Posted by: Terry Kirkpatrick at December 28, 2013 6:35 AM

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