Top Hat is a 1935 American 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 (Edward Everett Horton). He meets and attempts to impress Dale Tremont (Ginger Rogers) 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 (1985) and The Green Mile (1999).
Top Hat was the most successful picture of Astaire and Rogers' partnership (and Astaire's second most successful picture after Easter Parade), 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.
The film was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Picture, as well as Art Direction (Carroll Clark and Van Nest Polglase), Original Song (Irving Berlin for "Cheek to Cheek"), and Dance Direction (Hermes Pan for "Piccolino" and "Top Hat"). In 1990, Top Hat was selected for preservation in the United States National Film Registry by the Library of Congress as being "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant". The film ranked number 15 on the 2006 American Film Institute's list of best musicals.