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Top of the Town (1937)

Passed | | Comedy, Music | 18 April 1937 (USA)
Diana Borden (Doris Nolan, a bleeding-heart rich-girl, returns from a trip to Russia filled with sympathy for the "little" people of the slums and wants to do "something" artistic and ... See full summary »


Ralph Murphy, Walter Lang (uncredited)


Brown Holmes (screenplay), Charles Grayson (screenplay) | 1 more credit »


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Cast overview, first billed only:
Doris Nolan ... Diana Borden
George Murphy ... Ted Lane
Ella Logan ... Dorine MacTavish
Hugh Herbert ... Hubert
Gerald Oliver Smith Gerald Oliver Smith ... Borden Executive
Mischa Auer ... Hamlet
Gregory Ratoff ... J.J. Stone
Peggy Ryan ... Peggy
J. Scott Smart ... Beaton (as Jack Smart)
Ray Mayer Ray Mayer ... Roger
Henry Armetta ... Bacciagalluppi
Gertrude Niesen ... Gilda Norman
Claude Gillingwater ... William Borden
Ernest Cossart ... Augustus Borden
Samuel S. Hinds ... Henry Borden


Diana Borden (Doris Nolan, a bleeding-heart rich-girl, returns from a trip to Russia filled with sympathy for the "little" people of the slums and wants to do "something" artistic and socially significant for them...so she opens up a nightclub atop a 100-story skyscraper. For her, that means acts such as opera singers, extracts from "Hamlet" and three sailors imitating a giraffe. Bandleader Ted Lane (George Murphy)thinks hot-music, burlesque-acts and the old razzle-dazzle is just the ticket. Her programming leads to early exits and no-returns.Film debut for 12-year-old Peggy Ryan. Written by Les Adams <longhorn1939@suddenlink.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


The giant musical hit show! - Top of the Town. See more »


Comedy | Music


Passed | See all certifications »






Release Date:

18 April 1937 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Auf den Dächern von New York See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Universal Pictures See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


This is the first Universal film to open with the "sparkling globe" logo (used through 1946), accompanied by the musical fanfare entitled "New Universal Signature" composed by Jimmy McHugh. See more »

Crazy Credits

The familiar Universal globe logo is shown at the end of this movie, as well as at the opening, the only Universal film in which this is done. See more »


Fireman, Fireman Save My Child
Music by Jimmy McHugh
Lyrics by Harold Adamson
See more »

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User Reviews

Sometimes Things are Little-Known For a Reason...

The reason is they are horrible. Such is Top of the Town, an ambitious musical from Universal, which, despite stellar production values, never gets off the ground. Most fluffy musical comedies like this one have something resembling a plot, but Top of the Town really doesn't, though it attempts to. There is a dizzy dame type of an heiress (Doris Nolan) who arrives in Manhattan just having come back from Russia and her heart is now supposedly full of the plight of the proletariat. OF COURSE, the best way to help the suffering masses to build a GIGANTIC NIGHTCLUB for the rich and elite only, with musical numbers that convey the pain of the poor! It is far too nonsensical in a bad way to be amusing in the slightest. The heiress has nothing else interesting to her character besides that, she is a run-of-the-mill glamorous blonde who doesn't have one good line to say. George Murphy does his usual song-and-dance-man thing, which is fine, but the rest of the cast is terrible and forgettable. None of the songs in this film have become standards, and it's a good thing, because they are unoriginal and presented badly. The musical number that is meant to bad, "Fireman, Fireman, Save My Child" is the most entertaining of the lot. Everything else was either your usual 30s kitsch done un-charmingly, or incredibly bizarre, like people in blackface wearing light-up costumes with fake gems on them with Mischa Auer being Hamlet in the background...Don't bother seeking this one out. You may think you love 30s musicals, but really, you don't love them this much.

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