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The Dance of Life (1929)

7.4
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Ratings: 7.4/10 from 177 users  
Reviews: 7 user | 2 critic

A vaudeville comic and a pretty young dancer aren't having much luck in their separate careers, so they decide to combine their acts. In order to save money on the road, they get married. ... See full summary »

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(screenplay), (play), 3 more credits »
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Title: The Dance of Life (1929)

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Hal Skelly ...
Ralph 'Skid' Johnson
...
Bonny Lee King
Dorothy Revier ...
Sylvia Marco
Ralph Theodore ...
Harvey Howell (as Ralph Theadore)
Charles D. Brown ...
Lefty Miller
Al St. John ...
Bozo
May Boley ...
Gussie
...
Jerry Evans
Gladys DuBois ...
Miss Sherman
James Quinn ...
Jimmy
Jim Farley ...
Champ Melvin
...
Minister
Gordona Bennet ...
Amazon Chorus Girl
Miss La Reno ...
Amazon Chorus Girl
Cora Beach Shumway ...
Amazon Chorus Girl
Edit

Storyline

A vaudeville comic and a pretty young dancer aren't having much luck in their separate careers, so they decide to combine their acts. In order to save money on the road, they get married. Soon their act begins to catch on, and they find themselves booked onto Broadway. They also realize that they actually are in love with each other, but just when things are starting to look up, the comic starts to let success go to his head. Written by frankfob2@yahoo.com

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

theater | based on play

Genres:

Drama | Musical | Romance

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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

16 August 1929 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Burlesque  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

(MovieTone)

Color:

(Technicolor) (reel 7)|

Aspect Ratio:

1.20 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Barbara Stanwyck had played Bonny King on stage (under her original name, Ruby Stephens) and tested for the film, but Paramount decided to use Nancy Carroll because she, unlike Stanwyck, had already made films and therefore had a movie "name". See more »


Soundtracks

Mightiest Matador
(uncredited)
Music by Richard A. Whiting
Lyrics by Sam Coslow and Leo Robin
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Hal Skelly Is Excellent
22 March 2006 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Odd title for the film version of the Broadway hit, BURLESQUE, that starred Hal Skelly and Barbra Stanwyck and made them both stars. Odd also that Skelly would topline the 1929 film version but Nancy Carroll would get the lead role over Stanwyck.

In any case both stars are excellent in this underrated and forgotten gem that includes great vaudeville numbers, songs, comedy, and drama.

Skelly is an "eccentric" dancer who teams with Carroll and they struggle on the burlesque circuit until a talent scout spots Skelly and gets him a spot in the Ziegfeld Follies. But money and fame go to his head and he starts boozing with a golddigging hussy. Eventually he his fired and Carroll sues for divorce to marry a Wyoming rancher. Skelly has one more chance when he's offered his old job with the burlesque show but Carroll must leave Wyoming to help him get through his opening show.

Hackneyed plot but done with great spirit and truth. Carroll and Skelly are great. Supporting cast includes May Boley terrific as Gussie, Oscar Levant as a pianist, Al St. John as Bozo, Charles Brown as the burlesque manager, Ralph Theodore as Harvey, and Dorothy Revier as Marco.

High point is a terrific semi closeup of Skelly sitting on the stage and singing "True Blue Lou" in his sad clown makeup. Great moment. Carroll gets to do several dances and she's damned good. Her singing isn't as good though.

After seeing the lousy HONEY I was skeptical about another Nancy Carroll musical but THE DANCE OF LIFE is terrific. Hal Skelly could have been a big big star but he was hideously killed in 1934 when the car in which he was riding was smashed by a freight train in Connecitcut.


12 of 15 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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