IMDb > Dance, Fools, Dance (1931)
Dance, Fools, Dance
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Dance, Fools, Dance (1931) More at IMDbPro »


User Rating:
5.9/10   528 votes »
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Release Date:
7 February 1931 (USA) See more »
After the death of her father and loss of the family fortune, Bonnie gets a job as a cub reporter while her brother becomes involved in bootlegging. Full summary » | Add synopsis »
User Reviews:
Terrific Early Crawford Vehicle See more (20 total) »


  (in credits order) (verified as complete)

Joan Crawford ... Bonnie
Lester Vail ... Bob

Cliff Edwards ... Bert Scranton

William Bakewell ... Rodney
William Holden ... Stanley Jordan

Clark Gable ... Jake Luva
Earle Foxe ... Wally (as Earl Foxe)
Purnell Pratt ... Parker (as Purnell B. Pratt)
Hale Hamilton ... Selby

Natalie Moorhead ... Della

Joan Marsh ... Sylvia
Russell Hopton ... Whitey
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Ernie Adams ... Luva's Henchman (uncredited)
Sidney Bracey ... Albert (uncredited)
Drew Demorest ... Yacht Waiter (uncredited)
James Donlan ... Clinton (uncredited)

Ann Dvorak ... Chorus Girl (uncredited)
Sherry Hall ... Reporter (uncredited)

Robert Livingston ... Jack (uncredited)
Wilbur Mack ... Stockbroker (uncredited)
George Magrill ... Luva's Henchman (uncredited)
Sam McDaniel ... Luva's Butler (uncredited)
Harry Semels ... Emilio (uncredited)
Tommy Shugrue ... Tom (uncredited)
Mortimer Snow ... Reporter (uncredited)
Jack Trent ... Man with Sylvia at Auction (uncredited)

Directed by
Harry Beaumont 
Writing credits
Aurania Rouverol (story)

Aurania Rouverol (dialogue)

Richard Schayer (continuity)

Joan Crawford  collaborating writer (uncredited)

Cinematography by
Charles Rosher (photographed by)
Film Editing by
George Hively (film editor)
Art Direction by
Cedric Gibbons 
Costume Design by
Adrian (gowns)
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Jack Mintz .... assistant director (uncredited)
Sound Department
Douglas Shearer .... recording director
Charles E. Wallace .... sound recording engineer (uncredited)
Other crew
Mosconi .... dance arranger (uncredited)
Crew verified as complete

Production CompaniesDistributorsOther Companies

Additional Details

Also Known As:
80 min
Aspect Ratio:
1.37 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Mono (Western Electric Sound System)
Finland:(Banned) (original rating) | USA:Approved | USA:Passed (National Board of Review) | USA:TV-G (TV rating)

Did You Know?

"Dance, Fools, Dance" is clearly based on two infamous incidents in Chicago crime history: the 1929 St. Valentine's Day Massacre in a garage and the June 9, 1930 murder of Chicago Tribune reporter Jake Lingle, shot while heading to a train station.However, unlike the movie's Bert Scranton, Lingle was a shady character who played both sides of the law and had parlayed a $65 a week salary into a $60,000 income. In journalistic terms Lingle was known as a legman who would telephone in the salient details of the story which would be actually written by a rewrite man. This is what happens when Crawford's Bonnie phones in her story after the shootout.See more »
Continuity: When Rodney comes into the yacht cabin to find Bonnie blow-drying her hair, she looks up at him and her hair is a frizzy mess. In the very next shot, her hair is perfectly styled.See more »
Jake Luva:[Obviously taken with Bonnie] You got me going, sister.
Bonnie:Can I depend on it?
Jake Luva:In a big way.
See more »
Movie Connections:
Featured in Indie Sex: Censored (2007) (TV)See more »
Piano Sonata No. 14 in C Sharp Minor, Op.27 No.2 (Moonlight Sonata)See more »


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18 out of 20 people found the following review useful.
Terrific Early Crawford Vehicle, 27 March 2004
Author: Ian Sowers from Switzerland

I disagree strongly with anyone who might dismiss this film as "just" entertainment. Set right after the carefree, roaring 20s, during the early days of the Great Depression, Dance, Fools, Dance is at its heart an earnest cautionary tale, with a clear message about how best to endure these hard times. Yet this fast-paced and tightly-plotted film is far from being a dreary morality tale.

In the 30s, Hollywood had a knack for churning out one entertaining *and* enlightening audience-pleaser after another, all without wasting a frame of film. Dance, Fools, Dance -- one of *four* films that Harry Beaumont directed in 1931 -- is barely 80 minutes long, yet its characters are well developed, its story never seems rushed, and despite its many twists in plot, the audience is never left behind.

With the lone exception of Lester Vail as flaccid love interest Bob Townsend, the supporting cast is uniformly strong. Worthy of note are William Bakewell as Crawford's brother, Cliff Edwards (best known as the voice of Jiminy Cricket) as reporter Bert Scranton, and Clark Gable in an early supporting role as gangster Jake Luva.

But this is Joan Crawford's film, and she absolutely shines in it. Made when she was just 27, this lesser-known version of Crawford will probably be unrecognizable to those more familiar with her later work. However, here is proof that long before she took home an Oscar for Mildred Pierce, Crawford was a star in the true sense of the word, a terrific actress with the charisma to carry a picture all by herself.

Score: EIGHT out of TEN

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