The English are terrible at handling their classic films - think about the way they treated Maurice Elvey. This one, the best work of their most prestigious director, gets minimal attention, I had to travel to the Paris Cinematheque to see it.
Asquith transforms the material (compare a lugubrious 1940s version) into the most delicate romantic film his country ever produced, while adding a then-telling comment on the class system which would take a pounding after WW2. The working class dancer and the aristocratic boy are an ideal couple but the traditions of their society work against that. DANCE PRETTY LADY plays not only on the strengths of the performances but also because the director has placed it in a gas lamp lit story book world of stage door Johnnies and ballerinas, the halls and hansom cabs, composed in some of the most stylish images of their day.
It seems impossible that this film follows the starchy lawn party dialogues of the same team's TELL ENGLAND. It's hard to recognize Moore Mariott as Will Hay's comic side kick.. Flora Robson as the mother is the film's surest performance, not unexpectedly.
Alarming that this one has all but vanished while the dreadful thirties OF HUMAN BONDAGE is in every video outlet.
6 of 7 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?