This is the story of an egotistical nightclub dance performer named Raoul, his determination to succeed at all costs, and the only woman in his life that truly matters to him, a dancing ... See full summary »
This is the story of an egotistical nightclub dance performer named Raoul, his determination to succeed at all costs, and the only woman in his life that truly matters to him, a dancing partner named Helen. (The highlight of the film is a dance performed atop a circular stage to a truncated version of Ravel's "Bolero.") Written by
Eugene Kim <email@example.com>
Before starting in films, George Raft was a taxi dancer in New York, dancing with women at clubs for the proverbial "ten cents a dance". He was adept at all kinds of dance steps, including Spanish-style, which made his role in this film perfect for him. BTW, one of his fellow dancers was a young Italian immigrant named Rudolph Valentino. See more »
[to the fan dancer]
Did you ever think about doing that dance with one fan?
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This movie from 1934 shows the viewer an era that must have seemed alien at the time and downright forgotten and strange to modern audiences.. Watching it is like a history lesson. George Raft shows us why he was known as the fastest dancer in the world at the beginning of the movie when he was a young man and just starting out on his career. The story line is not something we would see again especially as it is set in Europe. We get to see Paris and Brussels amongst other great cities with horse drawn-carriages, strange dance routines and the basic idea that you can dance your way out of poverty in nightclubs and make that career last. Carole Lombard stripped down to her underwear with stocking and suspenders to say the least, is a sight to behold. A year later and this wouldn't be allowed, the crotch of her panties on view. In a scene where Raft tells her that if she stripped naked he wouldn't be interested shows us how much more natural films were before the Hays code ; granny wasn't so innocent. Raft's lecherous and lascivious grin in one particular dance routine put him at odds with the cool elegance of Carole Lombard. They seem an odd couple -I believe at the time they had a romance- when not dancing and it is easy to see why she marries some-one else. Nothing comes between Raft and his dancing. A rare screen appearance by Sally Rand shows us that this lady's talents were limited to her fantastic fan dance, but who can tire of watching that????? Not enough of Bolero though, the theme of the movie being this music but we see very little of the dance routine or music considering the length of the composition. Raft is a better actor here than in many later parts in better movies, he knew this world and felt comfortable with it . Watch and enjoy.
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