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Alfred E. Green,
A young American girl visits Paris accompanied by her fiancee and her wealthy uncle. There she meets and is romanced by a worldly novelist; what she doesn't know is that he is a blackmailer who is using her to get to her uncle.
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 <firstname.lastname@example.org>
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 »
This is a dance film very much in the classic mold. An arrogant but popular dancer is dumped by his/her partner/lover and takes a new partner in order to win a contest against the former, only to fall in love again, this time for real.
"Saturday Night Fever" any one?
What makes this movie so worth watching is not the plot, nor even the dancing: it is the manner in which it is presented.
George Raft, sleazy as ever, tells Carole Lombard, who has come to audition in his hotel room, to do so in her underwear. She complies without complaint. Later in the film Sally Rand performs her famous Fan Dance. Properly done, a woman hides her complete nudity behind two enormous ostrich feather fans, while keeping herself and the fans in constant motion.
It is safe to say that neither of these scenes would have been possible a year later, nor for another thirty after that.
If you enjoy precode films, and would like to see how far the studios would go in order to get those depression dollars, or could go to irritate the censors, this is a fine example.
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