MOVIEmeter
SEE RANK
Down 942 this week

Born to Dance (1936)

Passed  |   |  Musical, Comedy  |  27 November 1936 (USA)
6.8
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 6.8/10 from 781 users  
Reviews: 27 user | 11 critic

Sailor Ted meets at the Lonely Hearts Club of his friend Gunny's wife, Jenny, a girl, Nora Paige, and falls in love. Nora wants to become a dancer on Broadway. Ted rescues the Pekinese of ... See full summary »

Director:

Writers:

(screen play), (screen play), 3 more credits »
0Check in
0Share...

On Disc

at Amazon

IMDb Picks: June

Visit our IMDb Picks section to see our recommendations of movies and TV shows coming out in June, brought to you by Swiffer.

Visit the IMDb Picks section

User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

a list of 138 titles
created 12 Jul 2011
 
a list of 63 titles
created 23 Jul 2012
 
a list of 25 titles
created 03 Jun 2014
 
a list of 25 titles
created 7 months ago
 

Related Items

Search for "Born to Dance" on Amazon.com

Connect with IMDb


Share this Rating

Title: Born to Dance (1936)

Born to Dance (1936) on IMDb 6.8/10

Want to share IMDb's rating on your own site? Use the HTML below.

Take The Quiz!

Test your knowledge of Born to Dance.
Nominated for 2 Oscars. See more awards »
Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Certificate: Passed Musical
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

Johnny Brett and King Shaw are an unsuccessful dance team in New York. A producer discovers Brett as the new partner for Clare Bennett, but Brett, who thinks he is one of the people they lent money to gives him the name of his partner.

Director: Norman Taurog
Stars: Fred Astaire, Eleanor Powell, George Murphy
Certificate: Passed Comedy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

Seeking US citizenship, a Viennese refugee arranges a marriage of convenience with a struggling writer.

Director: Clarence Brown
Stars: James Stewart, Hedy Lamarr, Ian Hunter
Certificate: Passed Musical | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

Steve Raleight wants to produce a show on Broadway. He finds a backer, Herman Whipple and a leading lady, Sally Lee. But Caroline Whipple forces Steve to use a known star, not a newcomer. ... See full summary »

Director: Roy Del Ruth
Stars: Robert Taylor, Eleanor Powell, George Murphy
Magic Town (1947)
Comedy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

An opinion pollster finds a town which is a perfect mirror of U.S. opinions.

Director: William A. Wellman
Stars: James Stewart, Jane Wyman, Kent Smith
Comedy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.3/10 X  

Congresswoman Agatha Reed returns to her alma mater for homecoming, although she's more interested in renewing her romance with an old flame who's now the college president. Their attempts ... See full summary »

Director: Vincent Sherman
Stars: Joan Crawford, Robert Young, Frank Lovejoy
Certificate: Passed Musical | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 4.9/10 X  

Mary and Larry are are a modestly successful skating team. Shortly after their marriage, Mary gets a picture contract, while Larry is sitting at home, out of work. To prove that he can ... See full summary »

Director: Reinhold Schünzel
Stars: Joan Crawford, James Stewart, Lew Ayres
Comedy | Music
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6/10 X  

Oliver Pease gets a dose of courage from his wife Martha and tricks the editor of the paper (where he writes lost pet notices) into assigning him the day's roving question. Martha suggests,... See full summary »

Directors: Leslie Fenton, King Vidor, and 2 more credits »
Stars: Paulette Goddard, James Stewart, Henry Fonda
Certificate: Passed Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  

The outlaws of the Clanton and Younger gangs are the heroes of this fictionalized biography.

Director: William D. Russell
Stars: Robert Ryan, Claire Trevor, Jack Buetel
Comedy | Musical | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

Al Marsh, Tony Naylor and Jerry Ralby, Broadway producers, are desperately looking for backers. Al is one of the heirs of a dress salon in Paris, but this is almost bankrupt. The two other ... See full summary »

Director: Mervyn LeRoy
Stars: Kathryn Grayson, Red Skelton, Howard Keel
Cry 'Havoc' (1943)
Certificate: Passed War | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

The Army nurses on Bataan need help badly, but when it arrives, it sure isn't what they expected. A motley crew, including a Southern belle, a waitress, and a stripper, show up. Many ... See full summary »

Director: Richard Thorpe
Stars: Margaret Sullavan, Ann Sothern, Joan Blondell
Les Girls (1957)
Comedy | Musical
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

After writing a tell-all book about her days in the dance troupe "Barry Nichols and Les Girls", Sybil Wren (Kay Kendall) is sued for libeling her fellow dancer Angele (Taina Elg). A Rashomon... See full summary »

Director: George Cukor
Stars: Gene Kelly, Mitzi Gaynor, Kay Kendall
Certificate: Passed Crime | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

When a crooked businessman is fatally shot, a hotshot New York newspaper reporter specializing in murder stories narrows in on the dead man's associate.

Director: Tim Whelan
Stars: Spencer Tracy, James Stewart, Virginia Bruce
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
Lucy James
Una Merkel ...
Jenny Saks
Sid Silvers ...
'Gunny' Saks
...
'Peppy' Turner
Raymond Walburn ...
Captain Dingby
Alan Dinehart ...
McKay
...
'Mush' Tracy
Juanita Quigley ...
Sally Saks
Georges ...
Himself,
Jalna ...
Herself
Reginald Gardiner ...
Policeman
Barnett Parker ...
Floorwalker
J. Marshall Smith ...
Member of The Foursome
Edit

Storyline

Sailor Ted meets at the Lonely Hearts Club of his friend Gunny's wife, Jenny, a girl, Nora Paige, and falls in love. Nora wants to become a dancer on Broadway. Ted rescues the Pekinese of Lucy James, a Broadway star during a public relations campaign on his submarine. Lucy falls in love with Ted, and Ted is ordered by his Captain to meet her in a night club, in spite of the fact that he has a date with Nora. Nora, who lives with Jenny and her and Gunny's daughter, doesn't want to hear anything from Ted, after she spotted a picture of Ted and Lucy in the morning paper. Lucy convinces her manager Dinehart to stop the press campaign and tells him that she would leave the production, if another photo or article of her and Ted is published. Nora has become her understudy, and she begins to think her behaviour to Ted over. Suddenly she is fired after Dinehart told her to dance a number Lucy James called undanceable. But when Ted is told the whole story, he knows what to do. Written by Stephan Eichenberg <eichenbe@fak-cbg.tu-muenchen.de>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Screen's most amazing SPECTACLE See more »

Genres:

Musical | Comedy

Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »
Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

27 November 1936 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

L'amiral mène la danse  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Cole Porter picked James Stewart for the male lead and later said he sang "Easy to Love" as well as any professional singer. A dubbing track was prepared with baritone Jack Owens, but it was decided that Stewart's tenor voice was perfect for the song. In That's Entertainment! (1974), Stewart said, "The song had become a huge hit, even my singing wouldn't hurt it." See more »

Goofs

As Lucy James (Virginia Bruce) finishes singing "I've Got You Under My Skin," she has a lit cigarette in her right hand as she reclines on the settee. The camera angle changes, but now the cigarette has suddenly changed to a glass of champagne. See more »

Quotes

Gunny Saks: Do you realize that marriage is a national institution and that 50% of the married people are women?
See more »

Connections

Featured in That's Entertainment, Part II (1976) See more »

Soundtracks

Easy to Love
(1936) (uncredited)
Music and Lyrics by Cole Porter
Played during the opening credits and as background music
Sung by Eleanor Powell and James Stewart, Frances Langford and danced by her and Buddy Ebsen
Reprised by the cast at the end
Eleanor Powell's vocals dubbed by Marjorie Lane
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

True to the Navy
29 November 2003 | by (Kissimmee, Florida) – See all my reviews

BORN TO DANCE (Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, 1936), directed by Roy Del Ruth, is, according to its title, one starring Eleanor Powell as the one born to dance. Being the third in the series of Navy musicals produced within the year, following SHIPMATES FOREVER (Warners, 1935) with Dick Powell and Ruby Keeler; and FOLLOW THE FLEET (RKO, 1936) with Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers, the title "Born to Dance" translates itself as a musical, whether a song and dance or backstage story, being a combination of both, it gives no indication as one with a U.S. Navy background. Regardless, BORN TO DANCE ranks the best of the trio, thanks to a fine score by Cole Porter, witty dialogue, particularly from the secondary characters (Sid Silvers and Una Merkel), as well as the very young James Stewart surprisingly effective singing through his soft-spoken Fred Astaire-ish style of vocalizing.

The second of its annual Eleanor Powell musicals, BORN TO DANCE brings back her co- stars from her initial MGM musical, Broadway MELODY OF 1936, including Sid Silvers, Una Merkel, Frances Langford and Buddy Ebsen, with Virginia Bruce substituting for June Knight as the temperamental actress. As an added plus Frances Langford, who, in Broadway MELODY of 1936, only participated in the song numbers, this time gets to belt out her songs and take part of the plot.

Following the opening titles with a background of musical notes (yes, this is a musical) and still silhouette dancing images of Eleanor Powell, the story opens with singing sailors submerging from a submarine and going on shore leave in New York City. Ted Parker (James Stewart) meets Nora Paige (Eleanor Powell) at a Lonely Hearts Club, managed by Jenny Saks (Una Merkel), who is married to a Ted's fellow Navy partner, "Gunny" (Sid Silvers), whom she hasn't seen in four years, and through him, is the mother of a three-year-old daughter (Juanita Quigley). While Jenny finds Gunny to be a big disappointment to her, and unwilling to tell him that he is a father, Ted finds himself becoming very much interested in Nora, whose ambition is to become a dancer (hense the title). Their romance is soon broken up when Lucy James (Virginia Bruce), a famous musical-comedy star, along with her press agent, James McKay (Alan Dinehart), visits Ted's ship for publicity pictures, and after her Pekinese dog falls over board with Ted jumping in to save it, McKay then makes a romance story out of it. Ted finds his time being occupied being with Lucy, and away from Nora. However, Ted arranges for Nora to get into Lucy's upcoming show as her understudy without either girl being aware as to whom was responsible for this arrangement. As Ted is going through his complications such as believing Nora to be a mother to Jenny's little girl, there is "Mush" Tracy (Buddy Ebsen) who finds time in becoming the romantic interest of another Lonely Hearts Club employee, "Peppy" Turner (Frances Langford).

Song numbers include: "Rolling Home" (sung by the Foursome Quartet, Sid Silvers, Buddy Ebsen and James Stewart); "Rap-Tap on Wood" (sung and danced by Eleanor Powell); "Hey Babe, Hey Babe" (sung by James Stewart, Eleanor Powell, Sid Silvers, Una Merkel, Buddy Ebsen and Frances Langford); "Here Comes Lucy James" (sung by sailors); "The Captain Had a Very Bad Night Last Night" (recited by Raymond Walburn); "Love Me, Love My Pekinese" (sung by Virginia Bruce/ chorus); "Easy to Love" (sung by James Stewart & Eleanor Powell); "I've Got You Under My Skin" (danced by George & Jalna/ sung by Virginia Bruce); "Easy to Love" (sung by Frances Langford/ danced by Buddy Ebsen); "Love Me, Love My Pekinese" (audition dance by Eleanor Powell); "Swinging the Jinx Away" (sung by Frances Langford/ with Buddy Ebsen/ danced by Eleanor Powell); and "Easy to Love" (sung by cast).

The other members of the cast consists of Raymond Walburn, Barnett Parker, Jonathan Hale and Reginald Gardiner, making his movie debut, in an awkward but amusing cameo as a policeman in Central Park who fantasizes himself as conducting to the score to "Easy to Love" with an unseen orchestra (only in New York!).

As with Powell's other "Broadway Melody" series, BORN TO DANCE includes moments of singing and dancing on cue, with a full orchestra playing in the background, whether it be at the Lonely Hearts Club, on the Navy vessel or in the middle of Central Park. Comedy also takes its toll in BORN TO DANCE, including Walburn as the confusing captain who can't distinguish the difference between the very tall Mush (Ebsen) and the ultra short Gunny (Silvers), asking them if they are twins, and in giving an assignment for Mush deliver an important message to a Rear Admiral Stubbins at the Brooklyn Navy Yard. Mush, however, keeps forgetting, and when he does remember, can't find Brooklyn and ends up in Yonkers; as well as Helen Troy's classic bit as sharp-tongue Brooklyn-ese switchboard operator. Troy must have been an inspiration for Lily Tomlin's comedic character in later years when appearing as a telephone operator in the late 1960s variety comedy show of LAUGH-IN.

BORN TO DANCE is light on plot, memorable on songs and well constructed with dance numbers as choreographed by Dave Gould, highlighted by the lavish but classic 13 minute finale of "Swingin' the Jinx Away" (portions would be reused again for the finale in Eleanor Powell's latter 1943 musical titled I DOOD IT, newly re-scored to appeal more to the big band era for the time of its release).

Other than having its presentations on commercial television some decades ago, the original soundtrack recording to BORN TO DANCE was displayed in record stores in the late 1970s. If there is any Eleanor Powell worth seeing, it's BORN TO DANCE, by all means, that's what she was, and does it well. Available viewing on Turner Classic Movies. (***1/2)


24 of 29 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Stuntman or Stewart? pgaryj
Cigarette Serenade? ranier
Gorges and Jalna randy-120
Eleanor Powell shula1010430
Virginia Bruce marckymarc71
Discuss Born to Dance (1936) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?