6.8/10
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Born to Dance (1936)

Passed | | Musical, Comedy | 27 November 1936 (USA)
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 »
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On TV

Airs Sun. Jan. 29, 8:15 AM on TCM

Nominated for 2 Oscars. See more awards »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
Lucy James
...
Jenny Saks
Sid Silvers ...
'Gunny' Saks
...
'Peppy' Turner
...
Captain Dingby
...
McKay
...
'Mush' Tracy
...
Sally Saks
Georges ...
Himself,
Jalna ...
Herself
...
Policeman
...
Floorwalker
J. Marshall Smith ...
Member of The Foursome
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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:

M*G*M's successor to "THE GREAT ZIEGFELD" See more »

Genres:

Musical | Comedy

Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »
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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  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The submarine shown entering New York harbor at the beginning of the film is USS Pike (SS-173). 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

McKay's Telephone Operator: He went out 15 minutes ago for 5 minutes and won't be back for a half an hour.
See more »

Connections

Featured in That's Entertainment! (1974) See more »

Soundtracks

Hey, Babe, Hey
(1936)
Music and Lyrics by Cole Porter
Sung and danced by Eleanor Powell, James Stewart, Sid Silvers, Una Merkel, Frances Langford, Buddy Ebsen and The Foursome
Eleanor Powell's vocals dubbed by Marjorie Lane
Hummed by Una Merkel
Played also as background music
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Character actors shine! Movie a wellspring of comedy.
5 May 2008 | by (Ottawa, Canada) – See all my reviews

There are so many reasons to like this musical comedy. Firstly, the Cole Porter songs. Secondly, the bits with character actors: Charles Trowbridge as a model home spokesman with stiff upper lip (movie butlers probably took notes); Reginald Gardiner as a policeman in Central Park who conducts an invisible orchestra (his wild, flopping hair and frantic moves are much like Danny Kaye as a music teacher in The Secret Life of Walter Mitty, 1947); Helen Troy as McCoy's telephone operator must be the inspiration for Lily Tomlin's snooty switchboard gal on Rowan & Martin's Laugh-In in the late 1960s; and Virginia Bruce singing 'Love Me, Love My Pekinese' is sheer Gilbert & Sullivan in its wit (the cast is smiling behind the lead stars because they know it's a very funny number.

As for the stars, Elenore Powell is especially good at tap dancing and OK at singing. James Stewart has charm and good looks but hardly dances, and he sings much like Fred Astaire (who was a top-notch dancer). In fact, Elenore Powell, in this screenplay, is a dancer who's an understudy for a singer. This detail is never explained.

This movie may have been a wellspring not only for comedy but also for a music video. The big finale number 'Swingin' The Jinx Away' is set on a typical musical comedy battleship, with its big guns pointing out at the camera. It looks like that idea was used for Cher's 1991 music video 'If I Could Turn back Time', only using a real battleship.


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