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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 »



(screen play), (screen play) | 3 more credits »
Nominated for 2 Oscars. See more awards »
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Cast overview, first billed only:
Lucy James
Jenny Saks
Sid Silvers ...
'Gunny' Saks
'Peppy' Turner
Captain Dingby
'Mush' Tracy
Sally Saks
Georges ...
Jalna ...
J. Marshall Smith ...
Member of The Foursome


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


Screen's most amazing SPECTACLE See more »


Musical | Comedy


Passed | See all certifications »




Release Date:

27 November 1936 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

L'amiral mène la danse  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Originally planned as a vehicle for the British star Jessie Matthews, whose home studio Gaumont-British ultimately decided against sending her to Hollywood. See more »


The opening scene is set aboard a submarine entering New York Harbor while submerged at periscope depth. Her skipper would have brought her in while surfaced - the risk of collision in a busy port is substantial. See more »


Jenny Saks: Can we visit the brig? There's a man I'd like to see in it. Uh, I mean, I want to see a man who's in it.
See more »


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


Swingin' the Jinx Away
(1936) (uncredited)
(Also called "Swinging the Jinx Away")
Music and Lyrics by Cole Porter
Played during the opening credits
Sung by Frances Langford, Buddy Ebsen, The Foursome and male chorus
Danced by Buddy Ebsen and Eleanor Powell
See more »

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User Reviews

A rollicking good time Depression Era movie
6 January 2005 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

From the rollicking opening of the camaraderie of a returning U.S. submarine crew to the booming "Great Guns" of the movie's finale, it's easy to understand why this movie was an antidote to the Depression Era. I personally discovered Eleanor Powell for the first time in this movie. She sure knows how to dance! Jimmy Stewart, who plays a clean cut sailor in this film, shows his talent, not just as an actor but as a singer and dancer as well. A little known Sid Silvers, who plays "Gunny Saks"in this movie is a short, stocky energetic dynamo who probably deserves more recognition, also is credited for the screenplay of the movie. Another actress I discovered for the first time when I saw this movie was Virginia Bruce and she is captivating in the musical number aboard the submarine with her Pekingese companion, "Cheeky". I had recognized the name but another actress who I had little knowledge of was Frances Langford and she is natural to dance with the young boot scooting Buddy Ebson. All of the other character actors in this film are a joy to see. The no-expense-spared musical number at the end of this movie is inspiring. Out of all the movies, I own, I watch this one over and over again, especially when I'm in a good mood.

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