IMDb > Born to Dance (1936)
Born to Dance
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Born to Dance (1936) More at IMDbPro »

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6.8/10   990 votes »
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Popularity: ?
Down 31% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
Jack McGowan (screen play) and
Sid Silvers (screen play) ...
View company contact information for Born to Dance on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
27 November 1936 (USA) See more »
M*G*M's successor to "THE GREAT ZIEGFELD" See more »
Sailor Ted meets at the Lonely Hearts Club of his friend Gunny's wife, Jenny, a girl, Nora Paige, and falls in love... See more » | Full synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
Nominated for 2 Oscars. See more »
User Reviews:
One of the Great Movie Musicals of the 1930s See more (32 total) »


  (in credits order) (verified as complete)

Eleanor Powell ... Nora Paige

James Stewart ... Ted Barker

Virginia Bruce ... Lucy James

Una Merkel ... Jenny Saks
Sid Silvers ... 'Gunny' Saks

Frances Langford ... 'Peppy' Turner

Raymond Walburn ... Captain Dingby

Alan Dinehart ... McKay

Buddy Ebsen ... 'Mush' Tracy

Juanita Quigley ... Sally Saks
Georges ... Himself,
Jalna ... Herself

Reginald Gardiner ... Policeman

Barnett Parker ... Floorwalker
J. Marshall Smith ... Member of The Foursome
L. Dwight Snyder ... Member of The Foursome
Jay Johnson ... Member of The Foursome (as Ray Johnson)
Del Porter ... Member of The Foursome
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
The Foursome ... Sailor Quartette

Monica Bannister ... Waitress at Lonely Hearts Club (uncredited)
Bonnie Bannon ... Waitress at Lonely Hearts Club (uncredited)

Barbara Bedford ... Hector's Secretary (uncredited)
Charles Bennett ... Quartet Member (uncredited)
Joseph Bjorndahl ... Solo Bit in 'Entrance of Lucy James' Number (uncredited)
Anita Brown ... Anita - Lucy's Maid (uncredited)
Charles Coleman ... Club Continental Waiter (uncredited)
Zebedy Colt ... Boy Piano Player (uncredited)

Eddie Constantine ... Sailor (uncredited)
Diane Cook ... Girl at Lonely Hearts Club (uncredited)
Jacqueline Daix ... Chorine (uncredited)
Mary Dees ... Chorine (uncredited)
Gay DeLys ... Chorine (uncredited)
Ernie Feutz ... Quartet Member (uncredited)

James Flavin ... Ship's Officer (uncredited)
Otto Fries ... Quartet Member (uncredited)
Sig Frohlich ... Minor Role (uncredited)
Sugar Geise ... Dancer (uncredited)
Wesley Giraud ... Newsboy (uncredited)

Peter Gowland ... Dancer (uncredited)

Jonathan Hale ... Hector the Columnist (uncredited)
Sherry Hall ... Cameraman (uncredited)
Maynard Holmes ... Lonely Hearts Patron Drinking Soda (uncredited)
David S. Horsley ... Sailor (uncredited)
Shep Houghton ... Dancer (uncredited)
Alice Jans ... Chorine (uncredited)
Edna Mae Jones ... Chorine (uncredited)
Jean Joyce ... Chorine (uncredited)
Leona Keene ... Acrobat (uncredited)
Naomi Keene ... Acrobat (uncredited)
John Kelly ... Recruiting Officer (uncredited)
George King ... Assistant Stage Manager (uncredited)
Ralph Leon ... Solo Bit in 'Entrance of Lucy James' Number (uncredited)
Wally Maher ... Reporter (uncredited)
Joe Mandel ... Acrobat (uncredited)
William Mandel ... Acrobat (uncredited)
Douglas McPhail ... Solo Bit in 'Entrance of Lucy James' Number (uncredited)
Norman Nielson ... Solo Bit in 'Entrance of Lucy James' Number (uncredited)

Dennis O'Keefe ... Dancer (uncredited)
Franklin Parker ... Reporter (uncredited)
Wanda Perry ... Guest at Lonely Hearts Club (uncredited)
Gus Reed ... Quartet Member (uncredited)
Geraldine Robertson ... Chorine (uncredited)

Harry Strang ... Sailor (uncredited)

Charles Trowbridge ... Model Home Spokesman (uncredited)

Helen Troy ... McKay's Telephone Operator (uncredited)

John Tyrrell ... Reporter (uncredited)
Jean Vernon ... Chorine (uncredited)
Allan Watson ... Solo Bit in 'Entrance of Lucy James' Number (uncredited)

Bobby Watson ... Costume Designer and Assistant Stage Manager (uncredited)

June Wilkins ... Girl at Lonely Hearts Club (uncredited)
Ginger Wyatt ... Chorine (uncredited)

Directed by
Roy Del Ruth 
Writing credits
Jack McGowan (screen play) and
Sid Silvers (screen play)

Jack McGowan (from a story by) &
Sid Silvers (from a story by) and
Buddy G. DeSylva (from a story by) (as B.G. DeSylva)

Produced by
Jack Cummings .... producer
Cinematography by
Ray June (photographed by)
Film Editing by
Blanche Sewell (film editor)
Art Direction by
Cedric Gibbons 
Costume Design by
Adrian (gowns)
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
William J. Scully .... assistant director (uncredited)
Art Department
Edwin B. Willis .... associate art director
Joseph C. Wright .... associate art director (as Joseph Wright)
Sound Department
Douglas Shearer .... recording director
William Steinkamp .... sound (uncredited)
Camera and Electrical Department
Eddie Croninworth .... still photographer (uncredited)
George Hommel .... still photographer (uncredited)
Music Department
Leo Arnaud .... choral arrangements
Roger Edens .... musical arrangements
Alfred Newman .... musical director
Cole Porter .... words and music by
Edward B. Powell .... orchestrator (as Edward Powell)
Merrill Pye .... musical presentation
Delos Jewkes .... singing voice: "Rolling Home" number (uncredited)
Marjorie Lane .... singing voice: Miss Powell (uncredited)
Other crew
Dave Gould .... dance ensembles
Harvey S. Haislip .... marine advisor (as Harvey S. Haislip Commander U.S.N. Ret.)
Marilyn Kinsley .... stand-in: Miss Powell (uncredited)
Crew verified as complete

Production CompaniesDistributorsOther Companies

Additional Details

Also Known As:
106 min
Aspect Ratio:
1.37 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Mono (Western Electric Sound System)
Finland:S | UK:U | USA:Passed (National Board of Review) | USA:Approved (PCA #2707) | USA:TV-G (TV rating)

Did You Know?

James Stewart had minor role in "Murder Man," a 1936 Virginia Bruce starring vehicle.See more »
Continuity: When Nora and Jenny visit the submarine and are talking to Gunny Sacks and Tex Baker, the same ship can be seen passing at least two times.See more »
Jenny Saks:Can we visit the crows-nest?
Captain Dingby:No, under no circumstances. It's nesting season.
See more »
Movie Connections:
Edited into Grand Central Murder (1942)See more »
Hey, Babe, HeySee more »


This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.
15 out of 19 people found the following review useful.
One of the Great Movie Musicals of the 1930s, 24 April 2005
Author: gftbiloxi ( from Biloxi, Mississippi

If ever a person was truly "born to dance," it was Eleanor Powell--the first of MGM's great dancing stars and a performer still considered by many to be the single finest tap dancer to emerge from Hollywood. And with the 1936 film BORN TO DANCE, MGM offered Powell the single finest film of her entire career. Although extremely lightweight, the story of three sailors and their romantic complications has a very playful tone and witty script--which forms the perfect frame for a memorable score by the celebrated Cole Porter. The musical numbers are staged with a more subtle flash than one normally finds in 1930s musicals, and there are several complex ensemble numbers and the memorable "Easy to Love" and "I've Got You Under My Skin."

Not only was Powell a greatly gifted dancer, she was a clever comedian with a pleasing singing voice, and her playful performing style is particularly charming in such numbers as "Rap-Tap on Wood" and "Swinging the Jinx Away." Her leading man, somewhat surprisingly, is none other than James Stewart--and although he wasn't really a singer or a dancer he does extremely well with both, and he and Powell make a very entertaining couple. The entire cast is their equal, with Phil Silvers and Una Merkle amusing as bickering lovers, Buddy Ebsen demonstrating his remarkable talents as both eccentric dancer and clever comic, and Virginia Bruce the perfect femme fatale. Everything about the film sparkles and shines, right down from the sets to the polished performances. If you enjoy classic musicals of the 1930s, BORN TO DANCE is a must have! Strongly recommended.

Gary F. Taylor, aka GFT, Amazon Reviewer

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