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On Your Toes (1939)

Approved  |   |  Music, Comedy  |  14 October 1939 (USA)
5.8
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Ratings: 5.8/10 from 128 users  
Reviews: 9 user | 1 critic

A young hoofer quits vaudeville to become a composer and hooks up with a Russian ballet troupe.

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Writers:

(screen play), (screen play), 5 more credits »
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Vera Zorina ...
Vera Barnova
...
Phil Dolan Jr.
...
Sergei Alexandrovitch
Frank McHugh ...
Paddy Reilly
...
Phil Dolan Sr.
Leonid Kinskey ...
Ivan Boultonoff
Gloria Dickson ...
Peggy Porterfield
Queenie Smith ...
Mrs. Dolan
Erik Rhodes ...
Konstantin Morrisine
...
Donald Henderson
...
Phil Jr. as a Boy
Sarita Wooton ...
Vera as a Girl (as Sarita Wooten)
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Storyline

Junior Donal, an ex-vaudevillian now teaching music at Knickerbocker University in New York, enlists to help of patroness Peggy Portefield to persuade Sergei Alexandrovich, the director of the Russian Ballet, to stage a friend's jazzy "Slaughter on Tenth Avenue" ballet. Junior becomes involved with the company's prima ballerina, Vera Barnova, and even takes over the male lead in "Slaughter". This so enrages Vera's lover and regular dancing partner that he hires two thugs to kill Junior while he is performing on stage. Written by Alessandro Martini <alemartini@geocities.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Music | Comedy

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

14 October 1939 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

A Dançarina Russa  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Several people in studio records/casting call lists as cast members did not appear or were not identifiable in the movie. These were (with their character names): Tommy Bupp (Boy) and Nat Carr, Billy Wayne, Bert Hanlon and Frank Orth (Vaudevillians) See more »

Crazy Credits

Lorenz Hart, the lyricist for the original Broadway show, receives onscreen credit, but his lyrics are never sung at all in the film. See more »


Soundtracks

Oh, You Beautiful Doll
(1911) (uncredited)
Music by Nat Ayer
Second number performed by the Dancing Dolans, repeated during the vaudeville bits
Danced by Donald O'Connor, Queenie Smith and James Gleason
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Meager results considering it was a Broadway hit...
11 April 2006 | by (U.S.A.) – See all my reviews

Except for the wonderful musical arrangement of "Slaughter on Tenth Avenue", the choreography looks less than inspired as danced by VERA ZORINA and EDDIE ALBERT. Especially if one has seen Gene Kelly and Vera-Ellen do the number in a fantastic musical highlight from WORDS AND MUSIC. And the less said about the weak comedy routines, the better.

The only compensations in this weak transfer from stage to screen (in which "There's A Small Hotel" has been relegated to background music), is the pleasant cast. Eddie Albert is his usual charming self, gifted at comedy and easily stealing most of the scenes with his nonchalant genius for comic roles. Vera Zorina demonstrates that she could act, when called upon, but her role is the stereotyped diva in distress that any capable actress could do with her eyes shut.

Alan Hale, Leonid Kinskey, Donald O'Connor (as a boy hoofer), and Frank McHugh do their standard professional jobs in assorted light comedy roles--but despite their flair, most of the one-liners fall flat.

Surely, this was a more exciting event on Broadway than it appears in its screen incarnation with Ray Bolger appearing opposite Vera Zorina. Too little time expended on a worthwhile script and too many songs missing from the original stage musical. The result is a routine backstage musical with only the "Slaughter" ballet to redeem it.


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