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On Your Toes (1939)

Approved | | Music, Comedy | 14 October 1939 (USA)
A young hoofer quits vaudeville to become a composer and hooks up with a Russian ballet troupe.



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


Complete credited cast:
Phil Dolan Jr.
Paddy Reilly
Phil Dolan Sr.
Ivan Boultonoff
Peggy Porterfield
Mrs. Dolan
Konstantin Morrisine
Donald Henderson
Phil Jr. as a Boy
Sarita Wooton ...
Vera as a Girl (as Sarita Wooten)


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


Music | Comedy


Approved | See all certifications »





Release Date:

14 October 1939 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

A Dançarina Russa  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?


Originally announced to star James Cagney. See more »


Sergei Alexandrovitch: I will not give the American audiences what they want, I will give them what they ought to like.
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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 »


Song of the Volga Boatman
Hummed by Alan Hale when Ivan takes Junior upstairs to the hotel room
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User Reviews

Disappointing version of great Rodgers and Hart show
22 April 2013 | by See all my reviews

I had the pleasure of seeing the revival of this marvelous Rodgers and Hart show when it played San Francisco some years ago. The CD is available and should be mentioned as it is the only complete recording to be had. I agree with all the reviews previously mentioned on this site and also enjoyed Donald O'Connor in his early days. Eddie Albert did very well and probably was cast since he was well received in R&H's "Boys From Syracuse" which was tremendously successful as was "On Your Toes".

My disappointment arises from the same comments previously made; the missing wonderful lyrics of Larry Hart,the inane shenanigans of the Russian characters played by very capable actors, the waste of not thinking of casting Bolger, minimizing Junior's worth by not recognizing he is a music professor in the original play, and missing the opportunity of capturing a piece of Broadway history.

Anything, however, that captures what Rodgers and Hart did for the American theatre world deserves preservation on film.

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