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Dance, Girl, Dance (1940)

Approved | | Comedy, Drama, Musical | 30 August 1940 (USA)
Judy O'Brien is an aspiring ballerina in a dance troupe. Also in the company is Bubbles, a brash mantrap who leaves the struggling troupe for a career in burlesque. When the company ... See full summary »


, (uncredited)


(screen play), (screen play) | 1 more credit »

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Cast overview, first billed only:
Jimmy Harris
Elinor Harris
Steve Adams
Madame Lydia Basilova
Miss Olmstead
Dwarfie Humblewinger
Hoboken Gent
Bailey #1
Bailey #2
Lorraine Krueger ...
Lola Jensen ...


Judy O'Brien is an aspiring ballerina in a dance troupe. Also in the company is Bubbles, a brash mantrap who leaves the struggling troupe for a career in burlesque. When the company disbands, Bubbles gives Judy a thankless job as her stooge. The two eventually clash when both fall for the same man. Written by Daniel Bubbeo <dbubbeo@cmp.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Heartbreak Behind Gayety of a Girly-Girl Show!


Comedy | Drama | Musical


Approved | See all certifications »




Release Date:

30 August 1940 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

A Vida é uma Dança  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(RCA Recording System) (as R C A Recording System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Lucille Ball and Maureen O'Hara became inseparable friends while shooting this film, and remained lifelong friends until Ball's death in 1989. O'Hara was having lunch with her when Ball first saw her future husband Desi Arnaz. See more »


Bubbles: Listen, squirt! I don't fall in gutters. I pick my spots.
See more »


Referenced in Lucy (2003) See more »


Morning Star
Music by Edward Ward
Lyrics by Chet Forrest (as Chester Forrest) and Bob Wright (as Robert Wright)
Sung by an unidentified singer in a nightclub (uncredited)
See more »

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User Reviews

Beautiful, powerful movie
22 January 2002 | by (Saint Paul, MN) – See all my reviews

I love classical Hollywood as much as anyone I know, but I am also aware that the films are often mechanical and emotionally distant. Very few reach the level of Dance, Girl, Dance. The plot is great. It is not exactly original, but it seemed that way to me. I was entirely hypnotized. This is due to the direction, characterizations, and acting. This is one of the few Hollywood films of the era directed by a woman, Dorothy Arzner. Generally, you can't tell this fact, except for in the climactic scene of the film, where Maureen O'Hara delivers a powerful feminist speech. The direction is amazing, but it's definitely subtle and sometimes hard to catch. All the characters in this film, especially the lead two, are very well realized. They're people, and we believed them. The acting is the best of all. Lucille Ball may be best known for her television show, but she was a great movie actress, as well. I can't say that I've seen too many of her films, but it would shock me if she was ever better than she is in Dance, Girl, Dance. She is the spark of the film, and Maureen O'Hara is the emotional core. I think that her part represents one of the best female characters to be found in the cinema. O'Hara is simply fabulous as a ballet dancer who has to lower her artistic standards to make a living. And, like I mentioned before, listen for that speech she gives near the end of the film. I hadn't heard of this film before. I had never heard of Dorothy Arzner. I love the feeling that I've made a major cinematic discovery. This is most definitely one of those. 10/10.

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