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Terry O. Morse
Eddie Foy Jr.
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 <firstname.lastname@example.org>
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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