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Dance, Girl, Dance (1940)

Approved  |   |  Comedy, Drama, Musical  |  30 August 1940 (USA)
6.6
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Ratings: 6.6/10 from 1,121 users  
Reviews: 24 user | 14 critic

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 »

Directors:

, (uncredited)

Writers:

(screen play), (screen play), 1 more credit »
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Title: Dance, Girl, Dance (1940)

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
Jimmy Harris
...
Bubbles
Virginia Field ...
Elinor Harris
...
Steve Adams
Maria Ouspenskaya ...
Madame Lydia Basilova
...
Sally
Katharine Alexander ...
Miss Olmstead
Edward Brophy ...
Dwarfie Humblewinger
...
Judge
Harold Huber ...
Hoboken Gent
Ernest Truex ...
Bailey #1
Chester Clute ...
Bailey #2
Lorraine Krueger ...
Dolly
Lola Jensen ...
Daisy
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Storyline

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

Taglines:

Heartbreak Behind Gayety of a Girly-Girl Show!

Genres:

Comedy | Drama | Musical

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

30 August 1940 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

A Vida é uma Dança  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

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

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Roy Del Ruth was originally assigned to direct, but he quit over creative differences with producer Erich Pommer, so Dorothy Arzner was assigned the job. See more »

Quotes

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

Connections

Featured in Precious Images (1986) See more »

Soundtracks

Beer Barrel Polka
(uncredited)
aka "Roll Out the Barrel"
Music by Jaromir Vejvoda
Lyrics by Wladimir A. Timm (song Skoda lásky)
English lyrics by Lew Brown
Played at the Palais Royale Club
Danced and sung by Lucille Ball and the chorus girls
See more »

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User Reviews

 
"Your temperament's out of place, even down right idiotic…" And so…
29 July 2013 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

… A frustrated, chiding Ralph Bellamy confronts dancer Maureen O'Hara. And, yes., there is something "out of place" that permeates this whole film. The whole production feels dated, even for a movie made in 1940.

Dorothy Arzner, the director, started her career in the silent film era, and the movie could easily be re- imagined and visualized as a silent film. There is an absence of wit; the verbal exchanges are limp and clichéd and could easily be relegated to dialogue cards on the screen. The storyline seems to want to illuminate the challenges of women's empowerment in a man's world but fails as a "message movie" and offers only minor entertainment.

Maureen O'Hara, as Irish lass Judy O'Brien, is the demure ballerina, determined to make a career in her own way, on her own terms, and without the entanglements and compromises entailed in relationships with men. She is "sweet" on wealthy playboy Jimmy Harris but is confused by his attentions and doesn't know how to pursue the target of her infatuation. In both the world of romance and career, we see O'Hara play out the virtuous determination of a dull, stubborn girl, who can't recognize opportunity when it comes her way, and wouldn't know what to do with it if she did recognize it. Lucille Ball, is Tiger Lily White, her exact opposite. Dynamo queen of the burlesque house, Balls plays the stock figure of the brazen, gold digger, adept at manipulating and seizing any advantage that comes her way.

Ralph Bellamy and Louis Hayward, Broadway producer, and wealthy, dissolute playboy respectively, are just masculine stereotypes, templates of character types portrayed, (and to greater effect) in countless earlier films made in the 1930s.

Maria Ouspenskaya, in a supporting role as dance mentor Madame Lydia Basilova, turns up cast as an often used type: the European elderly woman for all reasons and all seasons. She's fun to watch, often unintentionally comical, for no matter her character or country of origin, she courageously carries out her performance always emoting with an unmistakable Yiddish accent and inflections.

Lucille Ball, an energetic performer when roles allowed her to expand her persona, adds some verve and energy to the storyline. She seemingly is the only cast member invested with any interest in this B movie concoction from RKO… a wan, limp example of what was known as a "women's film."


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