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Managed to get this film after many years and am a big fan of Carole Landis who was a great talented actress and never got the right breaks in Hollywood. Carole made many films and this particular film was great with Cesar Romero, (Duke McKay) a dance hall manager who hired Lily Brown,(Landis) as a singer and the two of them fight like cats and dogs. Duke McKay is a ladies man who gets involved with most of the women who visit his dance hall or work for him as waitresses. Lily puts Duke in his place and plays hard to get, but deep down she likes the guy more that he realizes. Carol Landis sings all of the songs in this picture and looked radiant through out the picture and these two actors made this a great Classic 1941 film. Carol was also great in the film, "I Wake Up Screaming".
This is a terrific film. No masterpiece of film making, just lots of
entertainment value and fun.
Sharpie dude Cesar Romero is the manager of a dance hall in an amusement park in Pennsylvania back in 1941. He drives a snazzy convertible car and spends the rest of his time punching out troublemakers at the dance hall, dancing and flirting with pretty girls to big Swing bands and gambling with his buddies. What a great life! Into the dance hall one night walks delicious singer Carole Landis. Romero is hooked from the moment he sees her.
Romero's nice guy buddy Joe plays the piano and leads the band at the dance hall with Romero keeping an eye out for his welfare in life. In the meantime, Joe has eyes for the cutie pie waitress in the restaurant of the hotel that everyone there seems to live in.
Landis begins her gig at the dance hall with a nice dissolve from her rehearsing one afternoon with Joe at the piano with her wearing ordinary street clothes to a sweet crane shot of her in a glamorous gown standing in front of a big band playing a Glenn Miller style ballad. All the boys and men in the house go gaa gaa over her as they ogle her while she sings "There's Something In the Air".
Landis keeps resisting Romero's advances and winds up walking home one evening along a country road after she and Romero have had a spat. Along comes nice guy Max and gives her a ride back to town. He's smitten, too.
The rest of the film revolves around more of the same plot and the picture is about as entertaining a "B" film as you could ever hope to see.
Lots of fine music from the beginning with the band playing some generic Swing number as crowds of people swarm into the dance hall.
There are any number of 'plug tunes' from other 20th Century-Fox pictures of the moment, as well as some nice Lindy Hopping by noted dancers Dean Collins and Jewel McGowan in what may be their only speaking roles on film - "Shoot the torso to me, Toots!" and "What are you, a chiropractor, anyway?" Immortality!
For what this film is and it's total lack of pretension, I rate it a nine out of ten.
If you enjoyed the Glenn Miller film ORCHESTRA WIVES (which featured both Romero and Landis, btw), you will likely enjoy DANCE HALL, too, for they both have that very mellow early 1940s ambiance of an America now long vanished.
Carole Landis (Lily) arrives in town to sing at the Dance Hall which is
managed by Cesar Romero (Duke). Also at the club is pianist William
Henry (Joe) who becomes good friends with Landis. Romero and Landis
have an on-off romance which is interrupted by wealthy J Edward
This is an entertaining film due to the 2 leads, Romero and Landis, who interact well with each other throughout the story. Both bring their own highlights to the proceedings, Landis with her singing and Romero throws in a bit of dancing and has some cool mannerisms. The film is funny, the dialogue is entertaining, we see some good songs and it's all worth seeing again.
In "Dance Hall", Cesar Romero plays Duke, a tough and suave womanizer
who owns a dance hall. When he gets a new singer, Lily (Carole Landis),
he immediately starts laying on the charm in order to dry to get in her
skirt. But she'll have none of this and she realizes her boss is a
womanizer. However, through most of the rest of the film, Duke is a
perv--constantly hitting on Lily and acting like a boorish pig. By the
end of the film, Duke's not only continued to sexually harass Lily at
every turn but also cheats everyone with a lottery drawing. So what's
Lily to do? Bail him out and pretend everything is okay!!
This film illustrates many bad lessons for young men and women. First, sexual harassment is just innocent fun. Two, that a guy who sexually harasses you and cheats people is excellent boyfriend material!! So, although the acting is quite good, the story is awful and sets back the human race about 100 years. Not one of the finer moments in Hollywood history.
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