Invitation to the Dance (1956)

Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 6.4/10 from 565 users  
Reviews: 11 user | 5 critic

This is a movie where three entirely different stories are told though dancing. Words are not used and the style of dancing is different for each part. Kelly is a clown in the 'Circus'; a ... See full summary »


0Check in

On Disc

at Amazon

1 win & 1 nomination. See more awards »
Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Certificate: Passed Comedy | Drama | Musical
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

Three soldiers meet 10 years after their last meeting in New York again, and find out, that they have litte in common now.

Directors: Stanley Donen, Gene Kelly
Stars: Gene Kelly, Dan Dailey, Cyd Charisse
Summer Stock (1950)
Musical | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

A small-town farmer, down on her luck, finds her homestead invaded by a theatrical troupe invited to stay by her ne'er-do-well sister.

Director: Charles Walters
Stars: Judy Garland, Gene Kelly, Eddie Bracken
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.9/10 X  

An American boy and a French girl run away from a Swiss school making for Paris to reunite with their parents. The boy's father and the girl's mother join forces, despite cultural differences, to search for their kids.

Director: Gene Kelly
Stars: Gene Kelly, Barbara Laage, Michael Redgrave
Les Girls (1957)
Comedy | Musical
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

After writing a tell-all book about her days in the dance troupe "Barry Nichols and Les Girls", Sybil Wren (Kay Kendall) is sued for libeling her fellow dancer Angele (Taina Elg). A Rashomon... See full summary »

Director: George Cukor
Stars: Gene Kelly, Mitzi Gaynor, Kay Kendall
Musical | Romance | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

Two vaudeville performers fall in love, but find their relationship tested by the arrival of WWI.

Director: Busby Berkeley
Stars: Judy Garland, George Murphy, Gene Kelly
Brigadoon (1954)
Certificate: Passed Fantasy | Musical | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

Two Americans on a hunting trip in Scotland become lost. They encounter a small village, not on the map, called Brigadoon, in which people harbor a mysterious secret, and behave as if they were still living two hundred years in the past.

Director: Vincente Minnelli
Stars: Gene Kelly, Van Johnson, Cyd Charisse
Biography | Comedy | Musical
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

Fictionalized story of the songwriting partnership of Richard Rodgers and Lorenz Hart.

Director: Norman Taurog
Stars: Mickey Rooney, Tom Drake, June Allyson
Action | Adventure | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

D'Artagnan and his musketeer comrades thwart the plans of Royal Prime Minister Richelieu to usurp the King's power.

Director: George Sidney
Stars: Lana Turner, Gene Kelly, June Allyson
Comedy | Musical | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

The Wolves baseball team gets steamed when they find they've been inherited by one K.C. Higgins, a suspected "fathead" who intends to take an active interest in running the team. But K.C. ... See full summary »

Director: Busby Berkeley
Stars: Frank Sinatra, Esther Williams, Gene Kelly
The Pirate (1948)
Adventure | Comedy | Musical
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

A girl is engaged to the local richman, but meanwhile she has dreams about the legendary pirate Macoco. A traveling singer falls in love with her and to impress her he poses as the pirate.

Director: Vincente Minnelli
Stars: Judy Garland, Gene Kelly, Walter Slezak
Comedy | Musical
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

Leo Gogarty marries Margaud Morgan after a whirlwind romance just before shipping out to war. When he returns he is surprised to discover not only that his bride is not what she led him to ... See full summary »

Director: Gregory La Cava
Stars: Gene Kelly, Marie McDonald, Charles Winninger
On the Town (1949)
Certificate: Passed Comedy | Musical | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

Three sailors on a day of shore leave in New York City look for fun and romance before their twenty-four hours are up.

Directors: Stanley Donen, Gene Kelly
Stars: Gene Kelly, Frank Sinatra, Betty Garrett


Complete credited cast:
The Clown in 'Circus' / The Marine in 'Ring Around the Rosy' / Sinbad in 'Sinbad the Sailor'
The Lover in 'Circus' / The Artist in 'Ring Around the Rosy'
Claire Sombert ...
The Loved in 'Circus'
The Girl on the Stairs in 'Ring Around the Rosy'
Diana Adams ...
The Hatcheck Girl in 'Ring Around the Rosy'
The Sharpie in 'Ring Around the Rosy'
The Femme Fatale in 'Ring Around the Rosy'
David Paltenghi ...
The Husband in 'Ring Around the Rosy'
Daphne Dale ...
The Wife in 'Ring Around the Rosy'
Claude Bessy ...
The Model in 'Ring Around the Rosy'
Irving Davies ...
The Crooner in 'Ring Around the Rosy'
The Composer at the Piano in 'Ring Around the Rosy'
Carol Haney ...
David Kasday ...
The Genie in 'Sinbad the Sailor'


This is a movie where three entirely different stories are told though dancing. Words are not used and the style of dancing is different for each part. Kelly is a clown in the 'Circus'; a Marine in 'Ring Around the Rosy'; and Sinbad in 'Sinbad the Sailor'. Written by Tony Fontana <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

circus | sailor | genie | clown | bracelet | See All (24) »


See all certifications »




Release Date:

15 May 1956 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Circus  »

Filming Locations:

Box Office


$1,500,000 (estimated)


$600,000 (USA)

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Sound System)



Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


André Previn's music for the "Ring Around the Rosy" sequence replaced a rejected score by Malcolm Arnold. See more »


Featured in That's Dancing! (1985) See more »


Ring Around The Rosy
Music by André Previn
Conducted by André Previn
Orchestrated by Wally Heglin (uncredited)
Danced by (in ring order): Daphne Dale, Igor Youskevitch, Claude Bessy,
Tommy Rall, Belita, Irving Davies, Diana Adams, Gene Kelly,
, Tamara Toumanova, and David Paltenghi
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

Good film for a special audience.
15 February 2015 | by (Buffalo, New York) – See all my reviews

Invitation To The Dance took three years to make and it was a labor of love for Gene Kelly. Too bad for him that the public didn't take to it. But it was a film aimed at a highly specialized audience, those lovers of the ballet and other forms of dance.

Around the time that Kelly was winning plaudits for Singing In The Rain he pitched the idea to the MGM studio heads and having just starring in a film that many claim as the greatest musical ever made, he was in a position of considerable leverage. To cheapen costs MGM shot it over in the United Kingdom and this does explain Kelly's appearance in a pair of British films, Crest Of The Wave and The Devil Makes Three while putting together his dance film.

All this is according to the Citadel Film series book on Gene Kelly's films and then because the third and the best sequence was to be done with animated figures like Kelly's famous dance number with Jerry Mouse in Anchors Aweigh, MGM wanted to use Hanna&Barbera their crack cartoonists. Which meant him coming back to the USA to shoot that sequence. All in all it wasn't until 1956 that Invitation To The Dance finally made it before audiences.

The story I found most astounding was Andre Previn who was brought in to score the second sequence about a piece of jewelry making the rounds. MGM didn't like the original score, but the sequence had already been shot. So Previn had to score a ballet which had already been shot with another man's music. No small feat indeed and more production delays.

All this for what was really a film that should have had limited art house release. But MGM didn't do art house type films and they wanted their money back some how.

The three sequences all have Kelly in them, MGM would have it no other way. The first casts Kelly as a Pagliacci type clown in a circus dance drama. The second is as I described before. The third has Kelly as a sailor who gets a magic lamp and a genie appears. It is the best of them.

I'm sure Gene Kelly was disappointed in the lack of applause from a mass audience for Invitation To The Dance. It's a good film, but definitely for a special audience.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
A Real Yawner Tapestry6
Still Photos and DVD reuvain-1
Credit for the Little Sailor? pschearer
The 4 episodes silverlea
Laugh, Clown, Laugh nospar122
A silent movie about dance, in color mdonln
Discuss Invitation to the Dance (1956) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for: