5.3/10
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A Night in a Dormitory (1930)

Not Rated | | Comedy, Musical, Short | 5 January 1930 (USA)
The adventures of a schoolgirl in a nightclub as related by her to her dormitory sisters.

Director:

Writers:

(story) (as Benny Ryan), (story) (as Violinsky)
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
... Ginger Rogers
Ruth Hamilton ... Ruth Hamilton
... Thelma White
Si Wills ... Morgan Morly (as Morgan Morly)
Eddie Elkins ... Eddie Elkins
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Storyline

It's lights out at a young women's dormitory. One of the residents sneaks in late after everyone else has gone to bed. It's because after she and her date left the theater, they decided to extend the evening at the Melody Club. Through flashbacks of the evening, she tells another one of the now awakened girls about their time at the Melody Club. The acts included a Russian troupe performing a comedy routine with a sweet ending, Thelma White doing a song and dance number with a backup chorus of dancers, and the headliner, Ginger Rogers, singing a couple of songs. But she also tells of two men who were at the club having dinner with their dates, and the scam they pulled in trying to stiff the waiter as they had no money to pay their bill. Written by Huggo

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Comedy | Musical | Short

Certificate:

Not Rated
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

5 January 1930 (USA)  »

Filming Locations:


Company Credits

Production Co:

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(RCA Photophone System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.20 : 1
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Did You Know?

Soundtracks

Song of the Volga Boatmen
(uncredited)
Traditional
Performed with added comic lyrics
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User Reviews

 
The hazards of full employment...
15 November 2009 | by See all my reviews

...are clearly demonstrated in this musical comedy short filmed right before the stock market crash of 1929. Specifically, not only was the American economy humming at that time, so was the musical film business. Thus every chorus girl in sight was employed. Alas, what was poor Pathe, the maker of this short, to do? What they did is on full display as Thelma White sings and dances while the audience cannot look away from the carnage of the most disorganized chorus line in history going at it full throttle behind her. They are, as Thelma sings, "giving it everything now".

This adorable short starts out in a girls' dormitory as the girls whine to music about how they are not allowed to go out and have fun. The camera pans over each girl and is reminiscent of Busby Berkeley's early work, specifically the opening sequence in "The Kid From Spain". The girls go to sleep, and then one truant girl sneaks in and begins to recount the evening's exploits to one of the other girls about her time at the "Melody Club". This sets up the opportunity for some rather cute but old jokes about not paying the check, as well as the musical numbers which include the fore-mentioned one by Thelma White and two other numbers by Ginger Rogers. Alas, Ginger is also burdened with the uncoordinated chorines, but her performance is good and the tunes catchy.

One thing you'll notice about Ginger here. She is basically doing a Helen Kane imitation just as she does in her early films for Paramount including "Young Man From Manhattan". Flappers were in demand in 1929 and 1930, but the depression era public grew impatient with such fluff, and so Ginger reinvented herself, not wanting to stand in the unemployment line with Alice White. She became the tough chorine we saw in "42nd Street" during the precode years, the light dancing romantic lead in her pictures with Astaire, and then a serious actress after that. She never let trends pass her by.

In summary, this short is lots of fun. Don't let the low current rating fool you if you are a fan of the early musical films and shorts. It is really worth watching.


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