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The Skeleton Dance (1929) - Plot Summary Poster

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Summaries

  • The night promises to be a scary one. Lightning flashes. The wind howls. A tree branch in the shape of a hand seems to grab for a frightened owl that spins its head around like a top. The clock on the church tower strikes midnight, sending the bats flying out of the belfry. Two cats on gravestones fight by pulling and stretching each other's noses like taffy. A skeleton rises from behind a gravestone, frightening the fur off the cats. But an owl's hooting scares it, and it retaliates by throwing its skull and knocking the bird's feathers off. It's time for the skeletons to dance; and they perform as no living creatures could.

  • The clock strikes midnight, the bats fly from the belfry, a dog howls at the full moon, and two black cats fight in the cemetery: a perfect time for four skeletons to come out and dance a bit.


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Synopsis

  • The night promises to be a scary one. Lightning flashes. The wind howls. A tree branch in the shape of a hand seems to grab for a frightened owl that spins its head around like a top. The clock on the church tower strikes midnight, sending the bats flying out of the belfry. Two cats on gravestones fight by pulling and stretching each other's noses like taffy. A skeleton rises from behind a gravestone, frightening the fur off the cats. But an owl's hooting scares it, and it retaliates by throwing its skull and knocking the bird's feathers off.

    It's time for the skeletons to dance; and they perform as no living creatures could. They break apart into individual bones and then come back together again. They stretch and shrink into impossible shapes. They use each other as pogo sticks. One breaks off the two thigh bones of another and plays "March of the Dwarves" on its ribs like a xylophone. Another uses one of its bones as a bow and plays a cat's tail as if it were a stringed instrument. When the rooster crows, the skeletons fly into a panic, rushing at one another and smashing together to form a giant horse-like creature with many legs and four skulls stacked one upon the other.

    The creature dives into an open grave, knocking the stone lid over itself. But a pair of shinbones with feet are left behind, and they kick the stone to get in. A bony hand reaches out and grabs them. The skeleton dance is done.

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