5.9/10
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24 user 11 critic

Dance, Fools, Dance (1931)

Approved | | Crime, Drama, Romance | 7 February 1931 (USA)
After the death of her father and loss of the family fortune, Bonnie gets a job as a cub reporter while her brother becomes involved in bootlegging.

Director:

Harry Beaumont

Writers:

Aurania Rouverol (story), Aurania Rouverol (dialogue) | 1 more credit »
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Joan Crawford ... Bonnie Jordan
Lester Vail ... Bob Townsend
Cliff Edwards ... Bert Scranton
William Bakewell ... Rodney Jordan
William Holden William Holden ... Stanley Jordan
Clark Gable ... Jake Luva
Earle Foxe ... Wally Baxter (as Earl Foxe)
Purnell Pratt ... Parker (as Purnell B. Pratt)
Hale Hamilton ... Mr. Selby
Natalie Moorhead ... Della
Joan Marsh ... Sylvia
Russell Hopton ... Whitey
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Storyline

After her father Stanley Jordan loses his wealth in market, Bonnie goes to work as a cub reporter. Her brother Rodney is the wheel man in a gangland massacre. Bert, a reporter on Bonnie's paper, is murdered while investigating. Bonnie gets to know gang leader Jake Luva and learns how the gang works and that her brother is involved. By the time it's over her wealthy friend Bob sees how wonderful she is and falls in love with her for good. Written by Ed Stephan <stephan@cc.wwu.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Crime | Drama | Romance

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

7 February 1931 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Danzad, locos, danzad See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

In real life, the St. Valentine's Day Massacre occurred on February 14, 1929 while the Stock Exchange Crash happened on October 29, 1929. In this film the Crash occurs first. See more »

Goofs

When Rodney comes into the yacht cabin to find Bonnie blow-drying her hair, she looks up at him and her hair is a frizzy mess. In the very next shot, her hair is perfectly styled. See more »

Quotes

Bob: You know I'm very much in love with you, don't you?
Bonnie: Are you?
Bob: I'm crazy about you, and you know it.
Bonnie: I didn't know.
Bob: Well, you know it now. What about it?
Bonnie: That's it... what?
Bob: Going to make me stand on ceremony?
Bonnie: You think I'm so old-fashioned?
Bob: I hope not.
Bonnie: You're right. I'm not. I believe in... in trying love out.
[...]
See more »

Connections

Edited into Hollywood: The Dream Factory (1972) See more »

Soundtracks

Piano Sonata No. 14 in C Sharp Minor, Op.27 No.2 (Moonlight Sonata)
(1800-01) (uncredited)
Written by Ludwig van Beethoven
Played on piano by Natalie Moorhead
Reprised on piano by Joan Crawford in a swing version
See more »

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User Reviews

Good Old Thing
30 January 2014 | by mukava991See all my reviews

"Dance, Fools, Dance" is one of the better movies of 1931. Its topics (the spoiled and not-so- spoiled rich, the choices we make between the easy way and the hard way, alcoholism, the newspaper and bootlegging games) have ongoing resonance; it moves swiftly; Joan Crawford is beautiful and arresting even if she gets a little too arch with some of her line readings in the early scenes; the main supporting players are all distinct and effective representatives of their types; the dialogue is frequently snappy.

Bonnie Jordan, a passionate young socialite (Crawford), is introduced saying to her boyfriend during a dull midnight party on a yacht, "If something doesn't happen, l'll die!" whereupon the boyfriend suggests that all of the young hedonists strip and jump into the ocean for kicks. Since this was 1930, they only strip to their fancy underwear, but the point is made. These are flaming and privileged youth who just wanted to have fun. Unfortunately for Bonnie and her alcoholic brother Rodney (William Bakewell – whatever happened to him? He is terrific in this) their indulgent father drops dead after taking a beating on the stock market and they are left penniless (which in MGM terms translates into sharing a high-ceilinged two-bedroom apartment) and—to the horror of the son—have to get jobs. Bonnie, the more mature of the pair, uses a family social connection to land a spot as a cub reporter covering garden parties and the like for the city newspaper where she befriends a fellow newshound (Cliff Edwards at his peculiar best). Good newsroom shot: The camera pans from one typewriter to another revealing each reporter's story as it's being banged out. Meanwhile, Rodney, desperate to make easy money, agrees to drum up business for a hardened bootlegger (Clark Gable) by persuading his wealthy liquor-consuming former friends to switch to Gable's suppliers. This all leads to big trouble, eventually involving Bonnie, which in turns leads to Gable and Crawford in their first screen pairing.

And now for the highlight of the film: Gable and Crawford are now displayed front and center on a sofa in Gable's lair. The screen smolders as these two ferally attractive and impeccably decorated young stars go to it – rugged Gable in starched white shirt and black jacket; Crawford in her shimmering satin; he forcing kiss after kiss, first on each of her cheeks as she tries to turn her lips away from his, and then finally hitting the mark. Cinema magic. Another kind of intensity emanates from Natalie Moorhead, as Gable's erstwhile female companion, who gives him the eye as she blows out the flame of his cigarette lighter. Moorhead always made the most of her limited screen time (no more than a few minutes here).

Oh, and we get to see Crawford do one of those lead-footed dances she was forced to perform in early talkies. She has energy, spirit and determination to spare but very little grace.


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