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This is the story of an egotistical nightclub dance performer named Raoul, his determination to succeed at all costs, and the only woman in his life that truly matters to him, a dancing partner named Helen. (The highlight of the film is a dance performed atop a circular stage to a truncated version of Ravel's "Bolero.")Written by
Eugene Kim <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Marice Ravel's symphonic orchestra composition "Bolero" premiered in Paris in 1929, which became the rage of the Parisienne concert stage. Adolf Zukor, in charge of the Hollywood Paramount Film Studios, from 1916-1936, demanded to own the "Bolero" music's film rights following the international success of "Bolero", assuming "Bolero" was an opera. Adolf Zukor didn't know he was not buying an opera. Upon the acquisition, of "Bolero," the story department had to come up with a scenario to use the title "Bolero" for a Paramount feature film. See more »
This is a dance film very much in the classic mold. An arrogant but popular dancer is dumped by his/her partner/lover and takes a new partner in order to win a contest against the former, only to fall in love again, this time for real.
"Saturday Night Fever" any one?
What makes this movie so worth watching is not the plot, nor even the dancing: it is the manner in which it is presented.
George Raft, sleazy as ever, tells Carole Lombard, who has come to audition in his hotel room, to do so in her underwear. She complies without complaint. Later in the film Sally Rand performs her famous Fan Dance. Properly done, a woman hides her complete nudity behind two enormous ostrich feather fans, while keeping herself and the fans in constant motion.
It is safe to say that neither of these scenes would have been possible a year later, nor for another thirty after that.
If you enjoy precode films, and would like to see how far the studios would go in order to get those depression dollars, or could go to irritate the censors, this is a fine example.
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