6.2/10
272
11 user 3 critic

We Were Dancing (1942)

Two titled aristocrats support themselves by being professional house guests in the homes of star-struck American nouveau riche.

Director:

Robert Z. Leonard

Writers:

Noël Coward (play) (as Noel Coward), Claudine West (screenplay) | 2 more credits »
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Norma Shearer ... Victoria Anastasia 'Vicki' Wilomirska
Melvyn Douglas ... Nicholas Eugen August Wolfgang 'Nikki' Prax, aka Mr. Manescu
Gail Patrick ... Linda Wayne
Lee Bowman ... Hubert Tyler
Marjorie Main ... Judge Sidney Hawkes
Reginald Owen ... Major Berty Tyler-Blane
Alan Mowbray ... Grand Duke Basil
Florence Bates ... Mrs. Elsa Vanderlip
Heather Thatcher ... Mrs. Tyler-Blane
Connie Gilchrist ... Olive Ransome
Nella Walker ... Mrs. Janet Bentley
Florence Shirley Florence Shirley ... Mrs. Charteris
Russell Hicks ... Mr. Bryce-Carew
Norma Varden ... Mrs. Bryce-Carew
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Storyline

Princess Victoria 'Vicki' Wilomirska and Baron Nicholas Eugen August Wolfgang 'Nikki' Prax are expatriate European nobles with no assets or property except their aristocratic pedigrees. They have become professional house guests at homes of socially ambitious nouveau riche Americans who want the prestige of playing hosts to these titled spongers. However, when Vicki and Nikki want to get married, they find that married royals are not in demand as eligibly unmarried ones. Ultimately one of these socially attractive, unambitious bluebloods will have to do the unthinkable and actually get a job. Written by duke1029@aol.com

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

The hilarious story of two lovable chiselers. See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Romance

Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English | French | Polish

Release Date:

18 September 1942 (Mexico) See more »

Also Known As:

A Valsa Irresistível See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM) See more »
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

Many cast members in studio records/casting call lists did not appear or were not identifiable in the movie. These were (with their character names, if any): Philip Ahn (Chinaman), Meeka Aldrich (Housemaid), Richard Alexander (Moving man), Polly Bailey (Flower woman), Alex Callam (Clerk), Bill Fisher (Train conductor), Dennis Hoey (Prince Wilomirsky), Esther Michelson (Headwaiter's wife), Harold Minjir (Beverly), Alan Napier (Captain Blackstone), Lionel Pape (Englishman), John Piffle (Dutchman), Paul Porcasi (Manager of Duquense), George Reed (Butler at Blane's house), Sig Ruman (Baron Prax), Tim Ryan, Charles Sullivan (Train announcer), Jacques Vanaire (Beverly's assistant) and 'Ian Wolfe'. Also, Ava Gardner supposedly made her motion picture debut in this film in a crowd scene, but she is not identifiable. See more »

Quotes

Nicholas Eugen August Wolfgang 'Nikki' Prax, aka Mr. Manescu: Well, let's admit that the defendant's not a very solid sort of fellow. But, has he no redeeming qualities? Haven't you laughed with him because he was gay? Forgiven him because he knew his weaknesses? Regretted him because he loved you with a passion?
See more »

Connections

Version of Tonight at 8:30 (1952) See more »

Soundtracks

The Wedding March
(1843) (uncredited)
from "A Midsummer Night's Dream, Op.61"
Music by Felix Mendelssohn-Bartholdy
Whistled by Melvyn Douglas
Played also as part of the score
See more »

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User Reviews

 
lovely to look at, but as empty as a soufflé
17 November 2017 | by richard-1787See all my reviews

I have never seen Norma Shearer look more beautiful than she does in this picture - and that's saying a lot. Nor is she as mannered as in some of her better-known pictures, like *The Women*. Melvyn Douglas, one of my favorite actors, also looks great here.

Unfortunately, there isn't anything to the script. They and the rest of the cast, some of them very fine actors, are left with nothing to work with.

There is no pacing here either. We just go from one scene to the next with no sense of forward motion. Compare it to *The Women*, for example, which builds to the great final scene where all the women come together and destroy Joan Crawford's character. Or better yet, compare it to another film directed by Robert Z. Leonard just two years before, *Pride and Prejudice*, which is one of the most perfectly paced movies I have ever seen.

Perhaps this has something to do with the fact that this 95 minute movie was based on a one-act play, and had to be padded.

Perhaps the play on which is it based, Noel Coward's one-acter of the same name, just isn't very good. The best of Coward is fun when done well by any cast, but I've encountered some Coward plays, like *Conversation Piece*, that only seem to work when he's in them. He was a very good actor in his own way, and could make uninteresting dialogue sound very clever just by the way he delivered it. Coward premiered this play with himself and Gertrude Lawrence, one of his great partners, in the leads in both London and New York. Their way of working with dialogue together may well have had a lot to do with the play's initial success, more than the play itself.

I wasn't bored. Shearer was so beautiful, I spent much of the time just looking at her face. The lead characters have no real depth, so it took no great acting to portray them. Nor are they particularly interesting or attractive. They are leaches who live off the nouveau riche, whom they disdain, so they really aren't particularly likable. You can imagine some of the dialogue appealing to New York theater goers in the 1930s when it was still fashionable to make fun of people simply because they came from Des Moines or Buffalo or Ashtabula or ..... I can't imagine this movie having a lot of success outside a few big cities, though. It's sophistication is pretty thin.


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