Dance, Girl, Dance
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Dance, Girl, Dance

Director: Dorothy Arzner

Cast: Dorothy Arzner, Maureen O'Hara, Louis Hayward, Lucille Ball

Based on a story by Vicki Baum (of Grand Hotel) fame, Dance, Girl, Dance finds innocent young Judy (Maureen O'Hara) journeying to the Big Apple in hopes of gaining fame as a classical dancer. Instead she ends up as the "stooge" for raucous strip-tease artist Bubbles (Lucille Ball), who


Based on a story by Vicki Baum (of Grand Hotel) fame, Dance, Girl, Dance finds innocent young Judy (Maureen O'Hara) journeying to the Big Apple in hopes of gaining fame as a classical dancer. Instead she ends up as the "stooge" for raucous strip-tease artist Bubbles (Lucille Ball), who attempts to perform ballet before leering, catcalling, unappreciative burlesque audiences. There's little love lost between Judy and Bubbles, especially when both girls fall for playboy Jimmy Harris (Louis Hayward), a rivalry that culminates in a hair-pulling, eye-scratching cat fight. Eventually, Harris's ex-wife (Virginia Field) reels him back in, and Judy is hired by ballet producer and entrepreneur Steve Adams (Ralph Bellamy). In recent years, Dance, Girl, Dance has been canonized as a feminist manifesto, due to the fact that Dorothy Arzner was the director and because of Maureen O'Hara's climactic burlesque-house speech, in which she lambastes the male spectators for their puerile chauvinism. It should be noted, however, that Arzner became director only after Roy Del Ruth pulled out of the project. Uncertain how to promote the film, RKO Radio elected to sneak it into its first-run houses without fanfare, and the result was a $400,000 loss for the studio.

Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Craig Butler
Dance, Girl, Dance was a huge flop upon its initial release, but it has grown in stature in the intervening years. While it still cannot be considered a great film, it's a much better film than was originally believed -- and one that has gained a reputation as an early attempt at making a feminist statement in a popular movie. How successful Dance is on the latter point is open to some debate. Proponents generally point to the now famous "telling off" speech in which Maureen O'Hara chastises the men who have come to gawk and drool over the female flesh that is paraded before them onstage. However, Dance makes its proto-feminist points in other ways as well, such as keeping women as the focus of the film and relegating men to the kind of non-descript roles that women often had to play. On the other hand, the glorious cat fight that rivals O'Hara's chastising speech in popularity also serves to reinforce an anti-feminist view of women. This "have it both ways" approach also affects the film's dramatic qualities, especially when it also gets into a high art vs. popular art debate. Fortunately, Dance is helped over its rough spots by Dorothy Arzner's solid direction and, especially, by its cast. O'Hara is good, but she's outshone by Lucille Ball in what is undoubtedly one of her finest big screen performances. Tough, tart, ambitious, and selfish, but also able to have sympathy for others, Ball makes Bubbles a truly memorable character. The rest of the cast is generally quite good, but Ball is exceptional.

Product Details

Release Date:
Original Release:
Turner Home Ent
Region Code:

Special Features

Vintage comedy short Just a Clue Kid; Classic cartoon Malibu Beach Party; Subtitles: English & Français (Main feature. Bonus material/trailer may not be subtitled).

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Maureen O'Hara Judy O'Brien
Louis Hayward Jimmy Harris
Lucille Ball Bubbles/Tiger Lily White
Ralph Bellamy Steve Adams
Virginia Field Elinor Harris
Walter Abel Judge
Maria Ouspenskaya Mme. Lydia Basilova
Mary Carlisle Sally
Katherine Alexander Miss Olmstead
Edward S. Brophy Dwarfie
Harold Huber Hoboken Gent
Ernest Truex Bailey No. 1
Chester Clute Bailey No. 2
Lorraine Krueger Dolly
Lola Jensen Daisy
Emma Dunn Mrs. Simpson
Sidney Blackmer Puss In Boots
Vivien Fay Lead Ballerina
Ludwig Stossel Caesar
Erno Verebes Fitch
Wade Boteler Actor
Paul E. Burns Actor
Leo Cleary Clerk
Clyde Cook Claude
Gino Corrado Waiter
Kernan Cripps Bailiff
Paul Fung Chinese Waiter
Lew Harvey Actor
Milt Kibbee Actor
Bob McKenzie Fat Man
Philip Morris Policeman
Robert E. O'Connor Actor
Lee Phelps Plainclothesman
Paul Phillips Reporter
Dewey Robinson Nightclub Manager
Ralph Sanford Taxi Driver
Lee Shumway Policeman
Harry Tyler Barker
Lee "Lasses" White Stage Manager
Marjorie Woodworth Jane

Technical Credits
Dorothy Arzner Director
James H. Anderson Asst. Director
Frank Davis Screenwriter
Harry E. Edington Producer
Chester Forrest Score Composer
Ernst Matray Choreography
Hugh McDowell Sound/Sound Designer
Russell Metty Cinematographer
Van Nest Polglase Art Director
Erich Pommer Producer
Darrell Silvera Set Decoration/Design
Tess Slesinger Screenwriter
Edward Stevenson Costumes/Costume Designer
Vernon Walker Special Effects
Edward Ward Score Composer,Musical Direction/Supervision
Robert Wise Editor
Robert Wright Score Composer

Scene Index

Disc #1 -- Dance, Girl, Dance
1. Credits [1:19]
2. Raiding the Joint [3:03]
3. Jimmy Shifts Girls [3:22]
4. Be Good to Ferdinand [2:35]
5. Reno Business [3:22]
6. Need for Oomph [3:13]
7. Bubbles Shows 'em How [4:31]
8. Madame's Misstep [3:41]
9. Outside Looking In [4:50]
10. Urban Ballet Finale [3:21]
11. Meeting in the Rain [3:57]
12. Bubbles the Angel [3:21]
13. Mother, What Do I Do Now? [3:36]
14. Laugingstock [2:55]
15. The Jitterbug Bite [2:27]
16. The Stooge [1:58]
17. It's Twinkletoes I'm After [3:35]
18. Sneaking Out On a Date [3:17]
19. Wish On a Star [1:40]
20. Elinor's Plans [1:26]
21. Morning Star, Evening Bride [3:13]
22. Headlines and Consolation [5:11]
23. Bubbles' Bombshell [3:27]
24. Girlfight [3:18]
25. Mixed-Up About Each Other [2:57]
26. Throwing Him Back [4:28]
27. Go Ahead and Laugh [2:07]
28. Cast List [2:14]

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