Lively, entertaining reviews of, and essays on, old and newer films and everything relating to them, written by professional author William Schoell.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

DANCE, GIRL, DANCE

DANCE, GIRL, DANCE (1940). Director: Dorothy Arzner.

"Bubbles is like a kid who can't stand it if a kid has one marble even if she's got twenty."

Madame Basilova (Maria Ouspenskaya) has a rag tag group of girls with whom she hopes to re-enter the big time. The only one who gets any offers is the spirited "Bubbles" (Lucille Ball), who soon becomes known as "Tiger Lily White", burlesque queen. She gets the theater to hire the more sedate Judy (Maureen O'Hara) to do her ballet specialty, but on her first night Judy realizes she's only meant to be Bubbles' stooge as the men boo and hiss her and call for Tiger Lily. The women are also rivals for Jimmy Harris (Louis Hayward), who is carrying a torch for his ex-wife Elinor (Virginia Field). In the meantime, dance producer Steve Adams (Ralph Bellamy) is, unbeknownst to Judy, highly interested in her and her career. O'Hara, Hayward and Field are all fine, but Lucille steals the show in a role which is nothing at all like her famous "Lucy" of TV fame. Hard-boiled but lovable, this tough dame also scintillates in her musical numbers. The famous cat fight between the two women is much too brief to make much of an impression. Ouspenskaya is killed off early on and Sydney Blackmer has a bit as Elinor's new husband. Sporadically entertaining, but pretty minor-league with an awkward script, this would probably be forgotten were it not for the exciting presence of Lucille Ball.

Verdict: Lucy fans will enjoy this most of all. **1/2.

2 comments:

Aroura said...

As a big fan of classic movies (one of my favorite is Auntie Mame with Rosalind Russell), and a sewist and costumer, I find a lot of inspiration in old movies, and I really enjoy your blog.

You have been awarded The Versatile Blog Award! Display the badge on your blog by using the HTML code below. I have removed the first left vee < and you will need to add it back in when you use the code. Go to http://kf-biblioblog.blogspot.com/2012/03/what-goes-around-comes-around.html for the simple rules. Congratulations, Linda

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William said...

Many thanks -- I think!