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

Wednesday, September 10, 2008


DANCE, GIRL, DANCE (1940). Director: Dorothy Arzner.
Judy O' Brien (Maureen O'Hara) and "Bubbles" White (Lucille Ball), both belong to the same dance troup headed by Madame Basivola (a wonderful Maria Ouspenskaya). Doing a sexy hula (a highlight of the film) for a prospective client, Bubbles gets a job in Hoboken which eventually leads to her becoming a big star in burlesque. She has Judy hired to do serious dancing in the middle of the act, but Judy's unaware that she's only to be a stooge. Woven into the main storyline are the romantic figures of Louis Hayward, who romances both girls but is carrying a torch for his ex-wife, and Ralph Bellamy as as head of a dance company. Frankly, the romantic storylines never really fit in smoothly with the rest of the film, which becomes a bit boring even with the famous "cat-fight" between Judy and Bubbles late in the picture. Judy tells off the men who laugh at her in the burlesque house, which some see as giving the film a kind of feminist slant. But this is basically a disappointing comedy-drama with some interesting moments but not enough of them.
Verdict: Watch Lucy hula and then go to sleep. **1/2.

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