Born to Dance

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Born to Dance
Born to Dance - 1936- Poster.png
1936 theatrical poster
Directed by Roy Del Ruth
Produced by Jack Cummings
Written by Jack McGowan
Sid Silvers
Starring Eleanor Powell
James Stewart
Music by Cole Porter
Cinematography Ray June
Editing by Blanche Sewell
Distributed by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer
Release dates November 27, 1936
Running time 106 min.
Country United States
Language English

Born to Dance (1936) is an American musical film starring Eleanor Powell and James Stewart, released by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, and directed by Roy Del Ruth.

The film stars dancer Eleanor Powell and was a follow-up to her successful debut in Broadway Melody of 1936. The plot of Born to Dance is not much different from the earlier film, or many others of the era—boy meets girl, boy and girl fall in love, girl puts on a spectacular song-and-dance show.

The film co-stars James Stewart as Powell's love interest and Virginia Bruce as the film's resident femme fatale and Powell's rival. Powell's Broadway Melody co-stars Buddy Ebsen and Frances Langford return to provide comedy and musical support. The score was composed by Cole Porter.

Highlights of the film include a rare musical number by Stewart (which the actor later poked fun at in the That's Entertainment! retrospective), and a bombastic finale called "Swingin' the Jinx Away". Set amidst a pre-Second World War naval backdrop, the Depression-era "feel good" number (which runs nearly 10 minutes) makes topical references to the economy and political leaders (with a "shout out" to Cab Calloway thrown in for good measure) sung by Powell, adds in an eccentric dance routine by Ebsen, and ends in a flurry of tap dancing by Powell culminating in a patriotic salute, and finally a blast of cannon fire. This finale was also lifted in its entirety and re-used in another Powell film, I Dood It, co-starring Red Skelton. Although considered one of Powell's (and MGM's) most memorable musical numbers, and often featured in retrospectives such as That's Entertainment!, musical director Roger Edens was often quoted as being embarrassed by the segment.

The film introduced the Porter standards "You'd Be So Easy to Love" (performed by Stewart and Marjorie Lane, dubbed for Powell) and "I've Got You Under My Skin" (performed by Bruce), which was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Song. It was the first film in which Stewart sang.

Some of the musical numbers were recorded in stereophonic sound, making this one of the first films to utilize multi-channel technology. Rhino Records included the stereo tracks in its soundtrack album, released on CD, including Jimmy Stewart's and Marjorie Lane's performance of "You'd Be So Easy to Love."[1]

Cast[edit]

Soundtrack[edit]

  • Rap, Tap on Wood (1936) (Also called "Rap-Tap on Wood")
    • Music and Lyrics by Cole Porter
    • Sung and danced by Eleanor Powell and The Foursome; Eleanor Powell's vocals dubbed by Marjorie Lane
    • Also danced by Eleanor Powell at a rehearsal
  • Hey, Babe, Hey (1936)
    • Music and Lyrics by Cole Porter
    • Sung and danced by Eleanor Powell, James Stewart, Sid Silvers, Una Merkel, Frances Langford, Buddy Ebsen and The Foursome; Eleanor Powell's vocals dubbed by Marjorie Lane
    • Hummed by Una Merkel
    • Played also as background music
  • Love Me, Love My Pekinese (1936)
    • Music and Lyrics by Cole Porter
    • Sung by Virginia Bruce and chorus
    • Danced by Eleanor Powell
  • Easy to Love (1936)
    • Music and Lyrics by Cole Porter
    • Played during the opening credits and as background music
    • Sung by Eleanor Powell and James Stewart, Frances Langford and danced by her and Buddy Ebsen
    • Reprised by the cast at the end
    • Eleanor Powell's vocals dubbed by Marjorie Lane
  • I've Got You Under My Skin (1936)
    • Music and Lyrics by Cole Porter
    • Danced by Georges and Jalna
    • Sung by Virginia Bruce
    • Played also as background music
  • Swingin' the Jinx Away (1936); (Also called "Swinging the Jinx Away")
    • Music and Lyrics by Cole Porter
    • Played during the opening credits
    • Sung by Frances Langford, Buddy Ebsen, The Foursome and male chorus
    • Danced by Buddy Ebsen and Eleanor Powell
  • Sidewalks of New York (1894)
    • Music by Charles Lawlor
    • Lyrics by James W. Blake
    • In the score during the "Rolling Home" number
  • Columbia, the Gem of the Ocean (1843)
    • Written by David T. Shaw
    • Arranged by Thomas A. Beckett
    • In the score during the "Rolling Home" number; Also in the score during the "Swingin' the Jinx Away" number and partially sung by the chorus
  • The Prisoner's Song (If I Had the Wings of an Angel) (1924)
    • Music and Lyrics by Guy Massey
    • In the score when 'Gunny' Saks is shown in the brig[2]

References[edit]

External links[edit]

Other uses[edit]