Dance, Girl, Dance
|Dance, Girl, Dance|
Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Dorothy Arzner
James Anderson (assistant)
|Produced by||Erich Pommer|
|Written by||Vicki Baum (story)
|Edited by||Robert Wise|
|Distributed by||RKO Radio Pictures|
|Release dates||August 30, 1940|
|Running time||90 minutes|
In 2007, Dance, Girl, Dance was selected for preservation in the United States National Film Registry by the Library of Congress as being "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant", describing it as Arzner's "most intriguing film" and a "meditation on the disparity between art and commerce. The dancers, played by Maureen O'Hara and Lucille Ball, strive to preserve their own feminist integrity, while fighting for their place in the spotlight and for the love of male lead Louis Hayward."
Good friends Judy and Bubbles are both dancers. Bubbles uses her good looks and being a sex siren to get jobs, and becomes successful in burlesque, while Judy struggles to make a living as a dedicated ballerina. A rivalry develops when they both fall in love with a divorced playboy.
- Maureen O'Hara as Judy O'Brien
- Louis Hayward as James 'Jimmy' Harris Jr.
- Lucille Ball as Bubbles/Tiger Lily White
- Virginia Field as Elinor Harris
- Ralph Bellamy as Steve Adams
- Maria Ouspenskaya as Madame Lydia Basilova
In an October 1940 review, Bosley Crowther of The New York Times described the film as a "a saga of glamour-struck chorines to end all sagas of said glamour-struck chorines" and a "cliché-ridden, garbled repetition of the story of the aches and pains in a dancer's rise to fame and fortune." The film was a critical and commercial failure, and its theatrical release lost RKO Studios roughly $400,000.
Beginning in the 1970s, however, the film enjoyed a popular revival and critical reassessment. Its resurgence has been ascribed to the burgeoning feminist movement which saw the film as a rare example of empowered women. Critical praise for the film has endured – in 2002 Dance, Girl, Dance was listed among the Top 100 "Essential Films" of the National Society of Film Critics.
- Variety film review; August 28, 1940, page 16.
- Harrison's Reports film review; August 31, 1940, page 139.
- Librarian of Congress Announces National Film Registry Selections for 2007, from the Library of Congress website
- October 11, 1940 Review from The New York Times
- Carr, Jay (2002). The A List: The National Society of Film Critics' 100 Essential Films. Da Capo Press. p. 79. ISBN 978-0-306-81096-1. Retrieved 13 October 2011.
- Richard Jewell & Vernon Harbin, The RKO Story. New Rochelle, New York: Arlington House, 1982. p150