Dance, Girl, Dance - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Dance, Girl, Dance Reviews

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½ December 22, 2016
Some interesting proto-feminist stuff here with a fascinating early Lucille Ball performance, but not much of interest otherwise.
December 12, 2016
I enjoyed it. Lucille ball was a ball of fire, while Maureen's motivations were oddly placed. Had it been better written it could have been great.
December 8, 2016
Maureen O'Hara is the star of this vehicle and Lucille Ball plays the supporting character. Their "little" cat fight is a treat to see!
May 16, 2016
A really fun film that I found in my Maureen O'Hara TCM 4-pack that I highly recommend if you enjoy films from that era. I like the two films I've seen so far from Arzner, who was one of the earliest and most successful of female directors and I believe the first openly lesbian one--the other work I've seen of hers is the great pre-Code look at alcoholism, 'Merrily We Go to Hell'.

This is great if you either like musicals from the era, are a Maureen O'Hara or Lucille Ball enthusiast (holy, she was unbelievably a knockout in her early filmic days!) or are simply curious about the works of early female and/or lesbian directors. Arzner--at least in the two films I have seen from her thus far--showed she truly deserved to be successful in the industry.
November 11, 2015
Fantastic! Nothing like it today. An overt and amazing commentary on the woman's right to work with subtle insight into the self sabotage that keeps them from success. A definite studio movie in style and tone, but with some really modern, arresting moments thrown in.
October 7, 2015
Fun musical fluff with O'Hara and Ball perfectly cast.
July 16, 2015
Except for Judy's speeches the movie was pointless. The life of a dancer is hard i guess?? And Jimmy Harris was weird. Lucille Ball was gorgeous though.
½ February 11, 2015
A smart, feminist melodrama that tackles ideas like the existence of the male gaze, sexual agency, weaponized femininity, etc. with a compelling central narrative that explores the thin line between exploitation and art and an excellent performance from Lucille Ball.
June 24, 2014
Very young and glam Lucy as Bubbles & Maureen O'Hara as Judy are rival dancers of complete different styles in this Film who have a Love/Hate relationship & even a Cat Fight. Lucy is very sexy as a Burlesque Queen & Maureen O'Hara is a more Demure Ballet Dancer who have the same Love Interests, but Bubbles(Lucy) is very mercenary in her pursuits & steals Judy's Playboy Boyfriend,Jimmy Harris(Louis Hayward) & has Judy play the Stage Stooge to Bubbles, AK.A. Tiger Lilly's Burlesque Queen. Very entertaining & Fun
Fun Fact:
Lucy & Maureen O'Hara became Lifelong Best Friends as a result of this film.They(Lucy & Maureen) were having lunch together when Lucy Met Desi Arnez for the very 1st time.Now that's a Delicious Lunch
October 9, 2013
This tale of music hall dancers has a fine cast that do justice to the part love and part industry dominating the artistic license of its performers story.
½ September 5, 2013
Worth it for Maureen O'Hara's earnest, pre-feminist speech at the climax, and Lucille Ball's "bubbly" performance as O'Hara's burlesque dancer rival, Bubbles. The general story, though, is no great shakes, and the scenes are often over-melodramatic, bordering on camp. An early O'Hara picture, she's also pretty stiff as the lead.
July 29, 2013
Poor O'Hara must have had a gun at her head. The director was a flop never mind her being the first this and that she stunk!
July 25, 2013
good chick flick directed by hollywood's only female director at this time
bbcfloridabound
Super Reviewer
½ December 11, 2012
Awesome movie, Lucille Ball like you never seen her before. This was made before she started playing the stupid housewife of Ricky Recardo. Her acting is over the top in this movie. 4 1/2 stars 12-5-12
½ September 15, 2012
This is supposedly a classic that one should have seen, but there is nothing exceptional about this film...it is entertaining though, so no loss in watching it either.
JonathanHutchings
Super Reviewer
½ July 16, 2012
Dorothy Arzner is often remembered (and rightfully so) for her bravery -- the only regularly employed female director during the Golden Age, the first woman to join the Directors Guild of America, and the first feminist filmmaker some 30 years before it became a social issue -- but Dance, Girl, Dance, her most personal film, follows an almost identical trajectory: a critical and commercial failure that lost a pre-Citizen Kane RKO a crippling amount of money, only to be reclaimed over the years as a film of relevance to the feminist movement. Dance, Girl, Dance is a milestone in the dance film and musical, despite its B-movie production values (featuring lots of back projection). Key sequences which demand critical attention include Judy's (Maureen O'Hara) attempt to be a hula dancer, stunningly upstaged by the sexy wiggles of Bubbles (a pre-I Love Lucy Lucille Ball), and the burlesque routine which gives Bubbles her biggest chance to shine, "Mother, What Do I Do Now?" Hollywood also shows us classical ballet, with an extended routine choreographed by Steve Adams (Bellamy) - relying on the assumption that classical ballet/high art is not as appealing as good old low-down burlesque, regardless of how much money and talent is thrown into the "art" pot. While it may have made use of the resources from Fred and Ginger's RKO musicals, the ballet sequence looks flat against the earthy sexiness of Bubbles' hula dance.

Judy's most stunning set piece, a speech near the end berating the men who go to watch strippers on the burlesque stage, could be considered as a barbed attack on the movie audience - after all, part of the Hollywood myth was the objectification of women, and despite Arzner's input, Dance, Girl, Dance is as guilty of this as any other film of the period. The film could be classed as high camp, but it has much more to offer than this implies. Although Arzner's experience with musicals was limited, she ensured the film was tightly directed and gave the finished product considerable power. However, this art vs. commerce mediation was her penultimate film. It succeeds because of its sheer charm and attention to detail; we can understand perfectly how it feels to sleep in a room of the type rented to chorus girls, how seeing a ballet performance can fuel the ambitions of one of their number. It is also a kind of fairytale where Judy is the good princess and Bubbles the wicked witch, although the ending isn't brought about by masculine intervention, but by sheer determination and self-faith.
July 8, 2011
I love Lucille Ball and Maureen O'Hara and they were both awesome in this movie, I love the ending :-)
July 4, 2011
Romantisk komedi alå 1940. Inte riktigt sÄ tokigt som man skulle kunna tro. Lucille Ball (kÀnd frÄn The Lucy Show / I Love Lucy) som utmanande vÄp och Maureen O'Hara som oskyldig ung dam med hjÀrta av guld som bara gillar att dansa. De Àr bÄda medlemmar av samma danssÀllskap som efter att polisen stÀngt haket som de dansar pÄ pga att det var en front för en illegal spelklubb blir arbetslösa. Lucille finner snabbt ett nytt jobb som dans- och sÄngartist vid en burlesk show. DÀr blir hon nÄgot av en semikÀndis. Hon ser dÄ till att O'Hara, som drömmer om att dansa balett, Àven fÄr jobb dÀr som gÄr ut pÄ att agera publik hetsare genom att dansa balett som publiken buar. I allt detta finns naturligtvis en man som bÄda suktar efter. En stenrik playboy som just skilt sig. Visst Àr det fullt av klicheer men filmen Àr trots det ganska underhÄllande och passar bra en söndagseftermiddag om man inte har annat man vill göra.
March 28, 2011
A camp film with a familiar sounding plot about a talented yet poor dancer who has to demean herself in a burlesque show to pay the bills, whilst competing for love, and yadda yadda yadda...

Although Maureen O'Hara is the leading role as the long-suffering (and in my opinion annoyingly simpering) ballerina, it is Lucille Ball who pretty much walks away with the film. Ball at this point was still trying to escape the B-pictures mold Hollywood had forced her in, but every so often she did get a good one, be it often as a secondary character, and this is definitely one of them. Ball would, of course, give up on Hollywood eventually and go see what television was all about, with a career as the Queen of Television spanning several decades as the result. A further result was also that she eventually became the owner of RKO, the studio that made this film. Good on her.

One of Old Hollywood's few high-profile female directors, Dorothy Azner does attempt to deliver a message that was rather novel in its day, by having her ballerina shame the crowd at the burlesque house, and making a statement about female empowerment. Perhaps therefore it's ironic that Lucille Ball's anti-thesis to this message is actually the most memorable character.
March 24, 2011
Yeah, Lucille Ball is what drags this out of routine. As good as she is, the script still sucks, though.
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