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Dance, Girl, Dance

1940 (Dorothy Arzner) , 90 minutes

Lucille Ball, Maureen O'Hara, Louis Hayward, Ralph Bellamy

In a rare starring role, Lucille Ball plays Bubbles, a Burlesque dancer with lofty ambitions, while Maureen O'Hara's prim and proper Judy strives for acceptance as a classical ballerina. A rivalry ensues when they both set their eyes on the same man, (Hayward). A critical and commercial failure upon its release -- the New York Times called it "a cliché-ridden, garbled repetition of the story of the aches and pains in a dancer's rise to fame and fortune" -- today the film is lauded for its focus on women's relationships with one another.

The Times review also failed to mention the film's real star, director Dorothy Arzner, who worked her way up the studio system from stenographer, to film cutter, to one of the most prolific contract directors of the studio era. She directed Paramount's first talkie, "The Wild Party," starring Clara Bow, and this presentation of Dance, Girl, Dance shows Arzner in top form. 

 

Presented on a rare 16mm print, the feature will be preceded by a guest introduction and a series of shorts and cartoons from 1940.

 

Programme running length 125min.

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