4 September 2006 | Maleejandra
A Famous Dancer
Sally is one of the few films that stars Marilyn Miller, a popular dancer on the Ziegfeld Stage. Her talent as a dancer is utilized here in this breezy film.
Sally (Miller) is an orphaned waitress, but all she's ever really wanted to do in life is dance. She meets a wealthy man whose interest in her is strong (Alexander Gray) who helps her to get a job dancing at a nightclub. She is a great success. Also at the club is an ex-Duke (Joe E. Brown) whose hilarious arrogance provides some comedy. He is invited to a high class party where he is to meet a treacherous woman from his past, but since she refuses to show, Sally takes her place. The two pull off a scheme to trick the rest of the guests.
The best actor is Brown, a funny character actor whose career spanned for decades. It is no wonder the other leads are practically forgotten today; their acting is quite wooden.
The musical numbers can be dull; the singers have operatic voices, not those suited to popular music. However, Miller is able to show how dynamic she is as a dancer. She does a frantic jazz number with awkward steps that were popular in the 20s and she does a graceful ballet number with ease.
Also of interest is a color sequence. However, when it begins and ends is very awkward. The film switches to color after a dance number has already started and off again after the number is over and the story has begun again.