Dancing Lady (1933)

Passed   |    |  Comedy, Musical, Romance

Dancing Lady (1933) Poster

An attractive dancer is rescued from jail by a rich man, who helps her to have her first big opportunity at a musical play on Broadway.


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Cast & Crew

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Robert Z. Leonard


Allen Rivkin (screen play), P.J. Wolfson (screen play), James Warner Bellah (from the book by)

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11 January 2013 | tavm
| Fred Astaire's debut in Dancing Lady isn't the only interesting part of it
1933 was a watershed year for the movie musical. It was the year Busby Berkeley helped make it exciting again with his numbers for 42nd Street and Gold Diggers of 1933. Ginger Rogers was a factor in that excitement when she performed the "We're in the Money" number in the latter. And if that had been it for her career, she'd at least be an important footnote in the movie musical's history. But bigger things were coming her way later in the year. And it wouldn't be at Warner Bros. where she was at the time but at RKO. Her future legendary partner was already there but had yet to make his film debut. But since the studio had no assignments for him yet, he was allowed to go to M-G-M for a specialty spot there as himself. And so it was at Leo the Lion's place that Fred Astaire-previously a Broadway sensation with sis Adele-got his first stint in front of the cameras. His partner there was Joan Crawford, who had displayed much of her dancing ability in many of her previous films so she wasn't a bad first film dancer for Fred to start with. So on that note, this movie is worth a good look for that reason alone. But there's still some good acting by leading man Clark Gable, second lead Franchot Tone (whom Ms. Crawford would briefly marry) and Ted Healy as Gable's assistant who was still the leader of his stooges: Moe, Curly, and Larry, all represented at their slapstick best here. Other notable supporting turns came from Robert Benchley who keeps looking for a pencil, Winnie Lightner as Crawford's friend, May Robson as Tone's grandmother, and Eve Arden-years before playing her Oscar-nominated role opposite Oscar-winner Crawford in Mildred Pierce-in a small part as a rejected potential chorus girl. Oh, and this was one of Nelson Eddy's earliest singing spots. In summary, Dancing Lady is enjoyable enough to watch as entertainment with a historical first as an extra treat.

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