18 December 2015 | Leofwine_draca
DANCE LITTLE LADY is a stodgy, mid-'50s melodrama about a couple of warring parents who fight for possession of their daughter, a ballet prodigy who's destined for greatness. This is no KRAMER VS. KRAMER, that's for sure; the whole film is slow-paced and overly acted with lots of mannerisms and the like. Plus, it's padded out with endless balletic sequences, which are fun but made me long for the delights of BLACK SWAN.
The film stars Terence Morgan as the hard-headed father. Morgan was in the same year's (much better) SVENGALI but he doesn't have too much to work with here - if you want to see him as an effective bad guy, check out Hammer's CURSE OF THE MUMMY'S TOMB. The somewhat ubiquitous Mai Zetterling (THE WITCHES) is the stressed-out mother, and the directorial duties are handled by the also ubiquitous Val Guest, although it's not one of his better efforts.
The problem with DANCE LITTLE LADY is that it's rather stodgy and slow. There's little sympathy for the talented daughter at the centre of the story and scenes of the parents fighting get tiresome very quickly. Plus, there seem to be too many extraneous sub-plots and characters merely designed to pad out the running time. The only bit I can say I enjoyed was the ending. Watch out for the likes of the lovely Eunice Gayson in support, alongside minor turns from Joan Hickson, Marianne Stone, and even Richard O'Sullivan and Jane Asher as kids.