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Dance, Girl, Dance (Arzner, 1940) #DTC 322

A ballet danseuse is forced to look for a job as a Hula dancer, when the head of the New York ballet falls in love with her.

For me this seemed quite a convoluted story a bit in the Cinderella style. Going through the script was quite amusing though. Especially those remarks in the style of "inappropriate movement, discuss with the office of Dr. Blah" were hilarious to read. Apart from that I felt that O'Hara's character somehow came off way too saintly. She is danseuse, all right, but there was a certain lofty idealism about her character. On the other hand, I really thought it was fascinating how she told off her casual pursuer.

Another thing that was striking about the movie was Lucille Ball. Her rambunctious attitude is quite refreshing and I thought that she stole quite a lot of the scenes from O'Hara. I think it says on imdb that the two actresses became extremely close friends after the film.

Another little gem is Maria Ouspenskaja, appearing (after Waterloo Bridge) in a similar role as the head of the ballet, but in this film she is open-minded and supportive of her best dancer. She also "dies" when she tries to help her. Comparing the two films gives one the rather somber conclusion that those who are helpful and unselfish pay the highest price possible.

Another interesting fact is the direction by a woman. Haven't read anything about her, but that might prove interesting to research. 

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