"Dancing Lady" was great fun and a chance to dance with
Fred Astaire. It was a hit!" ~ Joan Crawford
"Dancing Lady" 1933
Cast: Joan Crawford~Clark Gable~Wallace Ford~Skeets Gallagher~Frank Conroy~John Miljan~Clara Blandick.
Director: Robert Z. Leonard
Producer: David O. Selznick
Box Office Figures for "Dancing Lady":
Cost: $923K ~ Domestic Studio Gross: $1,490m. ~ Foreign Studio Gross: $916K
Total: $2,406m. / Profit: $744K
If you have seen this movie, please write a review below. Once your review is submitted, I will post the review below. Thank
you for your review on this film.
Review: Originally "Dancing Lady" was not one of my favorite Joan Crawford or Gable/Crawford films, but it grew
on me on repeat viewings and I now confess to liking it immensely for its beautiful, black and white, Deco splendor and music
and for Crawford's engaging and cute personality. The script is based on a serial that ran in "Saturday Evening Post."
Crawford is Janie Barlow, a nice girl forced by circumstance to work in a cheap burlesque show. When she is busted in a raid,
Franchot Tone as wealthy Tod Newton bails her out, because, of course, he's romantically interested in her. Hoping to get
her eventually interested in marriage, Newton arranges for Janie to work in a show put on by musical director Patch Gallagher
(Clark Gable) which would help move her up from seedy chorus work to Broadway. Patch gives her a hard time, but ultimately
he falls for her, is impressed by her talent and moves her into the star spot. But jealous Newton conspires to sabotage the
show. Guess who wins the lady's heart?
There are some marvelous scenes including the burlesque scene in the beginning when Crawford gets to show some of that
charisma that made her a star -- her flirtatious smiling and eye contact with audience; the gym scene between Gable and Crawford
where they both glow in one another's presence, the looks and smiles they give one another telling the whole story in a pretty
convincing way and igniting the screen; the sumptuous Depression era fantasy of Crawford and Tone at a swimming pool, where
they are both so attractive, she more than he (in my estimate -- in fact, Joan with her sleek body and sculptured, porcelain
face looks like an absolute goddess), and oh those party scenes with the wonderful singing and costumes and music -- a world
of elegance. Eve Arden also makes a delightful cameo as a blonde impersonating a Southerner for an audition. My only objection
is that Janie Barlow is too darn unconvincingly sweet when around Patch, continually approaching him with doe eyes and teary
gratitude. But of course, she looks lovely, in her Adrian designs and her 30's dialogue ("I'm going up where it's art
--uptown"; "scram"; and "so you're laying down") is a hoot. My other quibble is that Gable is too
one-note gruff, shouting too much, often abrasive. That's not the way I like to see him in a Crawford and Gable film, even
if one knows he likes her.
Also: This is a veritable MGM stew with everyone on the lot in the film -- the Three Stooges and Nelson Eddy and Fred
Astaire and Crawford and Gable and Tone and I think even Harpo Marx! As for the dance numbers, Joan Crawford is a vivacious
hoofer and great at that, but her dancing style in no way meshes with Fred Astaire's debonair ballroom elegance. This was
his debut, incidentally, and needless to say, he's a paradigm of style. The finale, while fun, pales in comparison to the
spectacular Buzby Berkeley extravaganzas that capped musicals like "42nd Street," yet it's still joyous and wonderful
and the final clinch with Clark and Joan always brings tears to my eyes.
Below is a photo gallery from the movie "Dancing Lady." Click on the images below to see them at full size.