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Born to Dance (1936)

Passed | | Musical, Comedy | 27 November 1936 (USA)
Sailor Ted meets at the Lonely Hearts Club of his friend Gunny's wife, Jenny, a girl, Nora Paige, and falls in love. Nora wants to become a dancer on Broadway. Ted rescues the Pekinese of ... See full summary »

Director:

Roy Del Ruth

Writers:

Jack McGowan (screen play), Sid Silvers (screen play) | 3 more credits »
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Nominated for 2 Oscars. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Eleanor Powell ... Nora Paige
James Stewart ... Ted Barker
Virginia Bruce ... Lucy James
Una Merkel ... Jenny Saks
Sid Silvers ... 'Gunny' Saks
Frances Langford ... 'Peppy' Turner
Raymond Walburn ... Capt. Dingby
Alan Dinehart ... McKay
Buddy Ebsen ... 'Mush' Tracy
Juanita Quigley ... Sally Saks
Georges Georges ... Georges
Jalna Jalna ... Jalna
Reginald Gardiner ... Policeman
Barnett Parker ... Floorwalker
J. Marshall Smith J. Marshall Smith ... Member of The Foursome
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Storyline

Sailor Ted meets at the Lonely Hearts Club of his friend Gunny's wife, Jenny, a girl, Nora Paige, and falls in love. Nora wants to become a dancer on Broadway. Ted rescues the Pekinese of Lucy James, a Broadway star during a public relations campaign on his submarine. Lucy falls in love with Ted, and Ted is ordered by his Captain to meet her in a night club, in spite of the fact that he has a date with Nora. Nora, who lives with Jenny and her and Gunny's daughter, doesn't want to hear anything from Ted, after she spotted a picture of Ted and Lucy in the morning paper. Lucy convinces her manager Dinehart to stop the press campaign and tells him that she would leave the production, if another photo or article of her and Ted is published. Nora has become her understudy, and she begins to think her behaviour to Ted over. Suddenly she is fired after Dinehart told her to dance a number Lucy James called undanceable. But when Ted is told the whole story, he knows what to do. Written by Stephan Eichenberg <eichenbe@fak-cbg.tu-muenchen.de>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Screen's most amazing SPECTACLE See more »

Genres:

Musical | Comedy

Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

27 November 1936 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Born to Dance See more »

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Box Office

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$941,774
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Features the song "I've Got You Under My Skin", later a signature song for Frank Sinatra. See more »

Goofs

The interior of the submarine during the opening musical number is more than twice as wide as a real submarine would be. See more »

Quotes

Nora Paige: I feel uncomfortable about going aboard, Jenny. I hope I don't meet Ted.
Jenny Saks: Listen, baby, when a horse throws you, you gotta get right back up and ride him.
Nora Paige: I won't even look at him.
Jenny Saks: That's wrong! Act like nothing happened. If you want a lesson in self control, just watch me with Gunny.
See more »

Crazy Credits

Opening credits are shown over a female figure tap-dancing on stage. See more »

Connections

Referenced in The Muppet Show: Vincent Price (1977) See more »

Soundtracks

Columbia, the Gem of the Ocean
(1843) (uncredited)
Written by David T. Shaw
Arranged by Thomas A. Beckett
In the score during the "Rolling Home" number
Also in the score during the "Swingin' the Jinx Away" number and partially sung by the chorus
See more »

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User Reviews

 
One of the Great Movie Musicals of the 1930s
24 April 2005 | by gftbiloxiSee all my reviews

If ever a person was truly "born to dance," it was Eleanor Powell--the first of MGM's great dancing stars and a performer still considered by many to be the single finest tap dancer to emerge from Hollywood. And with the 1936 film BORN TO DANCE, MGM offered Powell the single finest film of her entire career. Although extremely lightweight, the story of three sailors and their romantic complications has a very playful tone and witty script--which forms the perfect frame for a memorable score by the celebrated Cole Porter. The musical numbers are staged with a more subtle flash than one normally finds in 1930s musicals, and there are several complex ensemble numbers and the memorable "Easy to Love" and "I've Got You Under My Skin."

Not only was Powell a greatly gifted dancer, she was a clever comedian with a pleasing singing voice, and her playful performing style is particularly charming in such numbers as "Rap-Tap on Wood" and "Swinging the Jinx Away." Her leading man, somewhat surprisingly, is none other than James Stewart--and although he wasn't really a singer or a dancer he does extremely well with both, and he and Powell make a very entertaining couple. The entire cast is their equal, with Phil Silvers and Una Merkle amusing as bickering lovers, Buddy Ebsen demonstrating his remarkable talents as both eccentric dancer and clever comic, and Virginia Bruce the perfect femme fatale. Everything about the film sparkles and shines, right down from the sets to the polished performances. If you enjoy classic musicals of the 1930s, BORN TO DANCE is a must have! Strongly recommended.

Gary F. Taylor, aka GFT, Amazon Reviewer


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