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The Dance of Life (1929)

A vaudeville comic and a pretty young dancer aren't having much luck in their separate careers, so they decide to combine their acts. In order to save money on the road, they get married. ... See full summary »

Writers:

Benjamin Glazer (screenplay), Arthur Hopkins (play) | 3 more credits »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Hal Skelly ... Ralph 'Skid' Johnson
Nancy Carroll ... Bonny Lee King
Dorothy Revier ... Sylvia Marco
Ralph Theodore Ralph Theodore ... Harvey Howell (as Ralph Theadore)
Charles D. Brown Charles D. Brown ... Lefty Miller
Al St. John ... Bozo
May Boley May Boley ... Gussie
Oscar Levant ... Jerry Evans
Gladys DuBois Gladys DuBois ... Miss Sherman
James Quinn James Quinn ... Jimmy
Jim Farley ... Champ Melvin
George Irving ... Minister
Gordona Bennet Gordona Bennet ... Amazon Chorus Girl
Miss La Reno Miss La Reno ... Amazon Chorus Girl
Cora Beach Shumway Cora Beach Shumway ... Amazon Chorus Girl
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Storyline

A vaudeville comic and a pretty young dancer aren't having much luck in their separate careers, so they decide to combine their acts. In order to save money on the road, they get married. Soon their act begins to catch on, and they find themselves booked onto Broadway. They also realize that they actually are in love with each other, but just when things are starting to look up, the comic starts to let success go to his head. Written by frankfob2@yahoo.com

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

theater | based on play | See All (2) »

Taglines:

See the Follies do the Flippity Flop! (Print ad- (Auckland Star,((Auckland,N.Z.)) 30 November 1929) See more »

Genres:

Drama | Musical | Romance

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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

16 August 1929 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Burlesque See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Paramount Pictures See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Mono (MovieTone)

Color:

Color (2-strip Technicolor) (one sequence)| Black and White

Aspect Ratio:

1.20 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Barbara Stanwyck had played Bonny King on stage (under her original name, Ruby Stephens) and tested for the film, but Paramount decided to use Nancy Carroll because she, unlike Stanwyck, had already made films and therefore had a movie "name". See more »

Connections

Version of Repertory Theatre: Burlesque (1949) See more »

Soundtracks

Sweet Rosie O'Grady
(uncredited)
Written by Maude Nugent
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User Reviews

 
Hal Skelly Is Excellent
22 March 2006 | by drednmSee all my reviews

Odd title for the film version of the Broadway hit, BURLESQUE, that starred Hal Skelly and Barbra Stanwyck and made them both stars. Odd also that Skelly would topline the 1929 film version but Nancy Carroll would get the lead role over Stanwyck.

In any case both stars are excellent in this underrated and forgotten gem that includes great vaudeville numbers, songs, comedy, and drama.

Skelly is an "eccentric" dancer who teams with Carroll and they struggle on the burlesque circuit until a talent scout spots Skelly and gets him a spot in the Ziegfeld Follies. But money and fame go to his head and he starts boozing with a golddigging hussy. Eventually he his fired and Carroll sues for divorce to marry a Wyoming rancher. Skelly has one more chance when he's offered his old job with the burlesque show but Carroll must leave Wyoming to help him get through his opening show.

Hackneyed plot but done with great spirit and truth. Carroll and Skelly are great. Supporting cast includes May Boley terrific as Gussie, Oscar Levant as a pianist, Al St. John as Bozo, Charles Brown as the burlesque manager, Ralph Theodore as Harvey, and Dorothy Revier as Marco.

High point is a terrific semi closeup of Skelly sitting on the stage and singing "True Blue Lou" in his sad clown makeup. Great moment. Carroll gets to do several dances and she's damned good. Her singing isn't as good though.

After seeing the lousy HONEY I was skeptical about another Nancy Carroll musical but THE DANCE OF LIFE is terrific. Hal Skelly could have been a big big star but he was hideously killed in 1934 when the car in which he was riding was smashed by a freight train in Connecitcut.


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