Watch Dance, Girl, Dance
- 1 hr 30 min
Dance, Girl, Dance is a 1940 drama film that revolves around two dancers, Judy (Maureen O'Hara) and Bubbles (Lucille Ball), who share a strained relationship as they strive to make a mark in the world of dance. Judy, a classical ballerina with dreams of making it big, struggles to find work, and ends up dancing in a burlesque show due to financial difficulties. Bubbles, on the other hand, is a saucy and sassy performer in the same show, who is no stranger to the limelight. The film is set in New York and opens with Judy and Bubbles living in a cramped apartment. Judy is practicing her ballet moves while Bubbles, ever the prankster, is asleep. It is clear that the two women are polar opposites, with Judy being shy, reserved, and focused on her art, and Bubbles being outspoken, bold, and more interested in the spotlight. The opening scene sets the tone for their dynamic throughout the film and hints at the tension that will arise between them. Their next performance is canceled due to the rain, and in desperation, Judy convinces the manager to let her showcase her skills in front of the audience. While Judy performs, Bubbles helps by providing musical accompaniment, but as the audience begins to heckle them, Bubbles retaliates, leading to chaos on stage. After being fired, the two women part ways, with Judy finding shelter at an old friend's house, while Bubbles begins to climb the ladder of success by landing a gig as a showgirl. As the plot progresses, Judy finds work in a dance troupe, but their performances are poorly received, and the troupe falls apart. Meanwhile, Bubbles becomes more popular and starts dating Steve (Louis Hayward), a wealthy man who finances her lifestyle. However, as Judy struggles to make ends meet, she realizes that the only way for her to succeed is to embrace the burlesque sideshow of dancing that Bubbles thrives in. The climax of the film occurs when both Judy and Bubbles perform at the same venue, with Judy taking the stage and dancing, exhibiting her classical moves. Bubbles, meanwhile, is performing a sultry dance routine in front of Steve, who is seeing her for the first time in her element. As their performances come to a close, Steve chooses Judy over Bubbles, and in a dramatic final scene, Judy delivers an impassioned monologue about the essence of dance, claiming that it is not about money or fame but is a celebration of life and emotions. The film ends with Judy's stoic determination to continue pursuing her dreams and Bubbles learning to accept that there is more to life than just fame and fortune. Dance, Girl, Dance is a timeless classic that beautifully highlights the difficulties of being a performer, especially for a woman in a male-dominated industry. The film presents a unique perspective on femininity, displaying two women with different approaches to dance. One is conventional, pure, and artistic, while the other is flamboyant, carefree, and sensual. However, the movie does not pit these styles against each other, despite the tensions between the two women. Instead, the film suggests that both forms of dance are just as valuable and deserving of respect. The script and direction are excellent and often give room for the actors to improvise, which is notable in Lucille Ball's performance. Her character, Bubbles, is the shining star of the movie as she perfectly captures the sass and sensuality required for a burlesque dancer. Maureen O'Hara plays her part commendably, displaying Judy's exquisite talent while also portraying her character's vulnerability and modesty. In conclusion, Dance, Girl, Dance is not only a dance movie but also a commentary on women in the arts. The film captures the struggle of artists to make it in the entertainment industry as well as the struggle of female artists to be taken seriously. The performances, direction, and script are all top-notch, making it a must-watch movie for anyone interested in the performing arts or the history of cinema.