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Dance, Girl, Dance

(1940 b 90')

En: 5 Ed: 6

Two dancers of burlesque and ballet clash over a rich man, who is still in love with his ex-wife.

In Akron police raid gambling in back of a nightclub. Dancers Bubbles (Lucille Ball) and Judy O'Brien (Maureen O'Hara) want to be paid. Jimmy Harris (Louis Hayward) passes a hat and puts in $14. Bubbles lures Jimmy away from Judy. Divorcing Elinor Harris (Virginia Field) finds Jimmy asleep on her bed. Jimmy is jealous of her lawyer and stalks out.

In New York Judy returns to Madame Lydia Basilova (Maria Ouspenskaya) after hitchhiking. Judy learns hula dancing but is rejected by Kajulian (Harold Huber), who hires Bubbles for $25 a week. Lydia takes Judy to an audition but is hit by a car and dies. Judy tries to see Steve Adams (Ralph Bellamy), watches a rehearsal of modern dance, and leaves. In the rain Judy drops her last dime, and Steve shares his umbrella; but she walks off alone. Bubbles pays the rent for Judy and Sally (Mary Carlisle). Bubbles tells Judy she got her a job in burlesque for $25.

In her show Bubbles sings "Mother, What Do I Do Now?" as wind blows her dress. Then men jeer the ballet of Judy. Bubbles sings "Jitterbug Bite" and removes her skirt. Judy is her stooge but refuses to quit. Steve goes to see Judy, and Jimmy wanders in, defending Judy on stage. Judy still has the little bull Jimmy gave Bubbles. Steve leaves his card; but Judy rips it up and goes out with Jimmy. In the morning Jimmy kisses Judy and warns her about him. At home Jimmy finds Elinor, who gives him the final decree. She says she is getting married, and they quarrel.

In a nightclub Jimmy tells Judy that he is rich. Elinor comes in with her new husband. Both she and Jimmy promised never to come there again, and Jimmy socks her husband, whom Elinor asks for an annulment. Judy says that Jimmy still loves Elinor. Drunk Jimmy waits outside for Judy, who tells Bubbles she won't see anyone. Having read he is rich, Bubbles takes care of Jimmy. Steve takes his secretary Olmy (Katharine Alexander) to the burlesque show. Bubbles tells Judy that she married Jimmy. Judy goes on late with a broken strap. She stops and lectures the men; Olmy begins the applause. Judy and Bubbles fight on stage. Jimmy wakes to learn he married Bubbles. In night court Judy tells the judge (Walter Abel) she wanted to kill Bubbles. Jimmy comes in, but Judy says he was running away. The judge sentences Judy to ten days or $50. Jimmy says he'll pay the fine; but Judy refuses to accept it. Elinor tells Jimmy she can get him an annulment, and Bubbles wants $50,000. Judy goes to Steve, who paid her fine. Steve says he will teach her; she realizes how simple it could have been, laughing and crying.

This drama gives the woman's view of burlesque versus serious dancing. While a rich man playing around is a temptation to both dancers, Judy learns her Irish temper can be dangerous after having been suppressed.

Copyright © 2002 by Sanderson Beck

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