Friday, June 15, 2018

Have a fun time with 'The Dancing Millionaire'

The Dancing Millionaire (1934)
Starring: Dorothy Granger, Carol Tevis, Grady Sutton, Tom Kennedy, and Jack Mulhall
Director: Sam White
Rating: Seven of Ten Stars

When her wrestler boyfriend (Kennedy) is arrested after a road-rage incident, Dorothy (Granger) decides to trade up to a rich man (Sutton) she meets at her job as a taxi-dancer. Things get complicated when the ex (who doesn't know he's an ex) gets out of jail and shows up at the restaurant where Dorothy is on a date with her new man.

"The Dancing Millionaire" is the most 'mature' of this allegedly risque series of pre-Hayes Code comedy shorts that I've watched so far, at least as far as the jokes and the character motivations go, as as Granger's character's main interest in men being what's in their wallets rather than their heart or personality. Some of the slapstick is a bit on the lame side, but the non-stop pace of this film makes that excusable. What is slightly more annoying is that Dorothy Granger appears to be doing the "high-pitched dumb chick voice" like Carol Tevis always does... and both of them doing that is a bit much. Still, this is a fun film... and a funny twist at the very end.

Like the other entries in this eight-film non-series series, which have been issued on a pair of DVDs under the title "Blondes and Redheads" and which are linked thematically and by Carol Tevis and Grady Sutton who appear in all entries, "The Dancing Millionaire" a slapstick romantic comedy of errors. The writing isn't as sharp as in the two others I've watched, but the it's still lots of fun.

Trivia: Almost everywhere you look on the Internet--including at IMD--the summary of this film is wrong. They even get it wrong on the back cover of the DVD I link to above. Just about everyone seems to think "The Dancing Millionaire" can be summarized as follows: "A thuggish gangster, trying to prove that he's "sophisticated", gets the girls to help him to win a local dancing competition."... But there is neither a thuggish gangster, nor a dancing competition anywhere in the film.

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