We Were Dancing (1942)

93-94 mins | Romantic comedy | 1942

Director:

Robert Z. Leonard

Cinematographer:

Robert Planck

Editor:

George Boemler

Production Designer:

Cedric Gibbons

Production Company:

Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Corp.
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HISTORY

Noël Coward's Tonight at 8:30 consists of nine one-act plays. In the original London production, the plays were performed in increments of three on successive nights. According to a HR news item on 18 Apr 1941, M-G-M had purchased the rights to all nine plays and We Were Dancing incorporated elements from several. Actors Sig Ruman and Dennis Hoey, listed in the CBCS respectively as "Baron Prax" and "Prince Wilomirsky," were not in the released film, although their characters, the fathers of "Nicki" and "Vicki," are referred to in the film. Several additional actors included in the CBCS but not seen in the released film were Philip Ahn, Ian Wolfe and Tim Ryan. An unidentified, but contemporary news item contained in the AMPAS Library file on the film noted that "Ian Hunter will be the guy who gets jilted...twice," but that role was played by Lee Bowman. A HR news item on 14 Nov 1941 indicated that Lennie Hayton was doing "prerecordings," for the film, but the extent of his contribution to the completed film has not been determined. According to modern sources, actress Ava Gardner made her motion picture debut in the film, appearing in a crowd scene, but she was not identifiable in the print ... More Less

Noël Coward's Tonight at 8:30 consists of nine one-act plays. In the original London production, the plays were performed in increments of three on successive nights. According to a HR news item on 18 Apr 1941, M-G-M had purchased the rights to all nine plays and We Were Dancing incorporated elements from several. Actors Sig Ruman and Dennis Hoey, listed in the CBCS respectively as "Baron Prax" and "Prince Wilomirsky," were not in the released film, although their characters, the fathers of "Nicki" and "Vicki," are referred to in the film. Several additional actors included in the CBCS but not seen in the released film were Philip Ahn, Ian Wolfe and Tim Ryan. An unidentified, but contemporary news item contained in the AMPAS Library file on the film noted that "Ian Hunter will be the guy who gets jilted...twice," but that role was played by Lee Bowman. A HR news item on 14 Nov 1941 indicated that Lennie Hayton was doing "prerecordings," for the film, but the extent of his contribution to the completed film has not been determined. According to modern sources, actress Ava Gardner made her motion picture debut in the film, appearing in a crowd scene, but she was not identifiable in the print viewed. More Less

BIBLIOGRAPHIC SOURCES
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Box Office
17 Jan 1942.
---
Daily Variety
14 Jan 42
p. 3.
Film Daily
19 Jan 42
p. 8.
Hollywood Reporter
14 Nov 41
p. 2.
Hollywood Reporter
24 Nov 41
p. 7.
Hollywood Reporter
23 Dec 41
p. 11.
Hollywood Reporter
14 Jan 42
p. 4.
Hollywood Reporter
23 Jan 42
p. 11.
Motion Picture Daily
15 Jan 1942.
---
Motion Picture Herald Product Digest
17 Jan 42
p. 461.
New York Times
1 May 42
p. 23.
Showmen's Trade Reviews
17 Jan 1942.
---
Variety
21 Jan 42
p. 8.
CAST
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
Bryant Washburn Sr.
Willy Castello
+
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Asst dir
PRODUCERS
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
Dir of photog for added scenes
ART DIRECTORS
Art dir
FILM EDITOR
Film ed
SET DECORATOR
Set dec
MUSIC
Mus score
SOUND
Rec dir
MAKEUP
Hair styles by
PRODUCTION MISC
Tech adv
SOURCES
LITERARY
Based in part on the play Tonight at 8:30 by Noël Coward (London, 9 Jan 1936).
AUTHOR
DETAILS
Release Date:
1942
Premiere Information:
New York premiere: 30 April 1942
Production Date:
29 September--26 November 1941
added scenes late December 1941
Copyright Claimant:
Loew's Inc.
Copyright Date:
5 February 1942
Copyright Number:
LP11370
Physical Properties:
Sound
Western Electric Sound System
Black and White
Duration(in mins):
93-94
Length(in feet):
8,452
Length(in reels):
9
Country:
United States
Language:
English
PCA No:
7883
SYNOPSIS

At a Charleston, South Carolina party celebrating her forthcoming marriage to wealthy lawyer Hubert Tyler, Polish princess Victoria Wilomirska dances with impoverished Viennese aristocrat Baron Nicholas Prax and the two fall in love. Vicki's friends cannot dissuade her from marrying the charming Nicki, who survives by playing bridge and living off the rich. The pair elope to New York, where Nicki's friend, Basil, a phony grand duke, who, like Nicki, is a "professional guest," warns them that a married couple cannot flourish in the profession. Vicki suggests that they keep their marriage secret and take advantage of her invitations as well as his. When she runs into Hubert at Grand Central Station, she lies about her marriage to Nicki, then goes on to the home of the wealthy Bentleys. During the weekend, interior decorator Linda Wayne, Nicki's suspicious former lover, arrives, incurring Vicki's jealousy. Hubert also arrives, and the next morning, when most of the guests are leaving for a shooting party, Linda insists that they awaken Nicki. They are shocked to discover Nicki and Vicki asleep in his room, and, rather than cause a scandal, the pair reveal their marriage and decide to be the perfect "couple" of houseguests. Unfortunately, many of Nicki's former hostesses are uninterested in a married man, and they are forced to make new wealthy friends. For the next year, Nicki and Vicki travel to a variety of unsophisticated towns in middle America. While staying with the Ransomes in St. Louis, Hubert, Mr. Ransome's lawyer, arrives. The men play bridge that evening, and Nicki, who has had too much to drink, loses $1,200 to Hubert and covers the ... +


At a Charleston, South Carolina party celebrating her forthcoming marriage to wealthy lawyer Hubert Tyler, Polish princess Victoria Wilomirska dances with impoverished Viennese aristocrat Baron Nicholas Prax and the two fall in love. Vicki's friends cannot dissuade her from marrying the charming Nicki, who survives by playing bridge and living off the rich. The pair elope to New York, where Nicki's friend, Basil, a phony grand duke, who, like Nicki, is a "professional guest," warns them that a married couple cannot flourish in the profession. Vicki suggests that they keep their marriage secret and take advantage of her invitations as well as his. When she runs into Hubert at Grand Central Station, she lies about her marriage to Nicki, then goes on to the home of the wealthy Bentleys. During the weekend, interior decorator Linda Wayne, Nicki's suspicious former lover, arrives, incurring Vicki's jealousy. Hubert also arrives, and the next morning, when most of the guests are leaving for a shooting party, Linda insists that they awaken Nicki. They are shocked to discover Nicki and Vicki asleep in his room, and, rather than cause a scandal, the pair reveal their marriage and decide to be the perfect "couple" of houseguests. Unfortunately, many of Nicki's former hostesses are uninterested in a married man, and they are forced to make new wealthy friends. For the next year, Nicki and Vicki travel to a variety of unsophisticated towns in middle America. While staying with the Ransomes in St. Louis, Hubert, Mr. Ransome's lawyer, arrives. The men play bridge that evening, and Nicki, who has had too much to drink, loses $1,200 to Hubert and covers the loss with a bad check. Vicki goes to Hubert and says that without Nicki's knowledge, she used all the money in their checking account to buy a sable coat. Hubert knows that she is covering for Nicki and tears up the check, then offers her money, but she refuses. When Nicki finds out, he feels so badly that he determines to return to New York and find a real job. Ninety miles from New York, they stop at an inn and run into Basil, who invites them to join him at the hunting lodge of the wealthy Bryce-Carews. When Nicki decides to accept "just for a few days," Vicki is concerned, both because she doubts his sincerity in wanting to find real work and because Linda is also a guest. Some time later, Vicki phones Hubert and asks him to help her get a divorce. At the proceedings, Hubert is distressed that the male judge has been replaced by a female, Judge Sidney Hawkes, who is charmed by Nicki. On the witness stand, Vicki discusses Nicki's effect on wealthy women and, although Nicki reminds her of her love for him, she refuses to stop the divorce. Hubert then calls Linda to the stand, and it is revealed that she loves Nicki and Vicki found them in a compromising position during a parlor game called "Sardines." Nicki's sincere profession of love for Vicki moves the judge to tears, but she still grants the divorce. After spending six months in South America, Nicki returns to New York and goes to see Linda, on her invitation. He is cool to her, but she offers him a job. When she reveals that a competitor, Mrs. Vanderlip, is remodeling Hubert's Long Island mansion because he is marrying Vicki, Nicki asks her to get him a job with the decorator. At the mansion, Nicki, who is using the name Manesque, shows up to display fabric samples. After a private talk with Hubert, Nicki is retained, and tells a shocked Vicki that he needs the job because he plans to marry again. At the end of the decorating assignment, Nicki reveals to Vicki that he has accepted a job from a Hollywood friend of Tyler-Blane and will be going West shortly. He pretends that he is happy about her impending marriage and has no hard feelings, but when she starts to cry, he admits that he still loves her and has been trying to get her back. Vicki says that it is too late, then leaves for Charleston with Hubert. Desperate, Nicki follows them. The night before the wedding, Nicki finds Vicki on the terrace and offers her his best wishes, then convinces her to dance one more waltz. They kiss, and a short time later, Hubert tells his aunt that the pair has gone, with his blessings. Finally, Nicki and Vicki happily settle in Hollywood in a small cottage. +

Legend
Viewed by AFI
Partially Viewed
Offscreen Credit
Name Occurs Before Title
AFI Life Achievement Award

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The American Film Institute is grateful to Sir Paul Getty KBE and the Sir Paul Getty KBE Estate for their dedication to the art of the moving image and their support for the AFI Catalog of Feature Films and without whose support AFI would not have been able to achieve this historical landmark in this epic scholarly endeavor.