Dance, Fools, Dance (1931)

80 mins | Drama | 21 February 1931

Director:

Harry Beaumont

Cinematographer:

Charles Rosher

Editor:

George Hively

Production Designer:

Cedric Gibbons

Production Company:

Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Corp.
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HISTORY

The multiple murder which is part of the film's plot was loosely inspired by the infamous St. Valentine's Day Massacre that happened in Chicago in 1927. According to a news item in FD on 16 Aug 1932, actress Lita Friede had been signed to appear in an M-G-M produced German-language version of this picture, however no additional information on such a production has been ... More Less

The multiple murder which is part of the film's plot was loosely inspired by the infamous St. Valentine's Day Massacre that happened in Chicago in 1927. According to a news item in FD on 16 Aug 1932, actress Lita Friede had been signed to appear in an M-G-M produced German-language version of this picture, however no additional information on such a production has been located. More Less

SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
EHW
29 Nov 30
p. 40.
Film Daily
1 Feb 31
p. 10.
Film Daily
16 Aug 32
p.6.
HF
15 Nov 30
p. 23.
Motion Picture Herald
3 Jan 31
p. 74.
Motion Picture Herald
7 Mar 31
p. 25, 27
New York Times
14 Feb 31
p. 6.
New York Times
21 Mar 31
p. 15.
New York Times
29 Mar 31
p. 5.
Variety
25 Mar 31
p. 24.
DETAILS
Release Date:
21 February 1931
Production Date:
began 4 November 1930
Copyright Claimant:
Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Distributing Corp.
Copyright Date:
16 February 1931
Copyright Number:
LP1980
Physical Properties:
Sound
Western Electric Sound System
Black and White
Duration(in mins):
80
Length(in feet):
7,336
Length(in reels):
9
Country:
United States
Passed by NBR:
Yes
SYNOPSIS

Bonnie Jordan, formerly a spoiled, carefree socialite, is faced with poverty or hard work when her father, Stanley Jordan, dies of a heart attack during the stock market crash of 1929. Though she in in love with Robert "Bob" Townsend, she refuses his proposal of marriage, because he offers it merely as "the gentlemanly thing to do." Instead, she goes to work as a cub reporter on the New York Star . Her brother Rodney takes an easier way out by helping bootlegger Jake Luva peddle his liquor to Rodney's wealthy friends. Bonnie grows to love her work and is befriended by Bert Scranton, the Star 's top reporter. When a group of bootleggers are murdered, both Bert and Bonnie are assigned different aspects of the case. While investigating the crime, Bert unwittingly encounters Rodney, who, realizing that Luva is responsible for the murders, lets information about his gang slip out. When Luva hears about it, he tells Rodney that the only way out is to shoot Bert or be shot himself. Though he doesn't want to do it, his own fear leads him to kill Bert. Bonnie, who doesn't know about Rodney's connection to Luva, is then assigned by her editor to infiltrate Luva's gang and find out who actually did the murder, as all of his gang have airtight alibis. She gets a job as a dancer in Luva's nightclub, posing as "Mary Smith" from Kansas City, and although both Rodney and Bob see her at the club, Luva doesn't know her real identity. One evening Luva invites her to his apartment to seduce her. She ... +


Bonnie Jordan, formerly a spoiled, carefree socialite, is faced with poverty or hard work when her father, Stanley Jordan, dies of a heart attack during the stock market crash of 1929. Though she in in love with Robert "Bob" Townsend, she refuses his proposal of marriage, because he offers it merely as "the gentlemanly thing to do." Instead, she goes to work as a cub reporter on the New York Star . Her brother Rodney takes an easier way out by helping bootlegger Jake Luva peddle his liquor to Rodney's wealthy friends. Bonnie grows to love her work and is befriended by Bert Scranton, the Star 's top reporter. When a group of bootleggers are murdered, both Bert and Bonnie are assigned different aspects of the case. While investigating the crime, Bert unwittingly encounters Rodney, who, realizing that Luva is responsible for the murders, lets information about his gang slip out. When Luva hears about it, he tells Rodney that the only way out is to shoot Bert or be shot himself. Though he doesn't want to do it, his own fear leads him to kill Bert. Bonnie, who doesn't know about Rodney's connection to Luva, is then assigned by her editor to infiltrate Luva's gang and find out who actually did the murder, as all of his gang have airtight alibis. She gets a job as a dancer in Luva's nightclub, posing as "Mary Smith" from Kansas City, and although both Rodney and Bob see her at the club, Luva doesn't know her real identity. One evening Luva invites her to his apartment to seduce her. She goes along with him, hoping to get her story, but when she answers his phone and hears Rodney's voice, she realizes the extent of her brother's involvement and tries to leave. When Rodney arrives, the three argue and Rodney kills Luva, but is killed himself, trying to protect Bonnie. Bonnie then phones in the real story to the Star . The next day her boss and others at the paper try to discourage her from leaving, but she feels that she must. As she walks out, Bob finds her and proposes again, this time for real, and as they kiss, some of her friends on the paper capture the moment for the announcement of their marriage on the society pages. +

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.