Born to Dance (1936)

105 or 108 mins | Musical comedy | 27 November 1936

Director:

Roy Del Ruth

Producer:

Jack Cummings

Cinematographer:

Ray June

Editor:

Blanche Sewell

Production Designer:

Cedric Gibbons

Production Company:

Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Corp.
Full page view
HISTORY

According to a news items in HR , backgrounds for the film were shot on Santa Catalina Island, CA, and still photographer George Hommell took over for Eddie Croninworth when Croninworth was assigned to After the Thin Man . The HR review notes that Born to Dance was Jack Cummings' first assignment as a producer. British actor-comedian Reginald Gardiner made his American motion picture debut in the film. It was also composer Cole Porter's first original musical for M-G-M. Modern sources state that Porter "hand picked" James Stewart for the male lead in the picture and in later years said that non-singer Stewart sang the song "Easy to Love" as well as any professional singer. According to the M-G-M music collection at the USC Cinema-Television library, Jack Owens, a baritone, did record a version of "Easy to Love" that was to be dubbed for Stewart's voice, but it was apparently discarded in favor of Stewart's own tenor voice. Born to Dance may be the only film in which Stewart sang a complete song. The ship set used in the "Swinging' the Jinx Away" number, as well as much of the choreography, was used again the 1943 Vincente Minelli directed M-G-M musical I Dood It! , starring Eleanor Powell and Red ... More Less

According to a news items in HR , backgrounds for the film were shot on Santa Catalina Island, CA, and still photographer George Hommell took over for Eddie Croninworth when Croninworth was assigned to After the Thin Man . The HR review notes that Born to Dance was Jack Cummings' first assignment as a producer. British actor-comedian Reginald Gardiner made his American motion picture debut in the film. It was also composer Cole Porter's first original musical for M-G-M. Modern sources state that Porter "hand picked" James Stewart for the male lead in the picture and in later years said that non-singer Stewart sang the song "Easy to Love" as well as any professional singer. According to the M-G-M music collection at the USC Cinema-Television library, Jack Owens, a baritone, did record a version of "Easy to Love" that was to be dubbed for Stewart's voice, but it was apparently discarded in favor of Stewart's own tenor voice. Born to Dance may be the only film in which Stewart sang a complete song. The ship set used in the "Swinging' the Jinx Away" number, as well as much of the choreography, was used again the 1943 Vincente Minelli directed M-G-M musical I Dood It! , starring Eleanor Powell and Red Skelton. More Less

GEOGRAPHIC LOCATIONS
SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Daily Variety
28 Sep 36
p. 6.
Daily Variety
14 Nov 36
p. 3.
Film Daily
17 Nov 36
p. 9.
Hollywood Reporter
7 Jul 36
p. 2.
Hollywood Reporter
8 Jul 36
p. 2.
Hollywood Reporter
13 Jul 36
p. 8.
Hollywood Reporter
21 Jul 36
p. 14.
Hollywood Reporter
14 Nov 36
p. 3.
Motion Picture Herald
17 Oct 36
p. 37.
Motion Picture Herald
21 Nov 36
p. 51.
New York Times
5 Dec 36
p. 16.
Time
7 Dec 36
p. 26.
Variety
9 Dec 36
p. 12.
CAST
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
PRODUCER
WRITERS
Story
Story
PHOTOGRAPHY
Photog
ART DIRECTORS
Art dir
Art dir assoc
Art dir assoc
FILM EDITOR
Film ed
COSTUMES
Gowns
MUSIC
Mus dir
Mus arr
Choral arr
Mus presentations
DANCE
Dance ensembles
PRODUCTION MISC
Still photog
Still photog
STAND INS
Dance stand-in for Miss Powell
SOURCES
SONGS
"Rolling Home," "Rap-Tap on Wood," "Hey, Babe, Hey," "Entrance of Miss Lucy James," "Love Me, Love My Pekinese," "Easy to Love," "I've Got You Under My Skin" and "Swingin' the Jinx Away," words and music by Cole Porter.
COMPOSER
DETAILS
Release Date:
27 November 1936
Production Date:
7 July--4 November 1936
Copyright Claimant:
Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Corp.
Copyright Date:
23 November 1936
Copyright Number:
LP6792
Physical Properties:
Sound
Western Electric Sound System
Black and White
Duration(in mins):
105 or 108
Length(in reels):
11
Country:
United States
PCA No:
2707
Passed by NBR:
Yes
SYNOPSIS

As sailors Gunny Saks and Ted Barker prepare to return to New York after a four-year voyage, Gunny's wife Jenny puts their daughter Sally to bed. Jenny wonders if she really loves Gunny, whom she hastily married after being his partner in a marathon dance contest, and hasn't seen him since shortly after their wedding. Because Gunny does not know about Sally, Jenny plans to keep her existence secret until she is sure about him. Jenny, who manages the New York Lonely Hearts Club, has just befriended Nora Paige, a terrific dancer from a small town who yearns to star on the Broadway stage. When Gunny arrives at the club to see Jenny, Nora meets Ted, and the two fall in love. The next day, Lucy James, a Broadway musical comedy star, goes to the sailors' ship for publicity and Ted rescues her pet pekinese after the dog falls into the water. James McKay, Lucy's press agent, thinks that Lucy can get some great publicity for her new show out of the incident and convinces Lucy to ask Ted out to thank him. Ted reluctantly agrees to go to dinner with Lucy, partially to be polite, and partially to pay back McKay for getting Nora a job as Lucy's understudy. When the date is written up in a newspaper column, however, Nora is hurt and thinks that Ted does not love her any longer. Because his hitch is up, Ted decides to leave the navy to be with Nora, but she refuses to see him. Meanwhile, McKay thinks that Lucy would get even more publicity if she announced her engagement to Ted. ... +


As sailors Gunny Saks and Ted Barker prepare to return to New York after a four-year voyage, Gunny's wife Jenny puts their daughter Sally to bed. Jenny wonders if she really loves Gunny, whom she hastily married after being his partner in a marathon dance contest, and hasn't seen him since shortly after their wedding. Because Gunny does not know about Sally, Jenny plans to keep her existence secret until she is sure about him. Jenny, who manages the New York Lonely Hearts Club, has just befriended Nora Paige, a terrific dancer from a small town who yearns to star on the Broadway stage. When Gunny arrives at the club to see Jenny, Nora meets Ted, and the two fall in love. The next day, Lucy James, a Broadway musical comedy star, goes to the sailors' ship for publicity and Ted rescues her pet pekinese after the dog falls into the water. James McKay, Lucy's press agent, thinks that Lucy can get some great publicity for her new show out of the incident and convinces Lucy to ask Ted out to thank him. Ted reluctantly agrees to go to dinner with Lucy, partially to be polite, and partially to pay back McKay for getting Nora a job as Lucy's understudy. When the date is written up in a newspaper column, however, Nora is hurt and thinks that Ted does not love her any longer. Because his hitch is up, Ted decides to leave the navy to be with Nora, but she refuses to see him. Meanwhile, McKay thinks that Lucy would get even more publicity if she announced her engagement to Ted. Lucy has now started to fall in love with Ted, however, and does not want to use him, so she warns McKay that she will walk out of the new show if another word about her and Ted is printed in the papers. Learning this, Ted gets the idea to call McKay's contact at a newspaper and, pretending that he is McKay, plants a story that Lucy is going to marry him right after the show opens. The next morning, a furious Lucy walks out of the show, thus enabling Nora to go on in her place. Though Nora is a sensation, she is broken-hearted over Ted until Jenny, who has known about the plan all along, tells her about Ted's scheme. Nora and Ted are then happily reconciled, but Jenny and Gunny's happiness is once again interrupted. Gunny is overjoyed to learn that Sally is his daughter, but because Jenny was so secretive, Gunny believed that she had been cheating on him, and in desperation he signed up for another four years in the navy. +

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

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