3 Stars

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Dorothy Arzner, the sole woman to work as a director in the Hollywood studio system of the 1930s and early ’40s, brings a subversive feminist sensibility to this juicily entertaining backstage melodrama. A behind-the-footlights look at friendship, jealousy, and ambition in the ruthless world of show business, Dance, Girl, Dance follows the intertwining fates of two chorus girls: a starry-eyed dancer (Maureen O’Hara) who dreams of making it as a ballerina and the brassy gold digger (a scene-stealing Lucille Ball) who becomes her rival both on the stage and in love. The rare Hollywood film of the era to deal seriously with issues of female artistic struggle and self-actualization, Arzner’s film is a rich, fascinating statement from an auteur decades ahead of her time.

FILM INFO

  • Dorothy Arzner
  • United States
  • 1940
  • 90 minutes
  • Black & White
  • 1.37:1
  • English
  • Spine #1028SPECIAL FEATURES
    • New, restored 4K digital transfer, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack on the Blu-ray
    • New introduction by critic B. Ruby Rich
    • New selected-scene commentary featuring film historian Cari Beauchamp
    • PLUS: An essay by critic Sheila O’Malley

    New cover by Jody Hewgill

    May 20, 2020

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Published by

Ronald Epstein

administrator