Dance Girl Dance

According to Gerald Peary's article on Dorothy Arzner (Cinema #34), “...Dance Girl Dance... was a personal project of Erich Pommer, the former head of Germany's famed UFA Studio. As producer, Pommer had conceived, cast, and started the shooting of Dance Girl Dance, but everyone involved was unhappy and confused. After a week Pommer removed the original director and brought in Dorothy Arzner to take charge. She reworked the script and sharply defined the central conflict as a clash between the artistic, spiritual aspirations of Maureen O'Hara, and the commercial, huckster, golddigging of Lucille Ball.”

In any event, this film has been hailed as something of a classic by feminist film critics: “All in all, it's an extraordinary picture to have come out of Hollywood in that particular period - and it's also a great deal of fun.”

- Nora Sayre, New York Times

“Dorothy Arzner's most explicitly feminist film which explores the suffering and indignities of a serious ballerina (Maureen O'Hara) before an audience of lecherous males who show their preference, in no uncertain terms, for the broadly provocative gestures of a burlesque queen (Lucille Ball).... It could be objected that O'Hara is a little out of her element in a vaudeville house, not exactly the temple of high art, and that there is something healthy in Ball's (and Hollywood's) vulgarity. Still,... Ms. Arzner captures with peculiar force the emotional reality of the women, independently and in their relationship as roommates and rivals.”

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