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Ten Cents a Dance (1931)
Topic Started: Jun 25 2017, 07:12 AM (181 Views)
Laughing Gravy
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Ten Cents a Dance (1931) Dir. Lionel Barrymore(!)

A Columbia Picture
76 min. / B&W / 1.33:1
On DVD from TCM Vault/Sony

Barbara Stanwyck is a taxi dancer with quite the tangled love life. She's wooed by rich and handsome Ricardo Cortez, but loves poor and not so handsome Monroe Owsley (and with a name like Monroe Owsley, you see why studios developed the practice of renaming young actors with goofy-ass names). She gets Owsley a job thanks to Cortez, and he promptly swipes $5000 from his new employer, leading to some serious angst on Babe's part. A good film; it's a woman's picture, but I liked it anyway, and it's Pre-Codedness cannot be questioned: it's sprinkled with the type of dialog that the Code would stomp out in a couple of years ("Men LIKE rhythm," the Dance Hall Matron reminds the girls).

Stanwyck is excellent at the end when she finally gets sick of Owsley's bullshit, but until then, you just wanna ask her WHAT is she THINKING. Nice to see Cortez play a good guy for once, and watch for Loretta Young as one of the dancers: it's not Loretta, though, it's her sister Sally Blane. Had you going there for a second, didn't I? Owsley is one of those sappy early '30s leading men I can't stand (you know, the David Manners type) and he dropped dead of a heart attack in his mid-30s, apparently.

Million-dollar Dialog:
Babs: "I could forgive you for being a liar and a thief and a coward if I loved you! I could forgive you anything! BUT I DON'T LOVE YOU! I don't even think enough of you now to hate you! I'm thankful to you for bringing me down to earth where I belong!"

This kicked off the Columbia Pre-Code Collection; nice to see more vintage Columbias on the market. They, Paramount, and Universal - bring 'em ALL on, 1930s-wise.
"I'm glad that this question came up, because there are so many ways to answer it that one of them is bound to be right." - Robert Benchley
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Frank Hale
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To the extent that I can remember this film, it was just another weirdly plotted Columbia exercise in existentia.

I always liked Ricardo Cortez. He was actually a good guy more times than might be suspected, but some guys were just born to play rats.
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Laughing Gravy
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Try saying "Monroe Owsley" three times fast, though. See?
"I'm glad that this question came up, because there are so many ways to answer it that one of them is bound to be right." - Robert Benchley
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