DANCE, FOOLS, DANCE (1931)
From TCM US. Don't be mis-led by the title, because while there is
some dancing in the film (and you have to catch Joan Crawford doing
a dance routine in Clark Gable's speakeasy---vaa, vaa, vaa voom!!!
Whew!!! But it's a very small piece, and the film deals instead with
life's up's and downs and how people cope with life during the great
depression). It features a very stunning Joan Crawford as the
bourgeois daughter of a wealthy business dude (played by a guy
called William Holden---didn't know there was another, but I've seen
this guy in another film from the pre-code recently (NOT SO DUMB)
from 1930. I saw William Holden in the cast list and kept looking
for the one I know and never saw him LOL. I realized that it was an
elderly actor, and he did a fine job in that film). He also did an
outstanding job in this film, constantly flabbergasted by the antics
of Joan, her brother, played by William Bakewell, and their "rich
kid" friends. One such early on is when they're all on this yacht,
and they all go "skinny dipping" but in their underwear! Pre-code,
indeed!! Well, it's the time of the stock market crash and Holden's
business and personal wealth go "belly up", causing him to suffer a
fatal heart attack. What Joan and Bakewell don't realize is that
the fortune is gone and they are going to have start over from
scratch abandoning their wealthy lifestyle and friends. It's a
pretty realistic and emotional moment as it dawns on them...also a
scene where Cliff Edwards, an upper crust dude who had been casually
dating Joan, is very emotionally riveting. I don't want to reveal
too much, but while Joan tries to maturely deal with the situation
and gets a job as a reporter, her bro is an immature kid who can't
seem to face facts, and to keep him in with the "fast crowd" he gets
mixed up with gangsters and bootleggers, and head honcho, Clark
Gable. Gable is awesome in this role, deadly and vicious as they
come. It's 1931 and his screen persona hadn't been fossilized yet,
and he's much more interesting to watch during this period when he
can just as easily play a baddie as a goodie, both with flair and
panache. There is a sizzle between he and Crawford, naturally, and
things get pretty darn hot and heavy overall. It's sexy (you gotta
check out Joan's dance routine--Oh my gosh!!), violent and very pre-
code with excellent acting and story. Very highly recommended!
This is a great movie. I saw it a couple of times in the early 1990's on TCM. Ah - those were the days. TCM UK do not show films like this anymore.
This was the first opportunity of seeing early Crawford talkies as I don't remember any others being shown on TV in the UK with the exception of RAIN.
As a result I didn't particularly associate her with dancing though I was aware of course that it was her performance in OUR DANCING DAUGHTERS that made her a star. And she was very good.
As for starring opposite Gable, I think they hold up very well today so they must have been absolute dynamite back then. Gosh - see them together in POSSESSED.
Anyone that does not think Joan beautiful has not seen
films such as this. I also think she does a fine job of acting
in this as well. :wub:
I found (as in most pre-codes) the story is very fast paced.
Crawford and Gable sizzled in this and I agree with Geoffies
"Possessed" is dynamite.
Special mention to Cliff Edwards, who was very good as the
reporter who befriends Joan.
I loved this film when I saw it, Joan was so beautiful and Clark was a great actor. Highly recommend itl