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Dance, Girl, Dance PG

Dorothy Arzner, USA, 1940, 89m.

All screenings will be shown with Descriptive Subtitles (HOH).

You can find details of the first screening, which is part of our season launch event, here.

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 picture 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.

The charismatic Lucille Ball, who went on to become a funny female icon through her role in I Love Lucy in the 1950s. Dance, Girl, Dance was one of her early movie roles, and really showcased Ball's fierce talent as a comedienne and a dancer, before she became a TV star. 

Caroline Cassin is a film and cultural events programmer, who recently graduated with an MA in Film Studies, Programming and Curation from the National Film and Television School. Caroline hosts monthly pre-Code cinema series, Women & Cocaine, at the Cinema Museum in London, and she curated the recent retrospective on Dorothy Arzner at the BFI. Her projects explore and re-examine women’s history in the film industry, both behind and in front of the camera.

Maureen O'Hara, Louis Hayward, Lucille Ball, Virginia Field

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