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Born to Dance [VHS] (1936)

Eleanor Powell , James Stewart , Roy Del Ruth  |  NR |  VHS Tape
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)

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Frequently Bought Together

Born to Dance [VHS] + Broadway Melody of 1938 [VHS] + Broadway Melody of 1936 [VHS]
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Product Details

  • Actors: Eleanor Powell, James Stewart, Virginia Bruce, Una Merkel, Sid Silvers
  • Directors: Roy Del Ruth
  • Writers: Sid Silvers, Buddy G. DeSylva, Jack McGowan
  • Producers: Jack Cummings
  • Format: Black & White, NTSC
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Number of tapes: 1
  • Studio: MGM (Warner)
  • VHS Release Date: February 23, 1995
  • Run Time: 106 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: 6301967526
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #310,002 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Editorial Reviews

Sailor Ted meets at the Lonely Hearts Club of his friend Gunny's wife, Jenny, a girl, Nora Paige, and falls in love. Nora wants to become a dancer on Broadway. Ted rescues the Pekinese of Lucy James, a Broadway star during a public relations campaign on his submarine. Lucy falls in love with Ted, and Ted is ordered by his Captain to meet her in a night club, in spite of the fact that he has a date with Nora. Nora, who lives with Jenny and her and Gunny's daughter, doesn't want to hear anything from Ted, after she spotted a picture of Ted and Lucy in the morning paper. Lucy convinces her manager Dinehart to stop the press campaign and tells him that she would leave the production, if another photo or article of her and Ted is published. Nora has become her understudy, and she begins to think her behavior to Ted over. Suddenly she is fired after Dinehart told her to dance a number Lucy James called undanceable. But when Ted is told the whole story, he knows what to do.

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Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
(13)
4.7 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
34 of 35 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the Great Musicals of the 1930s July 2, 2002
Format:VHS Tape
If ever a person was truly "born to dance," it was Eleanor Powell--the first of MGM's great dancing stars and a performer still considered by many to be the single finest tap dancer to emerge from Hollywood. And with the 1936 film BORN TO DANCE, MGM offered Powell the single finest film of her entire career. Although extremely lightweight, the story of three sailors and their romantic complications has a very playful tone and witty script--which forms the perfect frame for a memorable score by the celebrated Cole Porter. The musical numbers are staged with a more subtle flash than one normally finds in 1930s musicals, and there are several complex ensemble numbers and the memorable "Easy to Love" and "I've Got You Under My Skin."
Not only was Powell a greatly gifted dancer, she was a clever commedian with a pleasing singing voice, and her playful performing style is particularly charming in such numbers as "Rap-Tap on Wood" and "Swinging the Jinx Away." Her leading man, somewhat surprisingly, is none other than James Stewart--and although he wasn't really a singer or a dancer he does extremely well with both, and he and Powell make a very entertaining couple. The entire cast is their equal, with Phil Silvers and Una Merkle amusing as bickering lovers, Buddy Ebsen demonstrating his remarkable talents as both eccentric dancer and clever comic, and Virginia Bruce the perfect femme fatale. Everything about the film sparkes and shines, right down from the sets to the polished performances. If you enjoy classic musicals of the 1930s, BORN TO DANCE is a must have! Strongly recommended.
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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Musical September 9, 2003
Format:VHS Tape
This was a great film. Yes, the story is a little corny, but it was from the 30's and times were different, and who cares anyway? Eleanor Powell is great in this film and her dancing is amazing. I lost track of how many turns she managed in the final scenes - they were awe inspiring. I wish that Eleanor and Gene Kelly had made a musical together because I know it would've been terrific. Both James Stewart and Buddy Ebsen were adorable when they were young. Buddy's style was pretty amusing and I enjoyed watching him dance. This film was a real treat and I would watch it again any time!!!
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars BORN TO DANCE October 15, 2001
By A Customer
Format:VHS Tape
James Stewart is a wonderful actor. After watching this movie with him and Eleanor Powell I found him to be a very good dancer and singer. He has a wonderful voice. It is a great all around good movie. Also, have to give credit to a young Buddy Ebson and the whole cast. It didn't surprise me to hear James Stewart sing, because I have collected a lot of his movies and found that there isn't to much that this man can not do. If you want a great entertaining old movie without the special effects they use nowadays then this is the movie I would HIGHLY recommend. If a movie has James Stewart in it then it is worth having!!!
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Tap-dancing genius January 13, 2000
Format:VHS Tape
Eleanor Powell was as great a dancer as Fred Astaire, but unfortunately she is not as well-remembered. Astaire himself said she was better than him. The dancing in the battleship scene at the end of the movie is too brilliant for words. I also say you must see the cake dance in "Rosalie", and the heavenly duet with Astaire in "Broadway Melody of 1940".
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars What a Voice!!! May 17, 1999
By A Customer
Format:VHS Tape
One of the greatest scenes in any film - James Stewart, the legendary westerner serenading Eleanor Powell. I saw this film on TV years ago, but erased the video of it. If anyone knows where to get a VHS UK compatible copy I would be really grateful. 1st class entertinment - it is surprising how good Stewart's voice actually is.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing. . . August 26, 2005
Format:VHS Tape
This movie is just great fun. True, it is typical Depression-era escapism, but it has a certain pre-WWII innocence, and a certain Gilbert-and-Sullivan flavor to it.

It's interesting to hear Jimmy Steward singing. Most of the time he's not bad, but he couldn't quite pull off "Easy to love." That's actually not surprising; that's not an easy song. And if you don't believe me, you try singing it sometime. What's amazing is that Eleanor Powell did so well with it--in addition to being an amazing dancer, she was quite a good singer, although it's true that she did sound a little ragged in some of her later pictures.

Anyway, it's a great example of the MGM movie-musical, and Powell was an absolutely amazing dancer. So watch it and enjoy!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A silly story but Eleanor Powell is well worth it November 25, 1998
By A Customer
Format:VHS Tape
Forget the story, although there is funny dialogue as well as situations, nice supporting work from Buddy Ebsen and Jimmy Stewart, as well as Una Merkel. Eleanor is a decent, not great, actress, but her fabulous girl-next-door dancing is as sexy as anything on film. The finale with Eleanor is spectacular, as is everything she does. This film is a real gem for lovers of musicals (and Eleanor Powell).
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