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Dance Hall (1929)

A dance trophy winning young couple is temporarily split up when a playboy aviator leads the girl to believe he's in love with her.


Melville W. Brown (as Melville Brown)


Viña Delmar (story) (as Vina Delmar), Jane Murfin (screenplay) | 1 more credit »


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Cast overview:
Olive Borden ... Gracie Nolan
Arthur Lake ... Tommy Flynn
Ralph Emerson Ralph Emerson ... Ted Smith
Margaret Seddon Margaret Seddon ... Mrs. Flynn
Joseph Cawthorn ... Bremmer
Helen Kaiser Helen Kaiser ... Bee
Lee Moran ... Ernie
Tom O'Brien Tom O'Brien ... Truck Driver


Tommy Flynn (Arthur Lake), a mild-mannered shipping clerk, attempts to dance his way into the heart of Gracie Nolan (Olive Borden), a dance-hall taxi-dancer, but he is thwarted by Ted Smith (Ralph Ererson), a dashing, caddish stunt pilot, who swoops in and plucks the delectable damsel away. Not for long, however, since time proves the aviator unworthy, and Tommy and Gracie are cemented together as dancing partners for life. Written by Les Adams <longhorn1939@suddenlink.net>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


VITA DELMAR'S DEVASTING DRAMA OF YOUTH! (original poster-all caps)


Comedy | Drama | Music | Romance








Release Date:

14 December 1929 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Os Malucos do Jazz See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

RKO Radio Pictures See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


(TCM print)

Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Photophone System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.20 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


The director made Olive Borden wear a blonde wig for this movie because most dance hall girls were blondes. See more »


Ted Smith: Baby. How are you?
Gracie Nolan: Fine.
Ted Smith: Say, I've got more news to tell than a Sunday edition. Is there a spot around this joint were we can be alone?
See more »


Come in the Water, the Water is Fine
Written by Oscar Levant and Sidney Clare
See more »

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User Reviews

Technically Bad, Technically Important
29 January 2013 | by bobliptonSee all my reviews

The graceful camera motion, combined with the voices mismatched with mouths confirms the trivia entry to this 1929 RKO talkie: this was shot as a silent and then sound was goat-glanded onto it. Also, Arthur Lake, better known for his role as Dagwood in the "Blondie" movie and TV series for twenty years, is unbearably twitchy in this love triangle set around a dance hall.

Nonetheless, there are some technical issues to this movie that make it important. There is an early example of two people doing ballroom dancing that is shot in a long take to show their movement. Most film historians indicate that this manner of shooting dancing was an innovation for the Astaire-Rogers films about five years after this, yet here it is. Perhaps this was a specialty number, but it points the way. There is also some antediluvian foley work in the home shots, feet clumping along the floor, utensils clattering on dishes and doors latching and unlatching. They are loudly annoying, but definitely added sounds.

However, unless you are afflicted with a technical curiosity in such things, you can skip this one.

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