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After her father Stanley Jordan loses his wealth in market, Bonnie goes to work as a cub reporter. Her brother Rodney is the wheel man in a gangland massacre. Bert, a reporter on Bonnie's paper, is murdered while investigating. Bonnie gets to know gang leader Jake Luva and learns how the gang works and that her brother is involved. By the time it's over her wealthy friend Bob sees how wonderful she is and falls in love with her for good.Written by
Ed Stephan <email@example.com>
"Dance, Fools, Dance" is clearly based on two infamous incidents in Chicago crime history: the 1929 St. Valentine's Day Massacre in a garage and the June 9, 1930 murder of Chicago Tribune reporter Jake Lingle, shot while heading to a train station. However, unlike the movie's Bert Scranton, Lingle was a shady character who played both sides of the law and had parlayed a $65 a week salary into a $60,000 income. In journalistic terms Lingle was known as a legman who would telephone in the salient details of the story which would be actually written by a rewrite man. This is what happens when Crawford's Bonnie phones in her story after the shootout. See more »
After Bert Scranton is murdered, a reporter named Kelly is shown typing his story, and he spells "assassin" incorrectly as "assasin." See more »
[advising Bonnie on being a reporter]
You'll learn, kid. Clearness, condensation. Where, what, when, and why... that's the idea. Say, don't let those guys on the copy desk bother ya. They're just a lot of butchers at heart. Why, you know what they'd do if they got a chance?
They'd cut the Lord's Prayer down to a one line squib. You know, "now I lay me down to sleep."
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Primarily for fans of both precode cinema and Joan Crawford
This is not a great precode, but it's good enough to keep your interest, particularly if you are fans of Joan Crawford, Clark Gable, or even Cliff Edwards. As others have already mentioned, it is historical for being the initial teaming of Joan Crawford and Clark Gable, although Gable is sixth or seventh billed at this point. Don't expect Gable the gallant cad in this one - here he is pure cad.
The film is largely an unremarkable morality tale about the follies of the very wealthy spoiling their children even into adulthood to the point where they complain about having to "get up in the middle of the night (9 AM) to eat breakfast.", which are the sentiments of the two Jordan children. When Wall Street crashes, dad dies from the shock and Bonnie Jordan (Joan Crawford) and her brother are left penniless. Bonnie chooses to break into newspaper reporting, but her brother chooses a less honest option which brings him into contact with Gable the gangster. After her close friend, reporter Bert Scranton (Cliff Edwards), is shot to death, Bonnie decides to go undercover as a dancer at Gable's nightclub to try to get to the bottom of the murder. She solves the crime, but at great personal cost.
The best parts of this film are watching Joan Crawford in a dance number and watching the great chemistry Crawford and Gable have together. You get bigger doses of Crawford and Gable together in "Possessed", which was made later this same year - 1931. Joan Crawford was already a big star at this point. As for Clark Gable, he has to wait until he manhandles Norma Shearer in "A Free Soul" before he catapults to true stardom.
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