musicals with worthwhile dancing

by bderoes | created - 19 Sep 2017 | updated - 2 months ago | Public

[Related lists: musicals watched: non-musicals watched:

Dancers who made their films worthwhile: Dance directors/choreographers who made their films worthwhile:
The links below are to my public blogspot,

Did you know that you can perform Advanced Title Search for lists NOT your own?

 Refine See titles to watch instantly, titles you haven't rated, etc
  • Instant Watch Options
  • Genres
  • Movies or TV
  • IMDb Rating
  • In Theaters
  • On TV
  • Release Year
  • Keywords

IMDb user rating (average) to
Number of votes to »


Release year or range to »

1. On with the Show! (1929)

Passed | 104 min | Musical, Romance

A musical advertised as the first 100% natural color, all-singing production. The plot concerns a wide-eyed former hatcheck girl who takes the place of a rebellious star.

Director: Alan Crosland | Stars: Arthur Lake, Betty Compson, Joe E. Brown, Sally O'Neil

Votes: 227

The Covans (quartet) only imdb credit, dance twice. Also some large productions, and Joe E. Brown stunt dancing. . Warner Bros, dir. Alan Crosland; 6+

2. Pie, Pie, Blackbird (1932)

11 min | Short, Musical

Two boys eat a blackberry pie, then they and their mother are transported to a musical set where Eubie Blake and his band are playing some great jazz.

Director: Roy Mack | Stars: Eubie Blake, Nina Mae McKinney, The Nicholas Brothers, Fayard Nicholas

Votes: 101

Hallelujah (1929) Nicholas Brothers

3. The Black Network (1936)

20 min | Musical, Short

Brutus Johnson, owner of the Porter Pullman Shoe Polish Company, sponsors the Porter Pullman Shoe Polish Variety Program on the Black Network Broadcasting Co. Mezzanine Johnson, Brutus' ... See full summary »

Director: Roy Mack | Stars: Nina Mae McKinney, The Nicholas Brothers, The Washboard Serenaders, Emmett 'Babe' Wallace

Votes: 87

Hallelujah (1929) Nicholas Brothers

4. Whoopee! (1930)

TV-G | 93 min | Comedy, Musical, Romance

Western sheriff Bob Wells is preparing to marry Sally Morgan; she loves part-Indian Wanenis, whose race is an obstacle. Sally flees the wedding with hypochondriac Henry Williams, who thinks... See full summary »

Director: Thornton Freeland | Stars: Eddie Cantor, Ethel Shutta, Paul Gregory, Eleanor Hunt

Votes: 910

Busby Berkeley's first IMDb credit. He has most of his gags already developed, especially the geometric overhead effects. Just fast forward through the non-dancing scenes, although Eddie Cantor in the kitchen is worth watching. . Goldwyn, dir. Freeland; 6

5. Palmy Days (1931)

Approved | 77 min | Comedy, Musical, Romance

An assistant of phony psychic leaves the fraudulent business and becomes an efficiency expert.

Director: A. Edward Sutherland | Stars: Eddie Cantor, Charlotte Greenwood, Barbara Weeks, Spencer Charters

Votes: 446

Here only for the Busby Berkeley sequences. The comedy, Charlotte Greenwood and George Raft make the rest of the film pleasurable. . Goldwyn, dir. Sutherland; 6

6. Flying High (1931)

Passed | 80 min | Comedy, Musical, Romance

An eccentric inventor and his new flying machine are the focus of this musical comedy.

Director: Charles Reisner | Stars: Bert Lahr, Charlotte Greenwood, Pat O'Brien, Kathryn Crawford

Votes: 158

Here only for the BB sequences, which are too few, but worth seeing, especially in study of BB. This might have been the first use of camera under a circle of girls rotating to give different faces oriented properly for a fraction of a second each. It's a fun comedy with Greenwood being very physical and Bert Lahr mugging in his first of 10 feature film appearances. . MGM, dir. Reisner; 6+

7. 42nd Street (1933)

Passed | 89 min | Comedy, Musical, Romance

A director puts on what may be his last Broadway show and, at the last moment, a naive newcomer has to replace the star.

Director: Lloyd Bacon | Stars: Warner Baxter, Bebe Daniels, George Brent, Ruby Keeler

Votes: 9,871 | Gross: $2.30M

Good story, worth watching the whole film. The great dancing comes at the last 20 minutes, where we get a condensed version of the stage musical they've been working on. It's glorious, complete with Berkeley-isms and surreal staging that only cinema could capture. A worthy reboot of the movie musical.

Warner Bros, dir. Bacon, 8+

8. Gold Diggers of 1933 (1933)

Not Rated | 97 min | Comedy, Drama, Musical

A wealthy composer rescues unemployed Broadway performers with a new play.

Director: Mervyn LeRoy | Stars: Warren William, Joan Blondell, Aline MacMahon, Ruby Keeler

Votes: 6,713 | Gross: $4.80M

Great Busby Berkeley production numbers: We're in the Money (immediately after opening credits), Shadow Waltz (start ~1:21:30) and Remember My Forgotten Man (start ~1:30:30). Another BB triumph, although there are long section with no numbers, and the plot is dull. Not even Joan Blondell and Aline McMahon liven it up enough; Warren William and Guy Kibbee are flat as the love interests.

Warner Bros, dir. LeRoy, 8

9. Footlight Parade (1933)

Passed | 104 min | Comedy, Musical, Romance

Chester Kent struggles against time, romance, and a rival's spy to produce spectacular live "prologues" for movie houses.

Director: Lloyd Bacon | Stars: James Cagney, Joan Blondell, Ruby Keeler, Dick Powell

Votes: 4,322

BB meets Cagney, Blondell, and the usual cast. First up: short dress rehearsal of Sittin' on a Back Yard Fence at 40:30. 1:08:40 Honeymoon Hotel, no actual dancing, but cute. 1:18:00 By a Waterfall, with very elaborate sets of waterfalls in a "natural" setting, and man made swimming pools. 1:31:30 Shanghai Lil. Cagney acts, dances and close-order drills in this one.

Warner Bros, dir. Bacon, 8

10. Dancing Lady (1933)

Passed | 92 min | Comedy, Musical, Romance

An attractive dancer is rescued from jail by a rich man, who helps her to have her first big opportunity at a musical play on Broadway.

Director: Robert Z. Leonard | Stars: Joan Crawford, Clark Gable, Franchot Tone, May Robson

Votes: 1,867

Astaire's first film appearance. He dances twice: partial rehearsal starting ~55 min, part of big production starting ~1:16:00, including a flying carpet segment, where we can see through FA's body. I'm pleasantly surprised by the plot, the players and the staging of the dances. Definitely imitation Berkeley, but pretty well done. (The revolving sectors of posed girls is close to BB.) Looking at the other credits of the 2 dance directors gives me no insight about who might be responsible.

MGM, dir. Leonard, 6+

11. Roman Scandals (1933)

Passed | 92 min | Comedy, Fantasy, Musical

A kind-hearted young man is thrown out of his corrupt home town of West Rome, Oklahoma. He falls asleep and dreams that he is back in the days of olden Rome, where he gets mixed up with court intrigue and a murder plot against the Emperor.

Director: Frank Tuttle | Stars: Eddie Cantor, The Goldwyn Girls, Ruth Etting, Gloria Stuart

Votes: 503

Ruth Etting sings No More Love in a slave auction with lots of BB staging/dancing. Cantor sings Keep Young and Beautiful while blacked up; the white harem girls have black attendants who look extra dark and uniformly so, and all provide a good BB#. Although the chariot chase is impressive; the chariot sequence director shares a title card with BB and Tuttle, the film's director.

Goldwyn, dir. Tuttle, 7-

12. Flying Down to Rio (1933)

Passed | 89 min | Comedy, Musical, Romance

An aviator and band leader who is always getting his group fired for his flirtatious behavior with the female guests soon finds himself falling for an engaged woman.

Director: Thornton Freeland | Stars: Dolores del Rio, Gene Raymond, Raul Roulien, Ginger Rogers

Votes: 3,112

The Carioca begins 40:45; F&G dance at 43:40 for 2 minutes, and again at 50:45 for 20 seconds. Jazzier version danced by the black couples starts 49:20; end time: 52:20. At 1:03:45, Fred does regular dance-floor moves with Dolores to Orchids in the Moonlight through 1:05:25. Fred solos to Music Makes Me at 1:06:45 through 1:08:05. Flying Down to Rio, with women lashed to airplane wings to "dance" above ground, starts at 1:22:00 through 1:25:00.

RKO, dir. Freeland; 7-

13. Beer and Pretzels (1933)

20 min | Short, Comedy, Musical

Ted Healy and the 3 Stooges are fired and evicted from a theatre because Ted annoys women working there. They then get jobs as waiters at a nightclub. Chaos leads to destruction of the business. At the end, Ted pursues another woman.

Director: Jack Cummings | Stars: Larry Fine, Moe Howard, Curly Howard, Ted Healy

Votes: 286

A short starring Healy & the 3 Stooges. But at 11:30 (lasts 2 min) we get an unidentified trio of tappers who look familiar. Their dance on barrels is worth fast forwarding through the rest.

MGM; on Flying Down to Rio (1933) dvd.

14. Fashions of 1934 (1934)

78 min | Comedy, Drama, Musical

When the Manhattan investment firm of Sherwood Nash goes broke, he joins forces with his partner Snap and fashion designer Lynn Mason to provide discount shops with cheap copies of Paris couture dresses.

Director: William Dieterle | Stars: William Powell, Bette Davis, Frank McHugh, Hugh Herbert

Votes: 1,176

BB meets ostrich feathers on dozens of girls at 50:30, lasts 5 min. Gorgeous; the movement of the feathers makes some formations a little more alive than usual.

Warner Bros, dir. Dieterle; 6

15. The Great Gabbo (1929)

Passed | 92 min | Drama, Musical, Romance

An insanely, egocentric ventriloquist, even though he is possessed by his wooden dummy, is in love with a dancer who is in love with another. The dummy gives advice to the ventriloquist.

Directors: James Cruze, Erich von Stroheim | Stars: Erich von Stroheim, Donald Douglas, Betty Compson, Marjorie Kane

Votes: 649

CM50.d6A. Compson and Douglas are the romantic leads who sing (and dance adagio via body doubles, according to Richard Barrios' A Song in the Dark [book]). Musical scenes often have a large number of dancers on a wide and deep stage, often filmed in a full proscenium. The precision of the chorus lines tells me lots of rehearsal went into the effort. Observed by a friend: the songs reflect the themes portrayed.

James Cruze Productions, dir. Cruze; 7

16. Wonder Bar (1934)

Passed | 84 min | Crime, Drama, Musical

Harry and Inez are a dance team at the Wonder Bar. Inez loves Harry, but he is in love with Liane, the wife of a wealthy business man. Al Wonder and the conductor/singer Tommy are in love ... See full summary »

Director: Lloyd Bacon | Stars: Al Jolson, Kay Francis, Dolores del Rio, Ricardo Cortez

Votes: 540

We get these BB musical numbers: Del Rio and Cortez dance to Powell's singing of Don't Say Good-Night, which evolves into a BB production of dancing columns. Lasts 11 min. The use of mirrors is amazing, and we get the overhead formations too; all much too elaborate for a theatrical stage, much less a nightclub. Then the notorious Goin' to Heaven on a Mule starts at 1:06:50. The stereotyping is deeply offensive, but the spectacle is fascinating. Lasts 12+ min.

Warner Bros, dir. Bacon; 8.

17. Stand Up and Cheer! (1934)

Passed | 68 min | Comedy, Musical

President Franklin Roosevelt appoints a theatrical producer as the new Secretary of Amusement in order to cheer up an American public still suffering through the Depression. The new ... See full summary »

Director: Hamilton MacFadden | Stars: Warner Baxter, Madge Evans, James Dunn, Sylvia Froos

Votes: 414

Shirley Temple is just 6 y.o. by a month when this premiered. She is a marvel as a tapper. So only watch her scene (maybe), and her one musical number, plus the acrobatic senators, namely scenes 9-12, and hit EJECT. It's easy to see why ST stood out as the best thing in this nails down the chalkboard of a movie (EIGHT writers?) Broadway's Gone Hill Billy (scene 14) is very insulting, as though country music swings and shimmies like that. In the Lariat Dance, I wonder if some of those ropes are actually hoops.

Fox, dir. MacFadden; 5-

18. Dames (1934)

Approved | 91 min | Comedy, Musical, Romance

A multimillionaire decides to boycott "filthy" forms of entertainment such as Broadway shows.

Directors: Ray Enright, Busby Berkeley | Stars: Joan Blondell, Dick Powell, Ruby Keeler, Zasu Pitts

Votes: 1,693

Scene 18: The Girl at the Ironing Board, Blondell as turn of century laundress. Scene 19: I Only Have Eyes for You, replicator stuck on Ruby Keeler. Very cinema-only sequence of Powell+Keeler on streets, in subway, people disappearing from view. Then the chorines doing BB's psychedelic bidding. Glorious. Scene 20: Dames. More BB magic, without Ruby, yet with some actual tapping too. Several shots are filmed in reverse to give formations precision. Beautiful.

Warner Bros, dir. Enright&Berkeley; 7+

19. Kid Millions (1934)

Approved | 90 min | Comedy, Musical

A musical comedy about a Brooklyn boy (Eddie Cantor) who inherits a fortune from his archaeologist father, but has to go to Egypt to claim it.

Directors: Roy Del Ruth, Willy Pogany | Stars: Eddie Cantor, Ann Sothern, Ethel Merman, George Murphy

Votes: 411

No BB, but the Nicholas Bros appear. Harold sings I Want to Be a Minstrel Man (chapter 8). Later in same chapter, both dance to Mandy at 47:05 for 1.5 glorious minutes. Ethel Merman gets 3 songs and plenty of acting scenes. Ann Sothern gets 2 songs, but has better roles elsewhere.

Goldwyn, dir. Del Ruth & Pogany; 6+

20. The Gay Divorcee (1934)

Approved | 107 min | Comedy, Musical, Romance

An American woman travels to England to seek a divorce from her absentee husband, where she meets - and falls for - a dashing performer.

Director: Mark Sandrich | Stars: Fred Astaire, Ginger Rogers, Alice Brady, Edward Everett Horton

Votes: 6,371

Fred has 2 solos; F&G have 3 numbers (Night and Day, The Continental twice). Betty Grable and EE Horton Knock Knees. DVD has scenes broken out to make musical numbers easy to find. Really, this feels like the first of the musicals I own to express emotion and advance the story through dance.

RKO, dir. Sandrich; 8+

21. Sweet Adeline (1934)

Approved | 87 min | Musical, Romance

In 1898, composer Sid Barnett manages to get his sweetheart, Adeline the beer-garden singer, to sing the lead in his new Broadway operetta; this infuriates Elysia, the erstwhile star. But ... See full summary »

Director: Mervyn LeRoy | Stars: Irene Dunne, Donald Woods, Hugh Herbert, Ned Sparks

Votes: 201

Most famous song: Why Was I Born? Both production numbers are good to watch: Lonely Feet starts at 1:07 (lots of precision movement in white costumes against black glossy floor), We Were So Young starts at 1:13:20 (chorines on invisible swings, star on visible one). Not so much the movie overall. I love Irene Dunne, but this would have been better with Helen Morgan, and NOT the switcheroo of setting at the end.

Warner Bros, dir. LeRoy; 6-

22. The Little Colonel (1935)

Approved | 81 min | Comedy, Family, Musical

After Southern belle Elizabeth Lloyd runs off to marry Yankee Jack Sherman, her father, a former Confederate colonel during the Civil War, vows to never speak to her again. Several years ... See full summary »

Director: David Butler | Stars: Shirley Temple, Lionel Barrymore, Evelyn Venable, John Lodge

Votes: 1,254

Bill "Bojangles" Robinson is the only reason I own Shirley Temple movies. Here is his first. He dances twice: once to get ST up the stairs to bed (marvelous, starts 56:40, about 3 min), and again with her in the stable (with wooden floor, 1:06:30 for 2 min).

Fox Film Corp, dir. Butler; 7-

23. Folies Bergère de Paris (1935)

Approved | 82 min | Comedy, Musical

An entertainer impersonates a look-alike banker, causing comic confusion for wife and girlfriend.

Director: Roy Del Ruth | Stars: Maurice Chevalier, Merle Oberon, Ann Sothern, Eric Blore

Votes: 225

Excellent opening numbers, especially the umbrella'd ensemble dancing to Rhythm of the Rain (almost worthy of early BB). Second ensemble with MC & AS starts at 1:14:20, Singing a Happy Song; lots of straw hats of various sizes (real, enlarged, and the size of a stage); again BB-worthy. Dance director credit is Dave Gould.

20th Century Pictures, dir. Del Ruth; 7

24. Roberta (1935)

Passed | 106 min | Comedy, Musical, Romance

In Paris, a man clueless about fashion suddenly inherits his aunt's dress shop, while his bandleader friend reunites with his old flame.

Director: William A. Seiter | Stars: Irene Dunne, Fred Astaire, Ginger Rogers, Randolph Scott

Votes: 2,734

Great songs here: Yesterdays, Smoke Gets in Your Eyes, I Won't Dance, Lovely to Look At. Fred dances without GR in scenes 7 & 22; with GR in scenes 11, 29 & 31. Often a song scene precedes the dance scene. Both Fred and Hermes Pan get screen credit for "dances arranged by" and "assistant dance director", respectively.

RKO, dir. Seiter; 7-

25. Dixiana (1930)

Passed | 100 min | Comedy, Drama, Music

In antebellum New Orleans, two men vie for the affections of a beautiful young girl during Mardi Gras.

Director: Luther Reed | Stars: Bebe Daniels, Everett Marshall, Bert Wheeler, Robert Woolsey

Votes: 298

Best print is on YouTube with color footage. Bill "Bojangles" Robinson dances alone starting at 1:23:02 for about 3 minutes. For at least half of it, the frame cuts him off at the ankles. Still marvelous to watch, and different from the staircase work he does in The Little Colonel. Other dance sequences, with large ensembles, not worth noting. (I also found the clip of only his sequence on YouTube.)

RKO, dir. Reed; 5

26. Harlem Is Heaven (1932)

69 min | Crime, Drama, Musical

The director and star of a Harlem theater troupe puts his feelings aside to help unite two lovers.

Director: Irwin Franklyn | Stars: Bill Robinson, Eubie Blake, John 'Spider Bruce' Mason, Putney Dandridge

Votes: 25

Watched on YouTube; only 57 min instead of 1:09. Backstager, with plenty of dancing, almost all with Robinson. This one has the onstage mini-staircase built for Robinson; starts at 36:40. Filmed full-figure and closeup on feet, which shows just how narrow the prop is: width is about 1.5 of the length of his feet; 5 steps up and 5 down. Lovely hollow sound when he's tapping on it.

Lincoln Pictures & Herald Pictures, dir. Franklin; 6-

27. Gold Diggers of 1935 (1935)

Approved | 95 min | Comedy, Musical

Romantic antics abound among the guests at a luxury hotel, including a stage director, an eccentric millionaire, and the daughter of a financial backer.

Director: Busby Berkeley | Stars: Dick Powell, Adolphe Menjou, Gloria Stuart, Alice Brady

Votes: 2,294

Really awful and really awesome. The dancing pianos, introduced by DP singing to his romantic interest don't need the laborious story we've endured for 1:06 to get there. The Lullaby of Broadway number is the dancing-est ensemble number Berkeley produced: dozens of men and women actually dancing, not just making beautiful formations. And it climaxes in a bizarre dramatic twist.

First National (WB), dir. Berkeley; 7-

28. Go Into Your Dance (1935)

Approved | 89 min | Crime, Drama, Musical

Al Howard may be a star on Broadway, but he is no longer welcomed by any producer. It seems that he just trots off to Mexico any time he wants causing shows to close and producers to lose ... See full summary »

Directors: Archie Mayo, Michael Curtiz, Robert Florey | Stars: Al Jolson, Ruby Keeler, Glenda Farrell, Barton MacLane

Votes: 285

The song that lingers with me is About a Quarter to Nine, which AJ sings twice, RK dances to it, and they use it as dance music and background music. Ruby's dancing is better than usual; they gave her something to do with her hands and/or choreographed them. Near-BB spectacle created by Bobby Connolly, especially in the She's a Latin from Manhattan number with a large globe onstage.

First National (WB), dir. Mayo, (Curtiz & Florey); 7-

29. Hooray for Love (1935)

Approved | 72 min | Comedy, Musical

A young man with money falls for singer Pat Thatcher, and her con man father makes the most of it.

Director: Walter Lang | Stars: Ann Sothern, Gene Raymond, Bill Robinson, Maria Gambarelli

Votes: 96

The highlight of this film is I'm Livin' in a Great Big Way: Bill Robinson, dancing and singing with Jeni LeGon, accompanied by Fats Waller, at 0:52-1:01, reprise 1:10:20-:46. (Also found on YouTube.) The movie is very pleasant overall.

RKO, dir. Lang; 6+

30. Broadway Melody of 1936 (1935)

Passed | 101 min | Musical, Romance

Bob Gordon is staging a new Broadway Show, but he is short of money. He gets an offer of money by the young widow Lillian, if she can dance in his new show. Bert Keeler, a newspaper man, ... See full summary »

Directors: Roy Del Ruth, W.S. Van Dyke | Stars: Jack Benny, Eleanor Powell, Robert Taylor, Una Merkel

Votes: 1,401

Full-blown Eleanor Powell numbers here; she is the Star of the film and she taps and dances ballet and backbends a bit. Buddy Ebsen and sister Vilma dance comedically. June Knight sings well, and dances well too. Nick Long, Jr. can kick high with his right leg, and dances well. The production numbers are lavish, and the trick furniture and statuary are riveting. Their attempt at a BB overhead shot is horrible: they keep the camera moving and the picture shakes like the cherry-picker is going to shatter.

MGM, dir. Del Ruth (& Van Dyke); 7+

31. Evergreen (1934)

Not Rated | 94 min | Comedy, Musical, Romance

Harriet Green, a beloved and radiant music hall star of the Edwardian era, has a guilty secret: She has a baby daughter, born out of wedlock. Harriet leaves her public and flees to South ... See full summary »

Director: Victor Saville | Stars: Jessie Matthews, Sonnie Hale, Betty Balfour, Barry MacKay

Votes: 463

Particularly good production starts at 39 minutes, tracing changes in musical styles from modern (1934) times to the Edwardian era. Don't miss the minstrel faces on the wall during the Charleston. I'm not sure why the 1914 segment is so Metropolis-y (1927), but it also borrows from Footlight Parade (1933); BB should be proud. There are 2-3 other good production numbers. Just watch it all; the ending satisfies too.

Gaumont British Picture Corporation, dir. Saville; 7

32. Top Hat (1935)

Not Rated | 101 min | Comedy, Musical, Romance

An American dancer comes to Britain and falls for a model whom he initially annoyed, but she mistakes him for his goofy producer.

Director: Mark Sandrich | Stars: Fred Astaire, Ginger Rogers, Edward Everett Horton, Erik Rhodes

Votes: 16,018 | Gross: $3.88M

RKO, dir. Sandrich; 10

33. First a Girl (1935)

Not Rated | 78 min | Comedy, Musical

Elizabeth, a delivery girl, dreams of being a music-hall singer but she is refused at the first casting she takes part in. A bit depressed, she gets to know Victor, a would-be Shakespearean... See full summary »

Director: Victor Saville | Stars: Jessie Matthews, Sonnie Hale, Anna Lee, Griffith Jones

Votes: 410

Dancing begins in scene 1, where JM dances mostly alone in the shop stockroom. A large ensemble and her "mentor" (Victor, Sonnie Hale) assist her first professional female impersonation in scene 6, and another act in scene 8. In scene 11 JM sings on a swing, dressed as a bird, set in a cage, again with an ensemble of dancers. SH takes the lead in the reprise of that number in scene 12 of 13.

Gaumont British Picture Corporation, dir. Saville; 6+

34. The Littlest Rebel (1935)

Approved | 73 min | Comedy, Drama, Family

Shirley Temple's father, a rebel officer, sneaks back to his rundown plantation to see his family and is arrested. A Yankee takes pity and sets up an escape. Everyone is captured and the ... See full summary »

Director: David Butler | Stars: Shirley Temple, John Boles, Jack Holt, Karen Morley

Votes: 1,264

We finally get more than one dose of dancing, in fact, triple that: scenes 3, 17, and 22 of 24. ST and Bill Robinson are the only dancers (other than the minuet by children), and their music is diegetic banjo, harmonica, or human sounds. Delightful.

Twentieth Century Fox, dir. Butler; 8

35. King of Burlesque (1936)

Approved | 90 min | Drama, Musical

Former burlesque producer moves into legitimate theatre and does well until he marries a socialite. After his divorce his former top singer returns from London to help out.

Director: Sidney Lanfield | Stars: Warner Baxter, Alice Faye, Jack Oakie, Mona Barrie

Votes: 114

Oscar nominated, Best Dance Direction, Sammy Lee, for Lovely Lady (ensemble) and Too Good to be True (Dixie Dunbar and male chorus, portion enhanced by Fats Waller and his band). Also excellent: Nick Long, high kicker from Broadway Melody of 1936 (1935); he does a lot of leaping and high-hopping here too, again reminding me of Bobby Van in BB's Small Town Girl (1953). Gareth Joplin (child with Astaire's forehead and hairline). Both NL and GJ dance separately with female chorus on Shooting High.

Fox, dir. Lanfield; 6+

36. Strike Me Pink (1936)

Passed | 100 min | Comedy, Musical

Meek Eddie Pink becomes manager of an amusement park beset by mobsters.

Director: Norman Taurog | Stars: Eddie Cantor, Ethel Merman, Sally Eilers, Harry Parke

Votes: 359

Goldwyn, dir. Taurog, 7-

37. Follow the Fleet (1936)

Approved | 110 min | Comedy, Musical, Romance

A Navy sailor tries to rekindle a romance with the woman he loves while on liberty in San Francisco.

Director: Mark Sandrich | Stars: Fred Astaire, Ginger Rogers, Randolph Scott, Harriet Nelson

Votes: 3,702

RKO, dir. Sandrich, 7

38. Colleen (1936)

Approved | 89 min | Comedy, Musical, Romance

The Ames Company makes every effort to keep Uncle Cedric away from any decisions or work. This is in the best interests for him and the company. Trouble starts when he hires a schemer named... See full summary »

Director: Alfred E. Green | Stars: Dick Powell, Ruby Keeler, Jack Oakie, Joan Blondell

Votes: 274

Warner Bros, dir. Green, 7+

39. The Great Ziegfeld (1936)

Not Rated | 176 min | Biography, Drama, Musical

The ups and downs of Florenz Ziegfeld Jr., famed producer of extravagant stage revues, are portrayed.

Director: Robert Z. Leonard | Stars: William Powell, Myrna Loy, Luise Rainer, Frank Morgan

Votes: 6,569

MGM, dir. Leonard; 8-

40. Café Metropole (1937)

Approved | 83 min | Comedy, Drama, Romance

In Paris, a young American is in debt to a nightclub owner, who forces him to woo an heiress in hopes of reaping her fortune.

Director: Edward H. Griffith | Stars: Loretta Young, Tyrone Power, Adolphe Menjou, Gregory Ratoff

Votes: 497

Fox, Griffith; 6. In '36 binder with Girls' Dormitory. DVD extras has deleted scenes of Bill Robinson dancing as entertainer in the nightclub: nice long routine in white tie and tails, another shorter Apache number (I wince at the razor), followed by autograph seeker (I wince at the signature, especially since he's playing "Bill Robinson").

41. Swing Time (1936)

Not Rated | 103 min | Comedy, Musical, Romance

A performer and gambler travels to New York City to raise the $25,000 he needs to marry his fiancée, only to become entangled with a beautiful aspiring dancer.

Director: George Stevens | Stars: Fred Astaire, Ginger Rogers, Victor Moore, Helen Broderick

Votes: 11,312

RKO, dir. Stevens; 9

42. Cain and Mabel (1936)

Passed | 90 min | Comedy, Musical, Romance

A talented boxer and a gifted dancer hope to increase their waning popularity by inventing a fictitious love affair for the benefit of the tabloids.

Director: Lloyd Bacon | Stars: Marion Davies, Clark Gable, Allen Jenkins, Roscoe Karns

Votes: 1,660

Warner, dir. Bacon; 5+. Only watch the Oscar nom'd number at 48 min.

43. Born to Dance (1936)

Passed | 106 min | Musical, Comedy

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 ... See full summary »

Director: Roy Del Ruth | Stars: Eleanor Powell, James Stewart, Virginia Bruce, Una Merkel

Votes: 1,315

MGM, dir, Del Ruth; 7

44. Gold Diggers of 1937 (1936)

Approved | 101 min | Comedy, Musical, Romance

When two investors inform an opportunistic dancer that they can't fund an elderly stage producer's production, she suggests they get an insurance policy on the producer's life.

Director: Lloyd Bacon | Stars: Dick Powell, Joan Blondell, Glenda Farrell, Victor Moore

Votes: 854

Warner, dir. Bacon; 7

45. Follow Your Heart (1936)

82 min | Musical

An eccentric musical family is kept in order by a talented daughter with modest ambitions.

Director: Aubrey Scotto | Stars: Marion Talley, Michael Bartlett, Nigel Bruce, Luis Alberni

Votes: 28

Republic Pictures, dir. Scotto; 6. Read blog before watching again:

46. One in a Million (1936)

Passed | 95 min | Comedy, Music, Romance

American theatrical manager (Menjou) discovers Henie preparing for the Olympics in Switzerland and brings her to Madison Square Garden.

Director: Sidney Lanfield | Stars: Sonja Henie, Adolphe Menjou, Don Ameche, Ned Sparks

Votes: 234 | Gross: $2.00M

Fox, dir. Lanfield; 7-

47. Dancing Feet (1936)

Approved | 70 min | Comedy, Music, Romance

Peyton Wells (Ben Lyon) rescues Judy Jones (Joan Marsh) from a very dull young man, at a sedate party given for her by her multi-millionaire grandfather Silas P. Jones (Purnell Pratt.) Judy... See full summary »

Director: Joseph Santley | Stars: Ben Lyon, Joan Marsh, Edward J. Nugent, Isabel Jewell

Votes: 47

Republic, dir. Santley; 7-. read blog for why this is "recommended".